Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Chiastic Structure and Message of Isaiah 1-12

This is a reworking of an earlier post from a few years ago

Chiastic Outline of Isaiah 1-12

The center of the section is the appearance of God on the throne and the commissioning of Isaiah as a prophet to people who will not listen. The big point is that mission must flow out of worship and an experience of the Presence of God. The flow in Isaiah 6 is…

•Vision of God > Trust > Mission > Hope

The barriers that stop worship from flowing into mission are dealt with by the examples in chapters 2-5 (complacency or misplaced priorities) and chapters 7-11 (idolatry). First, the people of Judah under the reign of Uzziah were guilty of Complacency in 2-5. Thus, God rejected the worship of Israel because they refused to take it outside the walls of the temple (no justice, no mercy, no love). The people were more concerned with comfort than mission (see chapter 3 especially)

Secondly the people of Judah under the reign of Ahaz were guilty of Idolatry in 7-12. Ahaz chose to trust Assyria rather than God and God allowed him to be destroyed by Assyria. The point is that whatever you trust in God’s place (your idol) will destroy you.

Here are three questions about barriers to worship and mission that I think are worthwhile to meditate on…

  1. In what ways have we put comfort, wealth, or status above mission in our lives or in our church?
  2. Where do I place the trust that should only belong to God? Where is the first place I tend to turn to in a crisis?
  3. How do we remove these barriers to mission?

How did Isaiah handle uncertain situations, overcome barriers and move from worship to mission?

  1. Isaiah spent time in the presence of God
  2. Isaiah confessed and repented of his own sin
  3. Isaiah received his status and ability from God
  4. Isaiah was given a mission
  5. Isaiah was given a promise
  6. Isaiah then went out into a difficult situation

Two application questions to think about how you can live out this passage:

  1. How do we facilitate experience of God and calling to mission in our church?
  2. How do we take this experience outside the walls of our church?

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