Sunday School Material 11-30-14: Good News Brings Rejoicing

(Isaiah 52:1, 2, 7-12; 11/30/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God has detailed plans for delivering His people from their captivity. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like we trust God to take of His people today.

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Body:

Read Isaiah 52:1-2

I. New Reality. In our Sunday School material Zion is called to awake. She is to clothe herself in strength and splendor. She was given this news, while she was still in captivity.

Applications -

- Troubles don’t last always. Notice in vss. 1-2 that troubled times don’t last always. There are times when our season of suffering can seem so severe or so long that we wonder is there any end.

The answer to that question for the people of God is a resounding “yes”! God already has detailed plans for how and when we will come out of our seasons. Let’s live like we believe that God is still God, even when things are very difficult in our lives.

- Awake and obey. Notice in vss. 1-2 of in our Sunday School material that when it is time for God’s people to come out of their season of suffering, they were expected to awake and put on essentially godliness (i.e., strength and splendor).

First, we should work on making sure that we are awake and focused on God’s presence and calling on our lives. We don’t want trouble to make us spiritual insensitive or non-responsive.

Second, we should work on putting on strength and splendor or essentially live as God is calling us to live. For believers today, being a Christian is more than what is on the inside. We should behave like Christians.

At the core of our behavior are the issues of loving God and others, as we love ourselves. Let’s work on being awake and obedient to God’s will.

Read Isaiah 52:7-10

II. New Message. Those who bring God’s good news are a welcomed sight. The messengers/watchmen will be noted for talking about how “Your God reigns”! Joyful songs and singing are expected. God’s salvation will be seen by all. 

Applications -

- Faithful messengers. Notice in vs. 7 of our Sunday School material that a messenger is in view. It is said that their feet are beautiful, as they bring the word of the Lord. In this case, the word of the Lord included peace, good tidings, and salvation. 

But we should remember that there are times when the messenger of God brings a word of chastisement and call for repentance or a call for growth. As believers, we are called to be faithful messengers of God. 

We are called to say what God is calling us to say, which may not always trigger people talking about how beautiful our feet are. Let’s work on being faithful messengers of the Lord. 

- God reigns. Notice in vs. 7, 10 the idea that “Your God reigns.” First, there is no argument that God reigns. He is in control. One day every knee will bow to His judgment and splendor.

Second, we should make sure that we can say that God is “our God.” In other words, we need to make sure that we are saved. 

It is possible to be in church and even in Sunday School without being saved. Make sure that you have accepted Jesus as your savior by faith. 

Let’s make sure that we are saved and living as if our God reigns. Such living should be known for obedience and the expectation that God will take care of His own. 

- Enthusiasm. Notice in vss. 8-9 the mention of joyful and enthusiastic singing and expression. It is embarrassing to see how non-demonstrative some of our churches are becoming. God wants us to have an enthusiastic response to His grace and mercy. 

Not only does God want it, but it will make us feel better also. Let’s work on giving God enthusiastic praise and thanksgiving for His grace and mercy towards us. 

Read Isaiah 52:11-12

III. New Exodus. In our Sunday School material there is to be no touching of unclean things. This is especially the case for those who carry the articles of the Lord’s house. God will be behind and in front of His people. 

Applications -

- Purity. Notice in vs. 11 that God is still calling His people to live up to His expectations. He wants them to refrain from touching unclean things and to be pure. This is especially the case for those who carry the articles of the Lord’s house. 

These words would have been clearer to Jews than they are to some Christians today. The idea is that sin (e.g., touching the unclean and being impure) led to the people being in captivity. 

Now that God was bringing them out, God has not changed. He still expects purity. In like manner, when God brings us out of whatever we are going through, we should not think that God’s standards for our lives has changed. 

We are still called to learn and live by God’s word. Let’s work on learning and living by God’s word. 

- God’s protection. Notice in vs. 12 of our Sunday School material that there is no need to rush because God goes before and behind His people. 

In like manner, we don’t have to be anxious about our journey. We can trust God to be with us. He leads in the front and guards us from being attacked in the rear. 

Let’s live like we trust the protection of God. Such living should be known for peace of mind and obedience to His will. 

Conclusion: Let’s work on living like we trust God to take of His people today. God has much for those who obey His will.

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