READ: Isaiah 27-28
THINK: Do you know people who view Christianity as just a bunch of dos and don'ts, religious rules and legalistic limitations? Somehow, they've developed a faulty impression that God's standards are unreasonable. While some sincere seekers feel this way due to bad experiences in the past, this is also a common perception among those who stubbornly reject God's Word and insist on going their own way. While God let's them do as they choose, He may continue to confront them with His message to further expose their rebellion. Even in this, God shows His mercy by bringing people to a breaking point, where they come to the end of themselves and have nowhere to turn but to Christ. At that point, if they open their hearts, they'll discover the true freedom of following Christ.
RESPOND: In 27:1, what is "that day" and what will God do then? (See 27:1 note.) What is "a fruitful vineyard" (27:2), and when will it's purpose be fully realized? (See 27:2-6 note.) According to 27:7-11, what would happen to Israel, and why? (See 27:7-11 note.) What hope does God give Israel in 27:12-13? (See 27:12-13 note.) To what time period does Isaiah's message in chapters 28–33 apply? (See 28:1-29 note.) What would be the extent and purpose of God's discipline and judgment? (See 28:1-29 note.) What does it mean that God would speak to His people "with foreign lips and strange tongues" (28:11)? (See 28:11 note.) What does it mean that "the word of the LORD to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there" (28:13), and how did this expose the people's rebellion? (See 28:13 note.) In what or whom were the rebellious people trusting, and what would happen to them as a result? (See 28:15 note.) What does God mean, "I lay a stone in Zion" (28:16), what's significant about the cornerstone, and how is this verse fulfilled in the New Testament? (See 28:16 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for God's discipline, which exposes sin and causes people to look to Him. Pray for people who are resisting God, that they would come to the end of themselves and realize that their only hope is Christ.
ACT: Has God exposed an area of spiritual weakness or potential rebellion in your life? Do you insist on the freedom to hang on to a questionable possession, relationship, behavior or activity? Refuse to compromise your relationship with God. Put aside your own way and choose to do what will help you and others grow closer to Christ.
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