“Home-Study Lesson: Isaiah 1–23 (Unit 24)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Unit 24,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
The Lord invited the Israelites to repent and become clean. Isaiah prophesied that the house of the Lord would be established in the last days and that the proud would be humbled at the Savior’s Second Coming.
Note: During their lessons this week, students studied the scripture mastery passages in Isaiah 1:18 and Isaiah 5:20. As class begins, you may want to review or recite Isaiah 5:20 with them and ask them to explain its meaning. Students will discuss Isaiah 1:18 in more depth in this lesson.
Display an article of clothing that has a stain on it.
When have you stained a piece of clothing and worried about whether the stain would come out?
How can sinning be likened to staining a piece of clothing?
Invite students, as they study Isaiah 1, to look for a principle that can give us hope when we stain our souls with sin.
From your studies this week, what do you remember about the spiritual condition of the Israelites during Isaiah’s day? (If needed, you might invite a student to read Isaiah 1:4 aloud.)
To illustrate part of the Israelites’ spiritual condition as taught in Isaiah 1, display a clean, clear glass with water in it. While the students are watching, add one or two drops of red food coloring to the water.
How is the water like the intentions of the Israelites hearts at this time? (The intentions of their hearts had become contaminated by sin.)
How is the glass like the outward behavior of the Israelites? (It is clean on the outside. You might remind students that even though the Israelites were wicked at this time, they continued to offer sacrifices at the temple and outwardly observed sacred occasions such as the Passover and other religious feasts.)
Invite the class to scan Isaiah 1:11–15, looking for words or phrases that describe how the Lord felt about the Israelites’ insincere offerings.
What words or phrases in these verses show how the Lord felt about the Israelites’ insincere offerings? (Possible responses include “what purpose,” “I delight not,” “no more vain oblations,” “I will hide mine eyes.” You may need to explain that “vain oblations” are religious offerings given without real intent.)
If the people were doing some righteous things outwardly, why did the Lord reject those offerings?
What is more meaningful to the Lord than an outward display of devotion? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify the following truth: Our outward acts of devotion to God are more meaningful to Him when the intentions of our hearts are pure.)
Invite a student to read Isaiah 1:16–19 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the invitation the Lord offered to those who were suffering because of their sins.
What did the Lord invite the Israelites to do?
How does the Savior help us become clean? (Through the power of His Atonement.)
What principle about repentance and forgiveness can we learn from these verses? (Students may use different words, but make sure it is clear that if we sincerely repent, we can be purified of all of our sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.)
Add a capful (about 1 tablespoon, or 15 milliliters) of chlorine bleach to the glass of water, and stir it gently. Immediately the water will begin to lose the red tint. By the end of class, the water should be as clear as it was before you put in the food coloring. (This is an object lesson only. Do not allow students to drink the water because it now contains poisonous chemicals.)
How is the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ similar to the bleach? (The Savior’s Atonement, like the bleach, has the power to purify, but we must choose to apply the Atonement in our lives by exercising faith in Christ and repenting of our sins.)
Share your testimony of the power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement to remove the stain of sin and help us become pure. Invite students to ponder for a moment what they feel they need to do to become pure, and encourage them to act on the promptings they receive.
Ask for a volunteer to draw on the board. Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Isaiah 2:1–5. Ask the volunteer to draw a picture of what Isaiah described. (For added participation, you might invite one student to draw what is described in verses 1–3 and another student to draw what is described in verses 4–5.)
How do you think these verses are being fulfilled in our day? (You may want to explain that the prophecy in verse 4 about the end of war will occur during the Millennium, after Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.)
Explain that Isaiah prophesied of many events of the latter days, and he often used symbolism in expressing his prophecies. As is often the case in prophetic declarations, some of Isaiah’s writings have dual or multiple meanings. That is, they can apply to more than one situation or may be fulfilled at more than one time. This is sometimes called dualism.
Why do you think Isaiah called the temple “the mountain of the Lord”?
According to Isaiah 2:3, why will people in the last days desire to go to the temple?
What can we learn from these verses about what happens as we attend the temple? (Students may use different words, but make sure it is clear that as we attend the temple, the Lord will teach us of His ways.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Invite the class to listen for blessings promised to us when we attend the temple.
“The temple is a great school. It is a house of learning. In the temples the atmosphere is maintained so that it is ideal for instruction on matters that are deeply spiritual. … If you will go to the temple and remember that the teaching is symbolic, you will never go in the proper spirit without coming away with your vision extended, feeling a little more exalted, with your knowledge increased as to things that are spiritual” (“The Holy Temple,” Ensign, Oct. 2010, 31–32).
How has attending the temple or studying about the temple helped you learn about the Lord’s ways?
Invite students to seek to learn about the Lord and His ways as they attend or prepare to attend the temple and participate in sacred ordinances there.
Ask students if they have ever wondered if the Bible mentions the Book of Mormon. Explain that during the next week they will study a prophecy of Isaiah about the Book of Mormon and its role in the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and in their own lives. Isaiah was specific enough in his prophecy to identify the future dialogue that Martin Harris would have with a learned scholar.