Sunday School Material 9-4-16: The Peaceful Kingdom





(Isaiah 11:1-9; 9/4/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God promised a peaceful kingdom. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to be a part of the peaceful kingdom that God desires.

Body:

Read Isaiah 11:1-5

I. The Just Ruler. A shoot from the stump of Jesse is pictured here in our Sunday School material. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon the shoot/Jesus. He will judge the world with righteousness. He will be known for righteousness and faithfulness.

Applications –

- God’s promises and the planned ministry of Jesus. Notice in vss. 1-2 that the promised shoot and branch from Jesse is a reference to Jesus. First, as in the text, we can and should trust the promises of God. Our real level of trust is seen in how we live, not just what we say.

Second, Jesus was not an afterthought of the Father. The Father planned for the ministry of Jesus for our sake.

Let’s live like we trust the promises of God and are appreciative of the Father’s planning the ministry of Jesus for our sakes. This kind of living should be known for obediently loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

- Fruit bearing and the Holy Spirit. Notice in vss. 1-2 of our Sunday School material the mention of a fruit bearing branch and having the resting presence of the Holy Spirit.

First, as in the text, God expects something out of us (i.e., those who claim to be saved and striving to live by God’s will).

At the core of God’s expectations are the issues of making sure that we are saved through Christ and living lives focused on obediently loving God and our neighbors, as we love our selves.

Second, as in the text, we should allow the Holy Spirit to rest or abide in our lives. He should be a comfortable resident, not a periodic visitor. Not only should He rest, but He should rule in our lives.

Given His wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord, He is better able to rule our lives than we are.

The measure of how we let Him rule is how obedient we are to the Bible, not simply how well we feel in worship or the words that we say. Let’s work on being fruitful and allowing the Holy Spirit to rest in and rule over our lives.

- Godly judgment. Notice in vss. 3-5 that Jesus (i.e., the Branch) will be a godly judge. Instead of being governed by human limitations (e.g., what is seen and heard), He will be governed by righteousness and faithfulness.

Most Christian scholars believe that this prophesy is yet to be fulfilled, when Jesus returns. Thus, we can have peace of mind in knowing that no matter how bad things look, we can trust God’s promise to judge this world with righteousness and faithfulness.

This is great news for those who have suffered poverty and mistreatment because of wicked people and policies. It is terrible news for those whom God considers to be wicked.

Let’s live like we trust that God still has a plan for this world. This kind of living should be known for our obedience, confidence, and hope.

- The needy, poor, and wicked. Notice in vss. 3-5 that righteous and faithful judgment, taking care of the needy and poor, and dealing the wicked are all mentioned.

First, we should be open to God using us in positions of influence. This includes our being governed by righteousness and faithfulness, instead of allowing ourselves to be swayed by special interests or the limitations of our own opinions.

We need more mature Christians to serve as politicians, business owners, managers, police, teachers, etc.  Second, we should do what we can to help the less fortunate. There is obviously a place for emergency services.

However, we should spend quality energy on empowering people to be able to stand on their own two feet and fixing the systems of policies and procedures that lead to people being poor and needy.

Think about donating to and/or volunteering with organizations that help people, voting on politicians and issues, and being a part of organizations that hold politicians accountable and monitor the impact that laws and initiatives have on people.

Third, it is good to know that the wicked will not always appear to get away with murder. God has a plan to deal with the wicked. Therefore, we don’t have to allow frustration and anger to get the best of us and have us using wicked means to deal with wicked people.

We can do our part and trust God to handle the rest. Let’s work on letting God use us to help the needy and trusting Him to handle the wickedness beyond our control.

Read Isaiah 11:6-9

II. The Peaceful Rule. A time of great peace is pictured her in our Sunday School material. The wolf and lamb will be at peace with each other. Children will be able to play with dangerous snakes. The Earth will be filled with knowledge similar to how water covers the sea.

Applications –

- Peace. Notice in vss. 6-9 that peace is planned for the future. There will obviously be peace among animals and animals with people. It is assumed that there will be peace among people and between people and God.

First, we should thank God that “the best is yet to come.” God has plans for peace. Second, we should work on living at peace with God and people. Peace with God calls for salvation and obedience.

Peace with people calls for our respecting and striving to get along with one another. We have to work for “win-win” situations. We cannot expect the oppressed to simply be at peace with the oppressors who continue to oppress them.  

Let’s thank God for the peace that is on the way, as we work on having peace today.

- The knowledge of the Lord. Notice in vs. 9 that the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. This probably means that people not only know of the Lord, but they actually strive to live in obedience to the Lord’s will.

We should work on helping people develop their knowledge of and obedience to the Lord. This calls for not only preaching, teaching, and inviting people to such, but it also calls for our being living examples of what is being preached and taught.

Let’s work on filling the Earth with the knowledge of the Lord.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being a part of the peaceful kingdom that God desires. God has much for those who obey His will.

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