Lesson 126: Isaiah 48–50
    Footnotes

    “Lesson 126: Isaiah 48–50,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)

    “Lesson 126,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

    Lesson 126

    Isaiah 48–50

    Introduction

    The Lord invited the Israelites to return to Him and keep their covenants. He promised scattered Israel that He had not forgotten them and that He would restore them to their covenant blessings and gather them back to their lands of inheritance through the efforts of His servants.

    Suggestions for Teaching

    Isaiah 48

    The Lord invites the Israelites to return to Him and keep their covenants

    Invite students to list in their class notebooks or scripture study journals things that cause them to feel worried, stressed, or afraid. After sufficient time, invite a few students to share with the class what they wrote, if it is not too personal. Write their responses on the board.

    • Do you think it is possible to have peace even if these difficulties are present in your life? Why or why not?

    Invite students as they study Isaiah 48 to look for a principle that can help them have greater peace in their lives, even during times of trouble. Point out that Isaiah 48 is the first full chapter of Isaiah that the prophet Nephi quoted in the Book of Mormon (see 1 Nephi 20). Nephi stated that his reason for reading Isaiah to his brethren was so that he “might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer” (1 Nephi 19:23).

    Explain that in Isaiah 48:1–8 we read that the Lord addressed the Israelites who broke their covenants and described their rebellious behavior. Invite a student to read Isaiah 48:1, 4–5, 8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for words and phrases that show how the house of Israel had rebelled against the Lord. Invite students to report what they find. You may want to point out that the “waters of Judah” mentioned in verse 1 refer to baptism (see 1 Nephi 20:1).

    Display a piece of metal that is difficult to bend. Ask students what they think it means for someone’s neck to be “an iron sinew” or for someone’s brow to be “brass” (Isaiah 48:4). Explain that a sinew is a tendon, which connects bone to muscle. Just as iron does not bend easily, prideful people will not bow their necks in humility.

    • According to Isaiah 48:5, what did the Lord say about why He prophesied or declared events before they happened? (So the Israelites could not attribute the Lord’s acts to their graven images and idols.)

    Summarize Isaiah 48:9–15 by explaining that the Lord told the people that despite their wickedness He would not abandon them.

    Invite a student to read Isaiah 48:17–19 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and look for how the Israelites would have been blessed if they had kept the commandments.

    • What blessings would the Israelites have received if they had been obedient to the Lord?

    • How would you state a principle based on verse 18 using the words if and then? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify a principle similar to the following: If we hearken to the Lord’s commandments, then we will have peace.)

    • Why do you think Isaiah used the image of a river as a symbol of peace? In what ways can righteousness be like “the waves of the sea”? (Isaiah 48:18).

    Invite students to ponder times when hearkening to the Lord’s commandments has brought them peace. Consider inviting a few students to share their experiences with the class.

    Invite students to read Isaiah 48:22 silently and look for what this verse teaches about peace.

    • How does Isaiah’s teaching in verse 22 relate to the principle we identified in verse 18?

    Ask students to ponder times when they may have lacked peace because of their own disobedience. You may want to testify that the Lord will bless us with peace as we obey His commandments. Invite students to consider one way they can choose to be more obedient to the Lord’s commandments so they can feel greater peace.

    Isaiah 49

    Through the efforts of His servants, the Messiah will gather Israel

    Invite a few students to share experiences they have had when they were forgotten or left behind and to describe how they felt as a result. After several students share their experiences, invite students to ponder how they would respond to a friend who felt like the Lord had forgotten him or her.

    Explain that Isaiah warned the Israelites that because of their wickedness, they would be scattered. Invite a student to read Isaiah 49:14 aloud. Ask students to follow along, looking for how the Israelites (referred to in this verse as “Zion”) would feel in their scattered condition.

    • How would the Israelites feel in their scattered condition?

    • What are some reasons that people today may sometimes feel that the Lord has forgotten them?

    Explain that Isaiah 49 records the words the Lord spoke to reassure the Israelites of His love for them. Invite a student to read Isaiah 49:15–16 aloud. Ask students to follow along, looking for truths that can help us when we may feel the Lord has forgotten us.

    • According to verse 16, why will the Savior not forget any of Heavenly Father’s children? (Because the Savior has “graven [us] upon the palms of [His] hands.”)

    Write the word graven on the board. Explain that to engrave is to cut or carve something into an object so the imprint remains there permanently.

    • In what way have we been graven upon the palms of the Savior’s hands?

    • How might this demonstrate the Savior’s love for us?

    • What can we learn from these verses that can reassure us when we may be tempted to feel that the Lord has forgotten us? (Students may suggest many correct truths, but make sure it is clear that the Lord loves us, and He will never forget us. Using students’ words, write this truth on the board.)

    • What experiences have helped you know that the Lord loves you and has not forgotten you?

    Summarize Isaiah 49:17–26 by explaining that Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days, the descendants of Israel will be gathered in great numbers. Isaiah 49:22–23 specifically refers to how the Gentiles, or non-Israelite people, will assist in this process. The Lord testified that the time will come when all people will know that He is the Savior and Redeemer of mankind.

    Isaiah 50

    Isaiah speaks as the Messiah to the Israelites, who are in captivity as a result of their sins

    Invite students to list in their class notebooks or scripture study journals several items they own that have some value to them. Invite them to write next to each item the amount of money they would be willing to sell that item for. Invite a few students to explain to the class some of the items and amounts of money they listed.

    • When something is sold, who becomes the owner? (The person who purchased the item.)

    Invite students to write their names at the bottom of the lists they created.

    Point out that when we sin we may feel like the Savior has sold us or that He may not want us anymore. Invite a student to read Isaiah 50:1 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord said to those who felt they had been sold or abandoned by the Lord.

    • What do you think the Lord meant when He said, “For your iniquities have ye sold yourselves”? (The Lord had not sold or forsaken His chosen people; they had sold themselves into the captivity of sin.)

    • What principle can we learn from verse 1? (Students may suggest a variety of principles, but be sure it is clear that when we sin, we sell ourselves into captivity.)

    • What are some examples of how we might sell ourselves into captivity through sin?

    To help students further understand this principle, read 3 Nephi 20:38 aloud. (You may want to suggest that students write 3 Nephi 20:38 in the margin of their scriptures near Isaiah 50:1.)

    • What do you think it means that when we sin, we sell ourselves for naught? (By sinning we trade our freedom and happiness for that which is of no real value.)

    • Once we have sinned and sold ourselves into captivity, what needs to happen in order for us to regain our freedom?

    Write the word redeem on the board, and ask students to explain what they think it means. After they respond, explain that to redeem means to buy back or to deliver from captivity. Invite students to read Isaiah 50:2 silently and look for what the Savior said about His power and ability to redeem us, or buy us back, from the captivity of sin.

    • What do you think the Savior meant when He asked, “Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?” (Students may give a variety of answers, but make sure it is clear that the Savior has the power to redeem us because of His Atonement. Using students’ words, write this truth on the board.)

    Explain that in Isaiah 50:4–7 we read the Lord’s explanation of some of the things that would happen to Him as part of the Atonement. Invite a student to read Isaiah 50:4–7 aloud. Ask students to follow along, looking for words and phrases that describe what would happen to the Savior. Invite students to report what they find.

    • How is the Savior’s willingness to endure the suffering involved with the Atonement evidence of His commitment to us?

    Remind students that while the Savior performed the Atonement and therefore has the power to redeem us from the captivity of sin, each of us must choose to repent of our sins in order to be redeemed. Invite students to open their hymnbooks to “Redeemer of Israel” (Hymns, no. 6) and either sing as a class or silently read the verses. Encourage them to write in their class notebooks or scripture study journals their feelings about any verses or phrases of this hymn that stand out to them. After sufficient time, invite a few students to share with the class what they wrote.

    Invite students to ponder whether they have any sins they need to repent of. Encourage them to allow the Lord to redeem them by choosing to repent.

    Commentary and Background Information

    Isaiah 48. Isaiah in the Book of Mormon

    Isaiah 48 is the first chapter of Isaiah quoted in the Book of Mormon and is found there as 1 Nephi 20. Every verse in the Book of Mormon reads differently from the way it reads in the King James text, and many of the differences are significant. It can be assumed that the Book of Mormon text is more correct than the King James Version because Nephi lived just a little more than one hundred years after Isaiah’s time and most likely possessed a purer text than the one the King James translators worked from. Carefully compare verses 1–2, 6–7, 11, 14, 16–17, and 22 in both versions to see the significant changes” (Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, 3rd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2003], 191).

    Isaiah 48:18. If we hearken to the Lord’s commandments, then we will have greater peace in our lives

    Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained what peace is and how we can obtain it:

    “We all long for peace. Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, conflict, and contention. Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life’s devastating trials and tragedies. …

    “… Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace” (“Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 33, 35).

    Isaiah 49:16. “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands”

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained a purpose of the Savior’s wounds:

    “Even though the power of the Resurrection could have—and undoubtedly one day will have—completely restored and made new the wounds from the crucifixion, nevertheless Christ chose to retain those wounds for a purpose, including for his appearance in the last days when he will show those marks and reveal that he was wounded ‘in the house of [his] friends’ [Zechariah 13:6; see also D&C 45:52].

    “The wounds in his hands, feet, and side are signs that in mortality painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect, signs that tribulation is not evidence that God does not love us. It is a significant and hopeful fact that it is the wounded Christ who comes to our rescue. He who bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love, the emblems of humility and forgiveness is the Captain of our Soul. That evidence of pain in mortality is undoubtedly intended to give courage to others who are also hurt and wounded by life, perhaps even in the house of their friends” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 258–59).