Isaiah 4: Bible Study Guide.

23-BSG-4A: WORSHIP GUIDE.

A Worship Guide corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Isaiah 4/ Theme: The Branch of the LORD /23-BSG-4A, (Isaiah 4:2-4)/ Key Text: “In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.” (Isaiah 4:2, NKJV)/ Hymn:

EXPLORATION: Jesus Christ is referred to as “the Branch” — (see the Messianic Prophecies of Isaiah 4:2; 11:1; Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15; Zech. 3:8; 6:12, also read Patriarch and Kings p. 592).

REFLECTION: Who is the Branch of the LORD? “Isaiah first uses the word “Branch” in this verse. The word is also used in Jer. 23:5–6; 33:15–16; Zech. 3:8; 6:9–13 to describe Israel’s future leader. The prophecy concerning this future leader indicates He is a divine Messiah (Jer. 23:5–6). Another major occurrence of the word Branch in Isaiah is 11:1. The NT begins (Matt. 1:1) with a reference to Jesus as “Son of David,” signaling that He was the awaited Messiah from the line of King David, Himself the ultimate King. See also the title ascribed to Him in Rev. 19:16: “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”).” [Jon L. Dybdahl, Ed., Andrews Study Bible Notes, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2010), 865].

“After God’s original indictment or “lawsuit” (1:2–31) He gave a promise of restoration (2:1–5). Now at the close of the stinging reiteration of judgment (2:6–4:1) is another section on comfort (4:2–6). In spite of the terrible blow facing the nation because of its sin, some people would survive. Isaiah’s initial audience might have thought he was speaking of those who would survive the Exile. However, in the light of Matthew 24:4–30 he was referring to the people who will survive the difficulties in the Great Tribulation just before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to set up His kingdom.” [John A. Martin, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, 1985, 1, 1041].

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: Who is the Branch? Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The ideas behind the title Branch of the LORD are those of fruitfulness and life. Jesus used the same image when He said that He was the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5). “Israel would be desolate, as it were a withered tree (see Isa. 5:7), but a branch of righteousness would spring from the seed of David and bring forth fruits of righteousness. Literal Israel would perish as a nation, but Jesus would ultimately cause the earth to flourish with righteousness. This picture of a desolate earth at length bearing abundant fruit appears repeatedly throughout the Scriptures (see Ps. 72:16; Eze. 34:27; 47:6–9; Hosea 2:15, 21, 22; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13).” (SDA BC 4:119)

Beloved, Jesus Christ (The Brunch) is the only One who can bear the fruit of salvation for the kingdom of God (Isa 45:8). Isaiah saw a time (a future time) when Jesus would reign in glory and bring justice and righteousness to the whole world (Is. 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 3:8, 9). This prophecy is partially fulfilled, because He is yet to come, a second time, where He will reign in glory. But right now, He can bring peace and righteousness into our hearts. He can cause us to be righteous –(right with God). Because of His righteousness, we justified and granted eternal life (Rom 5:18). How many of us are willing to be recipients of His righteousness? How many of us are willing to worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ?

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—Because He does. What does the Lord say to me this morning? “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5–6, NKJV)

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to pray for the gift of righteousness. I want to strive to be righteous – to look unto Jesus; to obey His Commands, and imitate Christ in all the days of my life.

Have A Blessed Day: “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1–2, NKJV)

23-BSG-4B: PRAYER GUIDE.

A Prayer Guide corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Isaiah 4/ Theme: Holiness /23-BSG-4B, (Isaiah 4:1)/ Key Text: “And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called HOLY—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 4:3, NKJV)/ Hymn: “Take Time to be Holy” [Author: William D. Longstaff (ca. 1882)]

Focus: They shall be called Holy.

Opening Remarks: “The great burden of Isaiah’s message was holiness. He saw the Lord seated upon His throne, and was deeply impressed with the holy character of God (ch. 6:3). The title he constantly applies to God is “the Holy One of Israel” (chs. 1:4; 5:19, 24; 10:20; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19; 30:11, 12, 15; 31:1; 37:23; 41:14, 16, 20; 43:3, 14; 45:11; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7; 54:5; 55:5; 60:9, 14). This exact title is found outside Isaiah only six times in the Bible (2 Kings 19:22; Ps. 71:22; 78:41; 89:18; Jer. 50:29; 51:5). Isaiah’s constant objective was that Israel should forsake their sins and become a holy people.” [SDA BC 4:119].

