Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. As a child, did you love or fear monsters? Were any “hidden” in your room? Where?
2. Do you have a vegetable or flower garden? If yes, how much time, money and affection do you lavish upon it?
3. The Leviathan was an evil monster in ancient Near Eastern mythology. What would God’s slaying of this familiar symbol accomplish (see Isaiah 24:1 – 3, 21 – 23 and Isaiah 26:20, 21)?
4. As God sings about His garden (verses 2 -6), what cords does He strike? Major or minor? Harmony or discord? High notes or low notes?
5. How does this song of God’s vineyard harmonize with that in Isaiah 5:1 – 7? What accounts for the change in tune?
6. How fruitful has Israel been? What is the “fruit” that will eventually “fill all the world” (see Isaiah 2:1 – 5; Isaiah 19:23 – 25; Isaiah 26:18)?
7. What has been the cause and purpose of God’s judgments against Judah (verses 7 – 11; compare chapter 11:11)?
8. Whether “the city” (verse 10) is Jerusalem, or is symbolic of any human endeavor pursued without regard for God (as in Isaiah 24:10 – 12; Isaiah 25:2, 3), what is the future of all such plans?
9. What “sea monsters” (pressures, temptations, opposing forces) seem to be chasing after you these days? How do you cope with them? Which one do you want God to slay first?
10. Is the fruit of your life mostly taking root (present, but unseen)? Or is your fruit budding and blossoming (beginning to show its God-given potential)?
11. This past year, have you sensed God singing about your garden? Or have you felt God was disciplining you in some way? Explain your answer.
12. In retrospect (and in view of John chapter 15), what do you see as the purpose of such discipline? What is your part, and God’s part, in being fruitful and multiplying for God?
13. “Asherah poles” and “incense altars” (verse 9) were idolatrous; even so, they were used by Judah. What things have possibly taken the place of God as “the desires of your heart” (Isaiah 26:8)?