The Adult Sunday School is the weekly commentary of Jed Greenough on the scripture covered by the International Sunday School Lessons known by some as the Uniform Series.
Although thousands of churches use this lesson plan, it is not necessary that you be a part of a class or church that does, as this is a simple way of studying the Bible in a predetermined way.
Often times it is this type of plan that keeps one in the Word and that can only be good!
Worship in the New Creation aka The Glorious New Creation
Isaiah 65:17-25 or 65:17-21, 23-25
International Sunday School Lesson
June 23, 2013
Please be aware that this is the commentary I have made for the 6-23 scripture and you will find 6-16 commentary elsewhere on the page!
I admit to confusion with regard to Isaiah 65 but hey, it is prophecy and one never knows where the literal and figurative stop and begin!
When I read verse 1 I am confident that this is literal that the former things will not be remembered about the old world when we are in glory.That makes me feel glad on many different levels not the least of which are when I think of the beauty and wonders that God has already wrought in the present world.But we know, don’t we, that our minds haven’t imagined what God has in store for us?1 Corinthians 2:9Not the least of which is that God will be with us.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.He will wipe every tear from their eyes.There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”Revelation 21:1-4
Yes, I don’t think we can imagine how wonderful and happy a place this will be!
That scripture from Revelation also helps us to understand some of the literal/figurative questions from today’s scripture from Isaiah by eliminating the confusion of the figurative language concerning our immortality.
If one were to only look at the description in today’s scripture here at face value you would think that people were going to live very long healthy lives which would contradict things we have read about being immortal such as 1 Thessalonians 4.Revelation in tandem with that one example clearly shows that you have to be careful what you read into prophecy by showing us in that 21:4 that there will be no more death because the old order of things will be no more.
When we read Isaiah 65 we can get the sense therefore that the things that have pained mankind since the fall are a part of that old order.Death, disease, hunger, childbirth, missed opportunities injustice—anything bad you can imagine happen will not.There will only be good and light.I wouldn’t get hung up on the lion eating straw and serpent eating dust literally.
1.Discuss the things you enjoy now in this world and how it makes you feel to know that they will be no more
2.Discuss how you won’t remember those things in the new order
3.Discuss whether you think there will be labor literally in the new order
4.Discuss verse 24
5.Discuss the need to interpret scripture by using other scripture
If I were to come to the scripture today cold I might not have come to the same conclusions as I did today but for the scriptures that we have had over the last several weeks.We have had all manner of reminders in those scriptures of how we are to be and how things will be.And tying it all together is our responsibility as Christians to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Eventually as we know God’s patience reaches its limit as we saw last week when we read a song of praise from Israel who was enduring their punishment after God’s limit had been reached and we read about it again in today’s scripture that draws parallels with our present.
For Israel the Lord as we read in verse 10 “has brought over you a deep sleep:He has sealed your eyes; He has covered your heads.”
Paul says this about them, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.” From Romans 11:8
Verse 13 from today says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
In 2 Timothy 4:3 we read, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
Sounds the same as what we read in today’s scripture doesn’t it?But we aren’t talking about Israel now.No we are talking about the church but it is eerily the same.God sent a spirit of stupor when the patience ran out, eyes that could no longer see and ears that could no longer hear.But as we read in 2 Thessalonians 2 when the patience runs out for the final time, “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.”
For Israel however there is one final bright spot after suffering so much once the fullness of the Gentiles has been reached all of Israel will be saved.Romans 11
But the similarity part ends.There isn’t a reprise for everyone else once the fullness of the Gentiles will have been reached and God is fulfilling His promise to them. Romans 11:29
Truly the pot has no say in the matter.
1.Discuss God’s ability to help us see
2.Discuss the frightening realities this scripture raises
3.Discuss ways that Jesus talked about those who talk the talk but do not walk the walk or in other words “worship in spirit and in truth.”
4.Give examples of the “pot” saying, “He knows nothing.”
5.Discuss ways of worship that is simply “rules taught by men” similarly taught “what their itching ears want to hear”
6-23-13:Worship in the New Creation aka The Glorious New Creation Isaiah 65:17-25 or 65:17-21, 23-25