The Bible contains a simple and complete system of theology and philosophy. It is the Book that makes us wise unto salvation. It tells us of the love of God as shown in the plan of redemption. It tells us of God’s requirements for holy lives – (holiness). It imparts the necessary knowledge for all fallen humanity—the knowledge of sin. The Law of God is our ‘school master’ revealing our unworthiness, while pointing us to Christ: “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24, NKJV)

Beloved, God wants us to be holy just as He is Holy — “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”” (1 Peter 1:15–16, NKJV) What does it mean for us to be holy? To be set apart for holy purposes; to be separated from the world; to live out that reality in our day-to-day lives. We must daily live a set-apart life, not trying to “blend in” with the world, but instead living according to God’s Word as we pray, study the Bible, and grow in it. Beloved, as we come to the today’s Prayer Session, we are invited to— to be Holy. Can we first confess our sins and ask the Lord to forgive and cleanse us? (1 John 1:9).

Values To Build On: Hope (the coming Messiah), Prayer, Repentance, and Holiness.

Sins To Avoid/ Confess: Polygamy; Failure to strive for holiness; Failure to prepare for the coming glorious Zion (Heaven); Failure to ask/ depend on God for one’s protection and care.

Something To Thank God For: He sanctify us (setting us apart for holy purposes, v. 3); He records our names in the Lamb’s Book for (for eternal life, v. 3); He is our shelter, our hiding place; He overshadows us with His presence; He is our Refuge; He is “a pavilion for shade from the heat by day, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and the rain” (v. 6); He has an ultimate rescue plan (the Second Coming) to solve all our problems and take us home (John 14:1-3).

People To Pray For: [1] Pray for all people to believe in “The Branch” (Jesus Christ, the Coming King). [2] Pray for all people who misinterpret Isaiah 4:1 to justify their sinful behavior –Polygamy.

Issues To Pray For: Baptism of Fire; Immanuel (God’s presence in our midst); Washing/ Regeneration/ Restoration; Holiness.

Today’s Promise: The Lord is our Refuge (cf. Isa. 4:5-6) — “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:5, NKJV)

Action Step: Take a moment to Examine Yourself: Do you see any Specific Sins listed above in your life? If Yes; Confess and Repent right away. Remember – “Sins that have not been repented of and forsaken will not be pardoned, and blotted out of the books of record, but will stand to witness against the sinner in the day of God.” (The Faith I Live By, p. 211). Take a moment to pray for issues listed above; Pray for someone who is struggling with these sins. If you have a Prayer Request(s), kindly write it below and someone will pray for it. God Bless You!

23-BSG-4C: CHAPTER OVERVIEW.

Chapter At A Glance[1] Contents: Messiah’s Mission of restoration; [2] Characters: God, Isaiah; [3] Key Word: ‘in that day’ (Isaiah 4:1, 2); [4] Striking Verses: Isaiah 4:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Important Words (NKJV): [Isa 4:2] ‘the Branch of’ (Semah) =sprouting; shoot; [Isa 4:2] ‘beautifu’l (sbi) = ornament, splendor; glory, magnificence.

Issues For Further Study: Messianic Prophecies; Day of the Lord; the Book of Life; Descriptions of Holy Spirit; Glory of God; Believers’ growth in Holiness; Messianic age; the Remnant of God; Revelation of glory.

Commentaries by Theme: The Branch – (Is 4::2; 11:1; 60:21; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Ezk 17:22-23; Zech. 3:8; 6:12; Lk 1:78). Other Themes –(Lk 10:20; Mt 3:11; Is 1:15; Ex. 21:10; Isa 1:9; Isa 2:11; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 21:27)

Similar Commands: 2 Sam 12:28

Theophanies: Ex 13:22; 40:34; Isa 6:3; Isa 60:2; Ex 19:18; 40:34-38, etc.

Parallel Passages: Isa 4:3// Rev 13:8; 21:27

23-BSG-4D: CHAPTER INTRODUCTION.

a. Right after the terrible Day of the LORD, the LORD will save a remnant of Israel (vv. 2–4). And He will save them by the Branch of the LORD, which is a direct reference to the Messiah Himself, even the Lord Jesus Christ. The Messiah is the Branch who came as a sprout or shoot from the stump of David’s dynasty, a dynasty that seemed to be dead (11:1; 53:2; Je. 23:5; 33:15; Zec. 3:8; 6:12). Note that the Branch will be beautiful and glorious in the eyes of the people. He will be the vine in whom the people will find their nourishment and strength (Jn. 15:1). As the Branch of the LORD, the Messiah will do three wonderful things for the people:

  • He will provide a fruitful land for them (v. 2). All the necessities of life—food, water, shelter, and whatever else is needed—will be provided for them in the promised land.
  • He will make them holy, totally set apart and consecrated to God, to worship and serve Him (v. 3). Following the future day of judgment, the only people who will survive will be genuine believers, those who have set their lives apart to God. At that time the LORD will perfect the holiness of all believers, purifying them and making them acceptable to live with Him eternally. This verse must be referring to the millennial reign of Christ and to eternity in the new heavens and earth. Why? Because the survivors left behind after the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions were not called holy. As Ezra, Nehemiah, and the prophets describe, they were anything but holy.
  • The LORD will cleanse the people from moral filth and sin (v. 4). The filth of the women of Zion will be washed away, as will the lawlessness and violence of everyone who is to live in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

b. After the people are perfectly cleansed and made holy, the LORD will cover His people with the glory of His presence (vv. 5–6). In fact, the canopy of His presence and provision will cover all of Mount Zion (Jerusalem). During the Exodus, the very presence of God was seen in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Ex. 13:21–22; 40:34–38; see also 16:10). So it will be in the millennium and in the new heavens and earth: God’s very presence will cover the New Jerusalem and be visible to all who travel and assemble there. The very shelter of God’s protection will provide a refuge and security for the people. His presence will provide a perfect safe haven. There will be no stifling heat from hot summer days or danger from violent storms.” [Leadership Ministries Worldwide, Isaiah (Chapters 1–35), The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible, (Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 2005), I:80–81].

23-BSG-4J: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

SEEING WHAT’S THERE — [1] What is the main content of this chapter? Jerusalem’s Glorious Future; and the Renewal of Zion.

‘In that day,’ (Isa. 4:2). This phrase speaks of ‘the Day of the LORD,” where a remnant of Israel shall be saved. Judgment is never the end of God’s message. Rather, His message always ends with the hope of salvation. ‘The Branch’ (Messiah: Jesus Christ) came a first time; He will come again a second time to bring this prophecy to fruition. At that time, He will be “splendid and glorious” (Isa. 4:2) and He shall take all the remnants of God home. Isaiah now looks beyond the judgment of God (Isa. 3:6-12) to the event that will take place right after the terrible battle of Armageddon, namely, the Second Coming.

[2] What does the chapter say about God? He sanctify us (setting us apart for holy purposes, v. 3); He records our names in the Lamb’s Book for (for eternal life, v. 3); He is our shelter, our hiding place; He overshadows us with His presence; He is our Refuge; He is “a pavilion for shade from the heat by day, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and the rain” (v. 6); He has an ultimate rescue plan (the Second Coming) to solve all our problems and take us home (John 14:1-3).

CAPTURE THE ESSENCE — [3] What is the setting (or immediate historical context) to the marriage between ‘Seven Women’ vs. ‘One Man’ in verse 1? (4:1) Does the Bible allow polygamy?

To get the context of this text, one has to go back to the previous chapter (Isa. 3:6–7) – there we see “a vivid picture is drawn of a scene that typifies what happens ‘in that day’ of Yahweh’s intervention in judgement. Not everyone would be deported, but losses in battle would mean that more women were left than men. So desperate would they be for protection and security that seven of them would grasp one male and make the same proposal to him. ‘We will eat our own food and clothe ourselves with our own garments,’ shows that they themselves would undertake to perform the duties of a husband, who was obligated in all circumstances to provide for his wife (cf. Exod. 21:10). Though such a polygamous arrangement was not outlawed at that time, very few men would have been wealthy enough to support so many wives.” [John L. Mackay, A Study Commentary on Isaiah: Chapters 1–39, EP Study Commentary, (Darlington, England; Webster, New York: Evangelical Press, 2008), 1:121].

Note: The message of Isa. 3:16 to 4:1 was originally addressed to the people of Jerusalem living in the prophet’s own day, as the context makes evident.

[4] Why was being single a disgrace? (4:1) “Most likely these seven women were widows, their husbands having been killed in the invasion. In ancient times widows were oppressed and treated poorly. However, because these widows claimed to have their own financial resources, their disgrace probably stemmed from being childless. In Hebrew culture, there was perhaps no greater humiliation than that of being a childless woman. These women apparently wanted children to remove their disgrace.” (NIV Quest Study Bible)

[5] Why would people be called holy? (4:2–3) “To be holy means to be reserved by God for his own use. By judging Jerusalem (and Judah), God purified his people, setting them apart for his glory. He separated his precious ones from the perpetrators of evil.” (NIV Quest Study Bible)

[6] What will the LORD wash away? (4:4) the (moral) filth of the daughters of Zion; the bloodstains of Jerusalem.

[7] What will a tabernacle provide? (4:6) A shade from the heat by day, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and the rain.

[8] What’s the purpose of the cloud of smoke by day and flaming fire by night? (4:5–6) “In Isaiah 2:1–3 Mount Zion is elevated above the surrounding hills; here it is protected by divine symbols reminiscent of the journey out of Egypt (Ex 13:21; 14:19–20). The protective symbols would not move, as they did during the Exodus; for the future Mount Zion is the journey’s end. The picture in these verses is glorious and certainly yet in the future, as Judah’s returning exiles did not experience such tranquil conditions.” (NIV Quest Study Bible)

23-BSG-4K: DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS — [1] What is the brightest promise in this chapter?

[2] What is the most powerful vision of a future day?

[3] What is the sharpest picture of punishment and disaster?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: The Bible gives a list of the fruits of Spirit in Galatians 5:22. But can we find another Spirit’s fruit? Yes. “for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” (Ephesians 5:9, NKJV) In our first study today (see ‘Worship Guide’) we saw that a Branch of righteousness would spring from the seed of David and bring forth fruits of righteousness. Beloved that is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, in light of that, here is the question: [4] How do we become righteous? (Hint: righteousness comes from God, it is free, and it requires faith in Jesus.)

[5] Can we become righteous by obeying the Ten Commandments? (see Rom 3:25-28).

[6] Whose act of obedience does the Bible speak about in Romans 5:17-19? Answer: Jesus’. Does this suggest that I need to worry only about Jesus’ obedience and not my own?

[7] Can you be a “holy person” and be greedy, sexually immoral, and impure? (Read and discuss Ephesians 5:1-3). Note that we cannot earn righteousness by obeying the law. Jesus did that for us. But, we can lose our salvation by our evil works because “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26). How does this truth help shape your conduct?

FOR SELF-EXAMINATION: “And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 4:3, NKJV)

This reference “everyone written for life” KJV – “suggests a future period of total reconciliation between God and His people. The reference also indicates that the names of the holy remnant have been recorded. This implies the existence of a divine record of who will be saved—a Book of Life. Such a book is alluded to in Exod 32:32–33 and Dan 12:1” (John D. Barry, Faithlife Study Bible, (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Is 4:3).

Ask yourself this question: Is my name written there, in the Book of Life? If you were to die today suddenly, and remember the Bible states clearly – “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Heb. 9:27). At your next conscious, when the Trump of the Lord shall sound, at the Second Coming, will your name be there?? Let me borrow the words of this Hymn, “Lord, I care not for riches, neither silver nor gold” [Author: M. A. Kidder].

  • (Stanza # 2) “Lord, my sins they are many, like the sands of the sea; But thy blood, O my Saviour, is sufficient for me; For thy promise is written in bright letters that glow; Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them like snow.”
  • (Refrain): “Is my name written there; On the pages white and fair? In the book of thy Kingdom, Is my name written there?”

FOR LIFE TODAY: “In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing, for those of Israel who have escaped.” (Isaiah 4:2, NKJV)

The original Land of Promise was a fruitful land (Ex. 3:8; 33:3; Num. 13:27; Deut. 8:7–10). It would bring forth its fruits in abundance if God’s people would only be faithful to Him (Deut. 28:1–12). But if they should prove unfaithful, there would be drought, desolation, and death (Lev. 26:14–39; Deut. 28:15–48; Hosea 2:1–13).” (SDA BC 4:119). Have you discovered that rebellion and disobedience to God brings a disaster in your life? What are you doing day-to-day to live in accordance to the Word of God? How can you help someone who is reaping the consequences of his sins to come back to the Lord, repent and be saved?

