Sunday Bible Study: Isaiah 11:1-10
We continued our journey through Advent with a discussion of the life and mission of the prophet Isaiah during the troubled times of conquer and exile for the Jewish people. The prophet's words from God gave some people great hope, while giving other people cause to be concerned with how they were living their lives (Isaiah 11:1-10). God's promise of justice, mercy, and loving grace for everyone gave hope to lift the lowly, but also promised to humble those who held their power over others.
The group explored the meaning of God's promise of righteousness through a "new stump of Jesse" and how God's promised ruler would judge with righteousness, rather than by "what his eyes see or what his ears hear." The group also discussed some contemporary examples of how we might get so "stuck" in the traditions and thinking of our society, that we become "blind" to the injustices of the world that occur in our midst. The ministry of God's prophets is to open our eyes, hearts, and minds to God's justice and mercy...and inspire us to change our ways and seek God's will in our time.
For continuing study on your own, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below): In verses 11:6-10, the prophet describes a world where every creature and person will live in harmony - how might those who have been oppressed feel about this prophecy, especially if they have been hoping for some type of revenge against their oppressors? How might the traditions or practices of your family or community hold you back from seeing God's vision of mercy and justice? Thinking about your community, what might be the promise of new life, as seen from "new shoots of life and promise" that are beginning to appear...like the stump of Jesse was a promise to the Jewish people?
Below you will find the study guide for your own review and reflection: