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Sabbath School Lessons on Isaiah
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 5: Noble Prince of Peace *
Introduction: Last week's lesson ended on a very dark note. We found
a progression of life for those who do not rely on God. Life turns
out badly and they become angry and blame God. Continuing to look
away from God finally brings them to a point of "utter darkness."
That doesn't sound like the trip I want to take. There is another
journey we can take instead. Let's dive into the Bible and discover
- The Other Path
- Read Isaiah 9:1. What is the future for those in distress?
(No more gloom. Note to readers: Isaiah has a "two-track"
message. One track is a prophecy of what will happen to
the people of Judah and Israel. The second track is a
message for people of all times. Since the historical
events are of less relevance to us, I am focusing this
lesson on the timeless message.)
- Who were Zebulun and Naphtali? (They were two of the
ten sons of Jacob and Leah. Those sons were the
beginning of part of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Thus, this is a reference to the land occupied by two
of the twelve tribes of Israel. Historically, these
sections of Israel bore the brunt of the attack of
the King of Assyria. See 2 Kings 15:29)
- Notice Isaiah mentions two of the Jewish tribes and
"Galilee of the Gentiles." What meaning do you find
in the mention of Gentiles? (I think this is an early
hint of God's work moving from the Jews to Gentiles.)
- The area in which the descendants of Zebulun and
Naphtali lived was Galilee. From where did most of
Jesus' disciples come? ( Acts 2:7 reminds us most of
the disciples came from the Galilee region.)
- Read Matthew 4:12-16. Where did Jesus spend most of His
adult life? (The area of Zebulun and Naphtali - Galilee.)
- Read Isaiah 9:2. Who or what is the "great light?" (Jesus!
He shared His message in this area, thus bringing it
"honor" ( Isaiah 9:1) and "a great light" ( Isaiah 9:2).)
- If you are walking in darkness in your life today, what
can bring "great light?" Who can start you walking in
- What was the conclusion to our lesson last week?
(That we should trust God, not humans.)
- How does last week's message fit into what we just
learned? (Whether we are talking about a physical
peril or a spiritual peril, God is still the answer
to our problem. We need to rely on Him.)
- The Other Experience
- Read Isaiah 9:3. Recall that when walking on the path of
darkness the people were "distressed and hungry,"
"enraged" and "curs[ing]." ( Isaiah 8:21) What attitude do
we find among those walking the path of light? (Joy.)
- Isaiah 9:3 helps us to understand the nature of this
joy by comparing it to a couple of events. What would
be the modern equivalent of these events? (Harvest is
success in your business. Imagine that you just won a
new contract. Landed a big, new client. Tallied up
your business income and found you had done very
well. "Dividing the plunder" means you have just
overcome the competition (or, your enemies). When I
was in school and got great grades, I felt terrific.
When I win a hotly contested case, I feel great. That
is the attitude God offers to us on the path of
- Read Isaiah 9:4. When you read "the day of Midian's
defeat," what comes to mind? (This is the story of
Gideon's victory over the Midianites found in Judges
- What is so striking about the "Gideon defeats the
Midianites" story? (The allied Midianite/Amalekite
army was "thick as locusts" ( Judges 7:12). However,
they were defeated by an army of only 300 (Judges
7:7). This was clearly the victory of God, not
Gideon, thus further underscoring the point that
walking in the path of light is walking in the power
- The Other Victory
- Read Isaiah 9:5-6. Contrast the messages of verses 5 and
- What does verse 5 suggest? (The warriors will be
defeated. So far we have been talking about military
victories - for example Gideon.)
- What does verse 6 suggest is the alternative means of
victory? (A child king who is called the "Prince of
- Read Isaiah 9:7. To whom do verses 6 and 7 refer? (Jesus.)
- Step back a minute and consider Isaiah 9:4-7. Can you
blame the disciples for thinking that Jesus was going to
defeat the Romans and set up a kingdom on earth (see Acts
1:6)? (These are certainly the texts I would cite (among
others) to show that Jesus would be a warrior/messiah.)
- If it is easy to misunderstand (without the benefit
of hindsight) the nature of Jesus' first coming, what
is the lesson for us who look forward to His Second
Coming? (Beware. Don't be arrogant and cocky about
what you think you know. Instead, continue to study
the Bible and compare it with current events.)
- What basis do you find in these verses we are studying to
conclude that Jesus intended to bring about a spiritual
kingdom instead of an earthly kingdom? (If you give these
texts a serious study, as opposed to a superficial look,
the entire message is one of reliance on God and not human
power. A "son is given" ( Isaiah 9:6) who is the "Prince
of Peace" (Id.). Instead of ruling by yoke and rod (Isaiah
9:4), or relying on warriors ( Isaiah 9:5), this King
carries the government "on his shoulders" ( Isaiah 9:6). If
you compare Isaiah 22:22 and think of soldiers and rulers
today, you see that the symbols of authority are often
worn on the shoulder. Thus, this "Prince of Peace" rules
on the basis of His authority.)
- Read the last sentence of Isaiah 9:7. What brings about
this radical change? (The "zeal," the enthusiasm, of God!)
- Friend, would you like God's enthusiasm to bring you
through every difficulty? This is the path I want to
- Let's skip a chapter and go to Isaiah 11. Read Isaiah
11:1-2. When you see a stump, what do you conclude? (This
tree is dead and gone.)
- The "stump" is Jesse. Who is Jesse?(1 Samuel 16
recounts the story of the prophet Samuel looking for
a new king. God sends him to a family where Jesse is
the father and David is Jesse's youngest son. Samuel
anoints David as the next King of Israel.)
- Why is Jesse a "stump?" (Jesse is long dead. However,
he was the father of King David and could reasonably
be pictured as the base of the family tree. The
earthly political power of the House of David is
- What, then, is the "shoot?" (This is a person who
comes from the family of Jesse and King David.)
- Read Revelation 22:16. Who is the "shoot?"
- Read Isaiah 11:5. We may not be so familiar with sashes
these days, but what is the purpose of a belt? Why would
Jesus' righteousness and His faithfulness be compared to a
belt? (A belt holds your pants up. It is an essential
article of clothing. Righteousness and faithfulness are
essential parts of Jesus' character.)
- Step back a moment and tell me why you think God wants to
tell us that Jesus comes from the House of David and is
righteous and faithful? (Jesus has good "genes" and good
character. It is painting the picture of a powerful,
honest and fair ruler.)
- Read Isaiah 11:6-7. What is the result of being governed
by a powerful, honest and fair ruler?
- Wait a minute. Has this happened? (No.)
- Why not? (Isaiah 11 speaks of both Jesus' first
and second comings. These verses are yet to be
- When will they be fulfilled? (At the Second
Coming of Jesus.)
- Read Isaiah 11:10. Friend, at the end of the path of
reliance on God is a perfect heaven and an earth made new.
You are invited today to take this path, will you?
- Next week: Playing God.
* Copr. 2004, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.