“Unit 25: Day 2, Isaiah 30–35,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 25: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide
Instead of depending on the Lord, the people of Judah sought help from Egypt to defend themselves against Assyria. Isaiah prophesied that the people of Judah would be scattered because of their rebellion. He also prophesied concerning the Apostasy, the Restoration, and the Second Coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Isaiah testified that the Lord would come to save His people.
Think about somebody you know who cheerfully obeys the words of the Lord’s prophets and the standards of the For the Strength of Youth booklet.
What blessings do you think come to those who faithfully follow the words and counsel of the prophets?
Contrast the blessings you described above with the consequences experienced by those who disobey. From what you have learned during your study of the Old Testament this year, what consequences do people face if they refuse to follow the counsel of the Lord’s prophets?
As you study Isaiah 30–31, look for a principle that helps you understand what can happen if people refuse to follow the counsel of the Lord’s prophets.
Isaiah 30–31 contains Isaiah’s warning to the people of Judah, who considered making an alliance with Egypt to protect themselves from the Assyrian army.
Read Isaiah 30:1–3, 7, looking for how the people of Judah rebelled against the Lord when they were under threat of attack.
Why do you think forming an alliance with Egypt would have been considered rebellion against the Lord? The phrase “their strength is to sit still” in verse 7 means that the Jews would have received the strength they needed by depending on the Lord.
Isaiah 30:8 contains the commandment to Isaiah to write in a book the Lord’s words regarding the people’s rebellion. Read Isaiah 30:9–11, looking for what the Lord commanded Isaiah to write. The phrase “smooth things” in verse 10 refers to false doctrine and flattering words (see Helaman 13:26–28).
In what additional ways were the people being rebellious?
Read the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, looking for how Elder Holland described some of the people of our day:
“Unfortunately, messengers of divinely mandated commandments are often no more popular today than they were anciently. …
“Sadly enough, … it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds” (“The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 7).
According to Elder Holland’s description, how are some people of our day similar to the people of Isaiah’s day?
Read Isaiah 30:12–14, looking for what the Lord said the people’s rebellion against Him would lead to.
A “breach” (Isaiah 30:13) is a fracture or an opening in a wall. In Isaiah’s day, people often built walls to protect themselves from their enemies. A wall with a fracture or crack in it is weakened, and if it is not fixed, it exposes a city to danger. Why do you think a crack or fracture in a wall is an appropriate metaphor for sin?
According to verse 14, what will happen if the fracture or crack is not fixed?
From Isaiah 30:12–14 we learn that if we rebel against God by rejecting the words of His prophets, then we will be weakened, and if we continue to reject the words of the prophets, we will suffer serious consequences. Remember that sometimes the consequences do not come immediately after the sin. In some cases, they may not even come until after we die.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What are some consequences that might come to those who continue to reject the words of the prophets?
Consider any weak spots in your life that may lead to destructive consequences, and make the decision now to repent.
Read Isaiah 30:15, looking for what the Lord promised the people if they repented and depended on Him for protection.
The rest of Isaiah 30 records how the people of Judah refused to repent because they believed that their alliance with Egypt would save them. Isaiah prophesied that they would be defeated by the Assyrians. He also prophesied that Israel would be gathered in the latter days and would be blessed temporally and spiritually. Isaiah 31 records that the Lord reproved Israel for depending on Egypt for help instead of relying on Him for divine protection and assistance. It also contains a comforting prophecy that in the last days the Lord will defend the righteous inhabitants of Zion.
Think about how you would answer the following questions: If I were standing before God, would I feel worthy to be in His presence? Why or why not?
As you study Isaiah 32–34, look for a principle that teaches you what to do so you can be worthy to dwell in the presence of God.
In Isaiah 32 we read that Isaiah prophesied of the Restoration of the gospel and the millennial reign of the Savior. In Isaiah 33:1–9 Isaiah prophesied of the wickedness that would exist before the Savior’s Second Coming.
Read Isaiah 33:10–13, looking for how Isaiah described the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Read Isaiah 33:14, looking for how some members of the Church will react to the Savior’s Second Coming.
What do you think the questions in that verse mean?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that these questions are asking who “shall gain an inheritance in the celestial kingdom? Who will go where God and Christ and holy beings are? Who will overcome the world, work the works of righteousness, and enduring in faith and devotion to the end hear the blessed benediction, ‘Come, and inherit the kingdom of my Father’?” (“Think on These Things,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 47).
Read Isaiah 33:15–17, looking for who shall be worthy to dwell in God’s presence.
- In your scripture study journal, do the following:
From what is taught in Isaiah 33:15, list what we will need to do to be worthy to dwell in God’s presence.
Explain what each of the phrases you listed might mean and how you can live those standards in your life.
A principle these verses teach is that if we walk righteously, speak uprightly, and do not participate in evil, we will be worthy to dwell in God’s presence. As we walk righteously, speak uprightly, and do not participate in evil, we become more like God. As we strive to become more like God every day through obedience to His commandments and through the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we become worthy to return to His presence.
Ponder how having pure thoughts can help you better walk righteously, speak uprightly, and not participate in evil.
- Consider what you need to do to become more like God so you will be worthy to dwell in His presence. Select one of the items you listed from Isaiah 33:15 in the previous assignment, and in your scripture study journal, write a goal for how you would like to improve in that area.
Imagine that a family member or friend is tired of trying to be righteous. What would you do to help that person?
As you study Isaiah 35, look for a principle that could strengthen the faith of someone whose desire to be righteous is weakened.
Isaiah 35 contains Isaiah’s prophecies of the latter-day gathering of Israel. In Isaiah 35:1–2 we read that Isaiah prophesied that the desert shall “blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1). Modern prophets have taught that one fulfillment of this prophecy relates to the changes that occurred in the Utah valleys after the Saints settled there, as well as the changes that are currently occurring in the Holy Land (see Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, 3rd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2003], 168).
Read Isaiah 35:3–6, looking for what the Lord commanded.
Think about answers to the following questions: What does it mean to “strengthen … the weak hands” and “confirm the feeble knees” (Isaiah 35:3)? According to verse 4, what can we do to strengthen the faith of others?
From these verses we learn the principle that as we testify that the Lord will come to save and heal us, we can strengthen the faith of others.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How can bearing your testimony of the Lord help strengthen the faith of others?
When have you received strength because of someone’s testimony?
Consider people with whom you could share your testimony so you can help strengthen their faith.
Isaiah 35:7–10 records Isaiah’s prophecy of the great blessings that will come to the faithful in the latter days.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Isaiah 30–35 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: