Scripture Text:(Click the Scripture text to open the text in a new window.)
1. If your house were on fire, what three things would you save and why?
2. If you were an exile, how would you feel if Isaiah stopped with chapter 42? What would your reaction be to chapter 43:1 – 7?
3. Persia (under Cyrus) conquered Egypt, Cush and Seba. Based on Cyrus’ treatment of the exiles, what might the Lord mean in verses 3 and 4? Why will He give “men in exchange” (verse 4) for Israel?
4. Why are the exiles told not to fear (verses 1 and 5)? How will they know that God is with them? What effect will this have upon them?
5. Although Israel has been blind and deaf to God in the past (chapter 42:18 – 20), what is the purpose to which He will lead them out of Babylon (chapter 44:10, 12; see also chapter 41:20)? What will that act of deliverance communicate to the nations? With what attitude do you imagine this witness will be carried out?
6. Compare Isaiah 42:23 – 43:2 with Romans 3:19 – 24 and Ephesians 2: 11 – 13. What does the “but now” in each of these passages emphasize about your relationship with God? Which side of the “but” are you presently on?
7. If you were to set these passages to music, what type of music would you use for the lyrics before the “but now”? For the lyrics afterwards?
8. What “waters” or “fire” (verse 2) seem to be fearfully close to you at the moment? What does it mean to you that God says He will be with His people through these things? How have you experienced that in the past? How come He doesn’t just let us avoid them?
9. During the “unromantic” times in your life, when life and relationships have lost their sparkle, how does this passage help you to put things in perspective?
10. When has God worked good in your life despite your blindness and deafness? How would you explain to a non-Christian what God has done for you? What should be our motivation in witnessing to others of God’s grace in our lives?