The Sabbath Bible Lessons for the next two quarters will be examining Insights From the Book of Isaiah.
The book of Isaiah was not necessarily written in chronological order as a narrative history. Much of it involves prophetic insights that this servant of God was given through vision and was commissioned to pen for our instruction and edification.
“For sixty years or more [Isaiah] stood before the children of Judah as a prophet of hope, waxing bolder and still bolder in his predictions of the future triumph of the church.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 310.
“The exhortations of the prophet to Judah to behold the living God, and to accept His gracious offers, were not in vain. There were some who gave earnest heed, and who turned from their idols to the worship of Jehovah. They learned to see in their Maker love and mercy and tender compassion. And in the dark days that were to come in the history of Judah, when only a remnant were to be left in the land, the prophet’s words were to continue bearing fruit in decided reformation. ‘At that day,’ declared Isaiah, ‘shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images’ (Isaiah 17:7, 8).”—Ibid., p. 320.
Here we see a reformation wrought, which was aided by the prophetic mission of Isaiah. Isn’t it likewise a time for such a reformation today? Surely we can see why these lessons are so important for us in preparation for the final judgment—which, we are told, “must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
We can certainly see that purity and holiness were important themes that Isaiah emphasized. Shall we not do the same, standing as we are at the very borders of the heavenly Canaan?
Reformation is important—and it works hand-in-hand with revival. For the next six months, the two will be intertwined as found in the book of Isaiah.
“A revival and a reformation must take place, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from, the spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.”—The Review and Herald, February 25, 1902.
May the Lord guide our studies, that we may obtain this experience through Him!
The General Conference Sabbath School Department