“Unit 25: Day 3, Isaiah 36–41,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 25: Day 3,” Old Testament Study Guide
During the reign of Hezekiah, king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the Lord miraculously delivered Jerusalem from the Assyrian army. However, Isaiah prophesied that the kingdom of Judah would be conquered by the Babylonians, and this prophecy was fulfilled many years later. Isaiah also prophesied of the coming of Jesus Christ and testified of His power and desire to strengthen His people.
Describe a situation you might face in which you will need to know that you can trust in the Lord:
As you study Isaiah 36–41, look for truths that can help build your confidence and trust in the Lord.
Isaiah 36–39 includes another record of the material you have already studied in 2 Kings 18:13–20:19. In Isaiah 36–39, Isaiah told the people of Judah that if they trusted in the Lord, they would be saved from the Assyrian army. The people followed Isaiah’s counsel and were spared. However, Isaiah then prophesied that the Babylonians would eventually capture and plunder Jerusalem.
Read Isaiah 40:1–2, looking for the purpose of Isaiah’s words to the people of Judah after he prophesied that they would be conquered by the Babylonians.
Isaiah comforted them by prophesying of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Read Isaiah 40:3–5, looking for what these verses teach about the coming of Jesus Christ.
The phrase “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord” in verse 3 can refer to John the Baptist, who was sent to prepare the way for the mortal ministry of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 3:1–6; 1 Nephi 10:7–10). In the latter days, the Lord used a variation of this phrase to refer to His own voice (see D&C 88:66; 128:20). This phrase can also refer to those called by the Lord to preach the restored gospel (see D&C 33:10).
Throughout the remainder of Isaiah 40, Isaiah continued to comfort Israel by teaching about the greatness of the Lord. Isaiah used many images to emphasize how the Lord is different from mortal man. In the following chart, study the scripture references on the left, and write your responses to the question “What images did Isaiah use to represent the Lord and man?” in the column on the right.
What images did Isaiah use to represent the Lord and man?
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: In the preceding chart, how do the images you identified illustrate the difference between the Lord and man?
One truth we learn from Isaiah 30:6–25 is that God is far greater than man.
Some people falsely believe that God does not care about them. Read Isaiah 40:26–27 and footnote a of verse 27, looking for phrases that indicate that some Israelites in Isaiah’s time did not believe God noticed them.
Isaiah 40:28–31 contains Isaiah’s answer to those who failed to see God’s incomparable power and great concern for each of His children. Read these verses, looking for what the Lord will do for us.
According to verse 31, what must we do to receive these blessings?
To “wait upon the Lord” means to trust in Him.
Isaiah 41 can help us understand the blessings we can receive as we place our trust in the Lord. As you study this chapter, consider how you would complete the following principle: If we place our trust in the Lord, then .
Some of the Lord’s words in Isaiah 41 were set to music in the hymn “How Firm a Foundation” (Hymns, no. 85). Read, sing, or listen to verses one, two, three, and seven of this hymn, looking for words or phrases that indicate what the Lord will do for us as we trust in Him. Then read Isaiah 41:10–14, 17, looking for words or phrases in these verses that are similar to those in the hymn. (You may want to mark some of your favorite phrases in these verses.) The word worm in verse 14 refers to someone who is meek and humble (see Isaiah 41:14, footnote a).
Complete the principle above based on what you learned from Isaiah 41:10–14, 17.
- Review the situation you described at the beginning of this lesson. In your scripture study journal, write three examples of how the Lord can help you in this situation.
The principles you have learned are reflected in the account given in Isaiah 36–39. Isaiah 36–37 relates that King Hezekiah and the people of Judah trusted in the Lord when the Assyrian army was marching toward Jerusalem and threatening them with destruction. Hezekiah and the people of Judah hearkened to Isaiah’s counsel to not surrender to the Assyrians, and a large part of the Assyrian army was destroyed by an angel in one night. Isaiah 38 records that Hezekiah’s life was miraculously prolonged for 15 years. Isaiah 39 contains Isaiah’s prophesy that the Babylonians would eventually capture and plunder Jerusalem.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: When have you chosen to place your trust in the Lord and felt Him help you?
Ponder what you can do to more fully trust in the Lord. Act on the impressions you receive so that you can receive the Lord’s help in your life.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Isaiah 36–41 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: