“September 5–11. Isaiah 1–12: ‘God Is My Salvation,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“September 5–11. Isaiah 1–12,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022
Record Your Impressions
Even if this is your first time reading the book of Isaiah, you might find passages that sound familiar. That’s because, of all Old Testament prophets, Isaiah is the one most often quoted in other books of scripture, including by the Savior Himself. Isaiah’s words also appear often in hymns and other sacred music. Why is Isaiah quoted so often?
Surely part of the reason is that Isaiah had a gift for expressing the word of God in vivid, memorable language. But it’s more than that. Isaiah has inspired prophets for generations because the truths he taught transcended his own generation—the Israelites living between 740 and 701 BC. His role was to open our eyes to God’s great work of redemption, which is much bigger than one nation or one time period. From Isaiah, Nephi learned that he and his people, though separated from the rest of Israel, were still part of God’s covenant people. In Isaiah, New Testament writers found prophecies about the Messiah that were being fulfilled right before their eyes. And in Isaiah, Joseph Smith found inspiration for the latter-day work of gathering Israel and building Zion. When you read Isaiah, what will you find?
Speaking of Isaiah’s writings, the Savior said, “Search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah” (see 3 Nephi 23:1–3). Yet to many, Isaiah can be difficult to understand. Here are some tips to help you find greater meaning in the words of Isaiah:
Ponder the symbols and metaphors Isaiah used. For example, ponder what you think Isaiah wanted to communicate when he wrote about a vineyard (see Isaiah 5:1–7), the waters of Shiloh (see Isaiah 8:5–10), an ensign (see Isaiah 5:26), and a flag (see Isaiah 11:10, 12).
For every chapter you read, ask yourself, “What am I learning about Jesus Christ?” (see 1 Nephi 19:23).
Look for topics that feel relevant to our day, such as the life and mission of Jesus Christ, the scattering and gathering of Israel, the last days, and the Millennium. You could also keep lists of references from Isaiah that teach about these topics.
Use study helps where available, such as a dictionary, the Bible footnotes, the chapter headings, and the Guide to the Scriptures.
See also 2 Nephi 25:1–8.
Isaiah continually warned the Kingdom of Judah about their spiritual condition. After reading Isaiah 1, 3, and 5, how would you describe the spiritual condition of the people? What warnings do you find that feel applicable to our day?
Many of Isaiah’s writings are prophecies that have specific meaning for our day. Which of Isaiah’s descriptions of the latter days in chapters 2; 4; 11–12 are especially inspiring to you? (Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–6 provides helpful insights about Isaiah 11.) What do you learn about the gathering of Israel and redemption of Zion? What do you feel inspired to do after reading these chapters?
In chapter 6, Isaiah recounted his call to be a prophet. As you read this chapter, what impresses you about what Isaiah experienced? How does this chapter influence the way you think about the Lord, His prophets, and the work they are called to do?
Early in Isaiah’s ministry, the Kingdom of Israel (also called Ephraim) formed an alliance with Syria to defend itself against Assyria. Israel and Syria wanted to force Ahaz, the king of Judah, to join their alliance. But Isaiah prophesied that the alliance would fail and counseled Ahaz to trust in the Lord (see Isaiah 7–9, especially Isaiah 7:7–9; 8:12–13).
As Isaiah counseled Ahaz, he made several well-known prophecies, such as those found in Isaiah 7:14; 8:13–14; 9:2, 6–7. While it’s not completely clear what these prophecies meant in Ahaz’s time, they clearly apply to Jesus Christ (see also Matthew 1:21–23; 4:16; 21:44; Luke 1:31–33). What do you learn about the Savior from these verses?
To help family members understand these verses, you could read the section “Some of Us Feel We Can Never Be Good Enough” from Sister Sharon Eubank’s message “Christ: The Light That Shines in Darkness” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 75). Or you could demonstrate how stains can be removed from clothing. How is the Lord’s message in these verses different from what Satan wants us to believe?
Family members could pick one of these verses and draw what it describes. What does the temple teach us about the Lord’s ways? How are we blessed as we “walk in the light of the Lord”? (Isaiah 2:5).
What does the Lord promise us in these verses? What might these promises mean? How is He fulfilling them? (See also Exodus 13:21–22.)
Isaiah 7:14; 9:1–7.
Using drawings or pictures from Church magazines, you could make a poster illustrating some of the things we learn about Jesus Christ from these verses.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “High on the Mountain Top,” Hymns, no. 5.