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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 37 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 6: Playing God *
Introduction: Some people really irritate me! How about you, do you
find that a certain type of person irritates you? When I was first
married my wife and I were invited out to lunch. Almost immediately
I was annoyed by our host. Why? Because he was a "Mr. Know-it-all."
His pride of opinion rubbed me the wrong way until I realized the
reason I was so annoyed was that I too had strong opinions. Our
church devotes part of the worship service to prayer requests and
praises. I am often in charge of this and I find, to my great
irritation, that some members use this time to make spiritual
exhortations. It is not a prayer request or a praise, but a little
"Let me tell the rest of you how you should live." Arghh! Then I
think, "I love to teach and preach and tell people how they should
live!" We notice our sins in other people. Our lesson this week is
about pride. Let's jump into a very relevant study!
- Battle Cry!
- Read Isaiah 13:1-3. What is an oracle? (A word from God.)
- When you think of the term "Babylon" in the Bible,
what comes to mind? (Babylon generally represents the
power opposed to God. We often think of God's city,
Jerusalem, versus Satan's city, Babylon. The idea of
Babylon opposing God begins with the Genesis 11
account of the tower of Babel and ends in Revelation
- How do verses 2 and 3 of Isaiah 13 have anything to
do with the powers of evil? (God is summoning His
warriors to rally for an attack on evil.)
- Why is the hilltop "bare?" (This tells us that God's
banner can be seen by all who want to see it. His
call to arms is clear to all.)
- If you accept this commission to call the
righteous to rally, what would a bare hilltop
mean to you? (Don't mix other issues with your
- Read Isaiah 13:4-5. Where does God find His army? (All
nations! God has His servants in every country.)
- Read Isaiah 13:9-10. What is the goal of God's army? (To
- How will we know that day is at hand? (Notice the
signs in the heavens.)
- Have you seen this prediction before? (Read
Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:12-14, Ezekiel 32:7-8, Amos 8:9 and Joel 2:10. These signs are well-supported by prophecy.)
- Why does God use signs in the heavens? (This is a
"hint" that He is in charge of the universe!)
- The Battle Target
- Read Isaiah 13:11. The target of the amassed army is the
sin of the wicked. Of all the sins in the world, what
sins are mentioned? (Arrogance and pride.)
- Why do you think those sins are specifically
mentioned? Why not mention murder? Why not child
abuse? Why not stealing? Why not adultery? (Murder,
stealing and adultery are specific acts. Arrogance
and pride are attitudes that bring about all sorts of
- Read Isaiah 13:12-13. How prevalent is pride and
arrogance? (The idea that everyone will be saved is at
odds with this text. This text suggests that those saved
as scarce as pure gold.)
- Why would "pure gold" be a fit description? (The
Church of Laodicea, the church of the end time, is
counseled to stop being "luke-warm" and to trade
pride in their earthly possessions for spiritual
"gold refined in the fire." See Revelation 3:14-18.)
- When does this battle take place? (As I mentioned last
week, Isaiah has a "two-track" prophecy. Part of this
describes Assyria/Babylon. However, we are looking at the
modern application. This battle of "good v. evil" is at
the end of the world. Our job today is to convert, not
destroy evil people.)
- Pride's Origin
- Let's skip ahead to Isaiah 14:3-5. If you have a proud
heart, what do you most dread? (People making fun of you.)
- What are God's people doing? (They are "taunting" the
"King of Babylon.")
- Read Isaiah 14:9. What does this suggest about world
leaders? (That their final resting place is "below." Not
a good sign for them.)
- Read Isaiah 14:10-11. I like the way the New Living
Translation renders the last part of verse 11: "Now
maggots are your sheet and worms your blanket." Note the
picture here. God's people taunt "the King of Babylon" in
his defeat. When the King of Babylon enters death those
leaders who died before him taunt him with (v.10) "you
have become weak, as we are." Is this really happening?
(No. Without making a detour into this hotly contested
area, the two leading theories of "the afterlife" for the
wicked are "soul sleep" (that you are unconscious in the
grave until the Second Coming) and hell (where you are
eternally frying). A conscious "maggot/worm bed" is not
one of the leading theories.)
- Aside from being laughed at, what other thing do the
proud fear? (Losing the basis for their pride. Here
the proud "King of Babylon" has no more power. He
loses the basis for his pride.)
- If this is an allegory, what is God's point? (That
pride comes to nothing (or maybe just worms) when you
- Read Isaiah 14:12. Who is the "morning star, son of the
- Read Revelation 22:16. Who is referred to here as
"the bright Morning Star?" (Jesus.)
- Is Isaiah 14:12 referring to Jesus? (No. This could
not be Jesus for He was never "cast down" to earth.
He went voluntarily. John 10:17-18.)
- If this is not Jesus Christ, but the two use
similar titles, who is this? (This must be
Satan, the anti-Christ. This is Jesus'
competitor. The one who wanted to be God.)
- Read Isaiah 14:13-14. Does this make our identity of the
"morning star" clearer? (This is further evidence that
this is Satan. Who else would want to be God? Remember
this is a "two-track" prophecy which also refers to a king
of Babylon. However, the Babylon kings had their own gods
which they tried to avoid offending. The person described
in these two texts wants to be the God of Gods.)
- What sins do you see in verses 13 and 14?
(Covetousness, pride, arrogance.)
- Read Revelation 12:7-10. Who is "cast down" here?
- Put together Isaiah 14:13-14 and Revelation 12:7-10
and tell me how it appears sin entered heaven and our
earth? (Isaiah gives us the first record of sin.
Satan wanted to be like God. He wanted to ascend
God's throne. He convinced angels in heaven to join
with him in his efforts and the result was war in
heaven. Satan and his angels lost and they were
hurled down to earth. The next time we see Satan is
in Genesis 3.)
- As a quick aside, what caused Eve to sin?
( Genesis 3:5-6. Eve wanted to be like God! The
sin that caused Satan to fall was the temptation
he successfully used with Eve.)
- What, then, is the "granddaddy" of all sins? Or, as Saddam
Hussein would say, "the mother of all sins?" (Pride and
- Why don't we address this more vigorously in our
- For example, in our church we have a "not very
prominent" member who is involved in adultery. The
"Board of Elders" is right on top of that situation.
At the same time, the sin of pride is never
addressed. Which of those sins is worse? (There is
some justification for the common practice of
churches treating adultery as a special sin. 1
Corinthians 6:18 suggests that adultery is a unique
sin. But the real reason we do not more actively
address pride is that it is such a common sin. If
pride were addressed as vigorously as adultery, the
Board of Elders would be visiting me!)
- Friend, God is at war with the sins of arrogance, pride
and covetousness. How are you in that department? It is
the genesis of sin and it is the reason for the fall of
humans into sin. Pray that God will cleanse your proud
heart so that it is not the cause of your fall!
- Next Week: Defeat of the Assyrians.
* 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.