Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. When were you most in need of (or grateful for) a flashlight?
2. When have you gotten up early to greet the sunrise? What “dawn of a new day” are you anticipating on this year’s calendar?
3. From Isaiah 8:19 – 22, what do you think Isaiah meant by the “darkness” in which the people walk (verse 2)? What suffering had Zebulun and Naphtali (in Israel) experienced?
4. How does Isaiah describe the effects of the dawning light (verses 3 – 5; see Judges 7:19 – 25 for Midian’s defeat)? In the context of the Assyrian threat, what does this light mean (see Isaiah 10:26, 27)?
5. What will be the light? How is he defined in verses 6 and 7?
6. What expectations would this arouse in you if you had first heard Isaiah pronounce it? What type of son or ruler would you expect to arise? How would his future rule and counsel compare with past alliances and plans (see Isaiah 8:7 – 10)? How would this make you feel?
7. How does the New Testament interpret what this prophecy means (see Matthew 4:12 – 17; Luke 1:32; John 8:12)? Of the titles given in verse 6, which fit Jesus as you know Him?
8. What is the purpose of His reign in your life? In the world? What does it mean that there will be no end to the “increase and peace” of His reign?
9. How has He shattered some of the “yokes that burden” you? What is one yoke that you desire to have Him shatter now?