Sin, Confession and Redemption (Isaiah 59)

Scripture Text:

Isaiah 59

(Click the Scripture text to open the text in a new window.)
1. Have you ever cracked open a bad egg or brushed up against a spider’s web in the dark? How did you feel?

2. As a child, did you feel authority figures were there to help and protect you or to spoil your fun? How have your opinions changed since your childhood?

3. How have you ever been lost or had trouble finding your way in the dark? What was your response?

4. From Isaiah 58:2, 3 and Isaiah 59:1, 2, what question is on the minds of the people? How does their perception of the problem compare with God’s?

5. Of what sins does God accuse them (verses 3 – 8)? What would life in this community be like? What does the image of the adder’s eggs and spider’s web say about the effect of all their sin?

6. What does each image in verses 9 – 11 add to your understanding of what has happened as a result of the people’s sins?

7. What will God do about this situation? How does that relate to their confession in verses 12 – 15? How do you reconcile the picture of God as warrior (verses 15b – 19) with that of the redeemer (verse 20)?

8. What will be the results of God’s action on those who have opposed Him? On those who repent? On the nations?

9. What is the covenant Isaiah speaks of in verse 21? What is required of the people?

10. How did you feel as you read the description of sin (verses 3 – 8)? How does that compare with Romans 3:9 – 17? What does it mean to you that this is the situation within the heart of all people, including you? What wrong action or inaction, words or silence, thoughts or thoughtlessness was yours this week?

11. When have you experienced blindness like that described in verse 10? What effective aids or artificial props did you use to grope through life’s darkness? Did God break through to you in that dark time? How?

12. What New Testament passages come to mind that emphasize Jesus’ role as the Redeemer and Judge in Isaiah’s prophecy? (See John 3:16 – 21 and Romans 11:22 – 27, for example.) What determines which way He will relate to you?

13. The apostle Paul exhorts Christians to wear the armor that God wears (verse 17; see Ephesians 6:13 – 17). How might this help you face evil and injustice? What is one way you can suit up and be God’s instrument in bringing salvation to others this week?

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