The Cup of the LORD’s Wrath (Isaiah 51:17 – 52:12)

Scripture Text:

Isaiah 51:17 – 52:12

(Click the Scripture text to open the text in a new window.)
1. Drawing either upon personal experience or empathy for others, what is one of the most unpleasant things about being drunk?

2. Who is responsible for making Jerusalem drunk (chapter 51:17 – 23)? What would such a portrait of herself teach Israel?

3. What six things does Zion need to do to change this picture (chapter 52:1 and 2)? What does each mean? What is God going to do to change it?

4. This section continues the long poem begun in chapter 51:1. Whereas in chapter 51:9, God was called upon in awake, who is called upon in chapter 51:17 – 23?

5. What has been the effect of God’s punishment upon the people? What promises are given to them now? Why is God’s anger turning upon the Babylonians (see chapter 45:5 – 7)? What does this judgment show about God?

6. In the third “awake” section (chapter 52:1 – 10), what promises are given to the exiles?

7. What have the watchmen been faithfully saying? What will be their reward for this? Who are the watchmen?

8. The rulers of Egypt, Assyria and Babylon only saw themselves as working to build up their power, yet they were actually accomplishing God’s plan to reach all types of people. Do you think it is legitimate to view political movements and upheavals in our day from a similar perspective? Why or why not? What examples might you use as evidence for your position? What cautions need to be observed?

9. What does the apostle Paul say about the “beautiful feet” of verse 7 (see Romans 10:14, 15)? When you share your faith with others, what image fits best?

  • messenger clicking your heels with joy
  • messenger dragging your feet
  • operator of the travel booth just passing out information
  • doomsday prophet

10. If your “feet” were judged in a “Gospel beauty contest”, how would they appear? full of warts? well-calloused? smelly? shapely?

11. When have you sensed and conveyed real joy and peace in witnessing? How could you share more of the “good tidings” of the Gospel next week?

12. When is it helpful for a non-Christian to be confronted with a portrait of how He appears to God? When might it be harmful? What can we learn from this passage about proclaiming the Gospel?

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