FOR GOING DEEPER: In the end God would be gracious to His people and they would be restored to His favor. Indeed, the entire earth would be restored and the fruit of righteousness would fill it (see Isa. 35; 44:3–6; 55:10–13; 60:21; 61; 62; Jer. 3:18, 19; Eze. 34:25–31; Hosea 1:10; Joel 2:19–27; Amos 9:13–15; cf. 2 Peter 3:13).

PERSONAL IMPLICATIONS: How would you summarize what this chapter tell you most about God’s purpose and plan for your life? What lesson(s) –if any — can you take from this chapter and share with someone else?

23-BSG-4Y: NIGHT DEVOTION.

A Night Though corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Isaiah 4/ Theme: Zion, the Holy City, part 2 (4:2–6)/ 23-BSG-4Y, (Isaiah 4:)/ Hymn: “Ware are Marching to Zion” [Author, Isaac Watts, 1707]

Isaiah 4:2–6 (NKJV) — 2 In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing For those of Israel who have escaped. 3 And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. 4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, 5 then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. 6 And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.

REFLECTION: “At the beginning of this section the words ‘In that day’ signal another leap into the future, as Isaiah tells of a day when true beauty and glory will be found in ‘the branch of the LORD’ (4:2). What, or who, is Isaiah referring to as ‘the branch of the LORD’? In chapter 11 the same title is clearly Messianic (11:1), but here this looks like a reference to the redeemed people of God, rather than to their Redeemer, as in chapter 60 (60:21).

The princes of Judah have been seeking glory for themselves, just as the women of Jerusalem have been trying to make themselves beautiful; but all that will change. ‘In that day’ the beauty of holiness and the glory of God will be seen in his people. Instead of bread and water shortages (3:1) there will be abundant fruit. The ‘survivors of Israel’ (4:2) will find that there were reservations made in their names all along (4:3). Having been washed clean they will be safe. The corrupt city of Isaiah’s day is going to be a holy city, and the threatened city, with potential enemies in every direction, is eventually going to enjoy ultimate protection and security (4:4–6).”

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: “When that day comes the Lord’s people will owe everything to the Branch, the Lord Jesus Christ himself (see 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 3:8; 6:12). He is the only one who can cleanse from sin, and his people will be called holy on the basis of his righteousness, not their own.

If you turn to the book of Revelation you will find that the apostle John had a vision of the same holy city as Isaiah. He saw the same beauty and glory, the same cleanness, the same register of names and the same abundance of fruit (Rev. 21:1–22:5). That is where prophecy is looking, where history is heading and where, by the grace of God, we are heading too.” [Andrew Thomson, Opening Up Isaiah, Opening Up Commentary, (Leominster: Day One, 2012), 28–29].

Have A Good Night: “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:3–4, NKJV)

19-BSG-1Z: CLOSING PRAYER.

Is there a prayer for me to pray/echo in this chapter-(Isaiah 4)? Yes.

Father, we thank You for Your word in Isaiah 4. We thank You for the Hope (promise) in this chapter—that ‘the Branch’ (Messiah, Jesus Christ) will come and rescue His people. We thank You for the fact that He came, a first time, and paid our debts on Calvary. We thank You that He is soon coming again, to take us home. We know that Jesus Christ is our shelter, our protection from the storms of this life (Ps. 91). Father, when we are tempted and lured to participate in some sinful behavior, remind us that Emmanuel (who is holy) is with us, and that we ought to shun all appearance of evil (sin) and live holy lives. Father, protect and deliver us from daily temptations. Teach us how to confidently call upon Your Name for help (in time of temptations) and flee to You for shelter and protection. When trials strike us—distressing circumstances, illness, hardships, or misfortunes—be our protector. Overshadow us with Your presence. Cleanse us from our sins and wash us from the precious blood of the Lamb. We look forward to that glorious Zion to come. We thank You Lord, and ask these things, believing and trusting, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.