“Unit 25: Day 4, Isaiah 42–47,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 25: Day 4,” Old Testament Study Guide
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles and free God’s children from the captivity of sin. He contrasted the Savior’s power to redeem His people with the foolishness of trusting in false gods. Isaiah also prophesied of the destruction of Babylon.
Imagine that you are standing on a chair and had to fall backward and be caught by someone. Who would you choose to catch you? Why?
Now imagine that instead of asking that person to catch you, you placed a picture of the person on the ground behind you.
How would you feel about falling backward if that picture was all that was there to catch you? What might happen if you placed your trust in that piece of paper to catch you?
At times, the children of Israel placed their trust in false gods. In Isaiah’s day, these gods were represented by idols made of wood, clay, or metal.
What kinds of “false gods” do people put their trust in today? Write these under the heading “False gods” in the following chart.
In Isaiah 42–47, Isaiah tried to help the people understand that they needed to place their trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ. As you study these chapters, look for truths that will help you understand why you should trust in the Savior.
In Isaiah 42, Isaiah wrote about the Messiah. The title Messiah means “the anointed” and is the Old Testament equivalent of the New Testament title of “Christ” (see Bible Dictionary, “Messiah”; Guide to the Scriptures, “Messiah”; scriptures.lds.org).
Read Isaiah 42:5–7, looking for what Isaiah said about the Messiah. Write what you find under the heading “Jesus Christ” in the preceding chart.
What does each phrase teach us about what the Savior can do?
Look at and consider marking the phrase “to bring out the prisoners from the prison” in verse 7. This phrase refers to freeing those in spiritual captivity both on earth and in the spirit world. During Christ’s earthly ministry He taught the gospel, which would enable God’s children to become free from spiritual captivity through the Atonement. When He died on the cross, His spirit went to the spirit world, where He preached the gospel.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 138:18–19, 30–31, looking for what happened in the spirit world shortly after Jesus Christ died on the cross (you may want to write D&C 138:18–19, 30–31 next to Isaiah 42:7).
What did Jesus Christ do in the spirit world?
From these verses we learn that Jesus Christ’s Atonement makes it possible for all, including those who have already died, to accept the gospel and become free from the captivity of sin. Write this truth under the heading “Jesus Christ” in the preceding chart.
Read Isaiah 42:16–18, looking for the results of trusting in the Savior versus trusting in false gods. Write what you find under the heading “False gods” in the preceding chart.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: In what ways are those who depend on wealth, possessions, physical strength, appearance, popularity, or intelligence blind and deaf?
In Isaiah 42:19–23, Isaiah taught that only those who hearkened unto Jesus Christ could be healed of their spiritual blindness and deafness (see Joseph Smith Translation, Isaiah 42:19–23 [in the Bible appendix]).
Read Isaiah 43:1–5, looking for more phrases that describe what the Savior said He would do for Israel. Write these phrases in the preceding chart under the heading “Jesus Christ.”
In Isaiah 43:6–28 we read that the Lord told the Israelites that they were witnesses of Him because of the great things He had done for them, despite the fact that they had not always been faithful. He emphasized that there is no Savior other than Him.
Consider some of the challenges you or your friends are currently facing. Where do some people turn when they have problems like these? What makes some sources of help better than others?
As you study Isaiah 44–46, look for doctrines and principles that will help you know where you should turn when you have problems.
In Isaiah’s time, people often turned to idols and false gods to help them with their problems.
Read Isaiah 44:10, 15–20, looking for why it is unwise to seek help from false gods or images.
According to verse 17, what did the people ask of their idols?
What difficulties might people face when they seek deliverance from their problems from the false gods of wealth, possessions, physical strength, appearance, popularity, or intellect?
In the following groups of verses, we read that the Lord taught the children of Israel whom they should trust in for deliverance from their problems. Read each group of verses, looking for what the Lord wanted the children of Israel to know about Him. Write what you find in the space provided:
What truth or truths can we learn from the preceding verses about Jesus Christ in His premortal role as the great Jehovah?
Write this truth in the preceding chart under the heading “Jesus Christ.”
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What does it mean that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer?
Why do you think the statement that Jesus Christ is the only God who can save us is repeated so frequently?
In Isaiah 44:28–45:4, Isaiah prophesied of Cyrus, a future king of Persia, by name. In Isaiah 45:1, Cyrus, who was not an Israelite, is referred to as the Lord’s anointed because of the role he will play in freeing the Jews and allowing them to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple.
In Isaiah’s day, many of the people in Israel had turned to many false gods, including two called Bel and Nebo, for help from their problems. Read Isaiah 46:1–2, looking for how ineffective these false gods were at helping the Israelites.
According to these verses, not only could Bel and Nebo not help the Israelites, but they also became a burden even to the animals that carried them into captivity. Write the phrase become a burden in the preceding chart under the heading “False gods.”
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: In what ways can trusting in modern idols such as wealth, possessions, physical strength, appearance, popularity, or intellect instead of trusting in the Savior become a burden?
Read Isaiah 46:3–5, looking for what the Savior said He would do for the Israelites. (The word borne in verse 3 means to carry, and the phrase “hoar hairs” in verse 4 refers to gray hairs of old age [see Isaiah 46:4, footnote b]).
What do you think the Lord meant when He said He will carry us even to our old age and gray hairs?
From these verses we learn that if we trust in the Savior, He will carry and deliver us. Write this truth in the preceding chart under the heading “Jesus Christ.”
Read the following statement by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, looking for what it means to trust in Jesus Christ:
“This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings for happiness now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence. To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Prov. 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience.
“To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it” (“Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17).
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What can you do to show that you trust in the Savior?
How have you or someone you know been carried or delivered by the Savior?
Take a moment to ponder what you can do in your life to show your trust in the Savior so you can be carried and delivered.
Isaiah prophesied that Babylon (inhabited by people referred to as Chaldeans) would be destroyed for their iniquities. Babylon symbolized the world, and Isaiah referred to Babylon and the Chaldeans as two young maidens. We can liken Isaiah 47 to any who revel in their sins and iniquities and refuse to repent.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Isaiah 42–47 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: