Friday, June 14, 2013

Meaningless Worship Sunday School Lesson June 16th

Bible Basis: Isaiah 29:9-16a
Bible Truth: Worship God From the Heart
Memory Verse Isaiah 29:13
Lesson Aim: That You will learn that God will judge those who honor Him with their lips and not their hearts.

Listen to an excerpt of the message : Tell the Devil, "It's Over!"

Here is the text for Sunday's Lesson, A commentary follows:

Isaiah 29:9-16 (Wordstudy KJV)
The Blindness and Hypocrisy of Israel
9 Stay yourselves, htmv* and wonder; wcj,qmv cry ye out, htmv* and cry: wcj,qmv they are drunken, qpf but not wcj,ptn with wine; nn they stagger, qpf but not wcj,ptn with strong drink. nn
10 For cj the Lord nn hath poured out qpf upon pr,pnx you the spirit cs,nn of deep sleep, nn and hath closed wcs,pimf ⌜ ⌟ your eyes: du,nn,pnx ⌜ ⌟ the prophets df,pl,nn and ⌜ ⌟ wcj your rulers, pl,nn,pnx the seers df,pl,nn hath he covered. pipf
11 And the vision cs,nn of all df,nn is become wcs,qmf unto you pp,pnx as the words pp,pl,cs,nn of a book df,nn that is sealed, df,qptp which pnl men deliver qmf ⌜ ⌟ (pnx) to pr one that is learned, qpta/df,nn saying, pp,qnc Read qmv this, pndm I pray thee: pte and he saith, wcj,qpf I cannot; for cj it pnp is sealed: qptp
12 And the book df,nn is delivered wcj,nipf to pr him that pnl is not learned, saying, pp,qnc Read qmv this, pndm I pray thee: pte and he saith, wcj,qpf I am not learned.
13 Wherefore the Lord nn said, wcs,qmf Forasmuch as this df,pndm people df,nn draw near nipf me with their mouth, pp,nn,pnx and with their lips wcj,pp,du,nn,pnx do honor pipf,pnx me, but have removed their heart far pipf/wcj,nn,pnx from pr,pnx me, and their fear nn,pnx toward pr,pnx me is wcs,qmf taught pupt by the precept cs,nn of men: pl,nn
14 Therefore, pp,ad behold, ptdm,pnx I will proceed qpta to do a marvelous work pp,hinc among pr this df,pndm people, df,nn even a marvelous work hina and a wonder: wcj,nn for the wisdom cs,nn of their wise aj,pnx men shall perish, wcj,qpf and the understanding wcj,cs,nn of their prudent pl,nipt,pnx men shall be hid. htmf*
15 Woe ptx unto them that seek deep df,pl,hipt to hide pp,hinc their counsel nn Lord, and their works pl,nn,pnx are wcj,qpf in the dark, pp,nn and they say, wcs,qmf Who pnit seeth qpta,pnx us? and who wcj,pnit knoweth qpta,pnx us?
16 Surely cj your turning of things upside down qnc,pnx shall be esteemed nimf as the potter’s df,qpta clay: pp,nn for cj shall the work nn say qmf of him that made pp,qpta,pnx it, He made qpf,pnx me not? ptn or shall the thing framed wcj,nn say qpf of him that framed pp,qpta,pnx it, He had no understanding?

[1] Zodhiates, S., & Baker, W. 2000, c1991, c1994. The complete word study Bible : King James Version (electronic ed.). AMG Publishers: Chattanooga

Jerusalem’s understanding of God’s revelation (29:9-24)

  • In this section a contrast is drawn between the people’s present spiritual insensitivity and their future spiritual understanding.
  • 29:9-12. The Jerusalemites’ spiritual insensitivity was in itself a judgment from God. The people were told to blind themselves (v. 9) but the Lord also caused the blindness (v. 10). The fact that the prophets and the seers did not see and understand clearly was part of God’s judgment. They did not understand God’s revelation about His judgment on the Assyrians that Isaiah recorded on a scroll (vv. 11-12). No one, either people who could read or those who couldn’t, could understand this truth.
  • 29:13-14. The people of Jerusalem, professing to know God, were formally involved in acts of worship but they did not worship God from their hearts. They were more concerned with man-made legalistic rules than with God’s Law, which promotes mercy, justice, and equity. Because of that, God would judge them; their wisdom would vanish.
  • 29:15-16. God pronounced woe on those who thought He did not see their actions. They attempted to hide their plans from God by doing things at night. They were not thinking clearly, for God can hide things from man (vv. 10-12) but not vice versa. Such thinking twisted the facts and confused the potter with the clay. A jar, however, cannot deny that the potter made it, or say that the potter is ignorant (cf. 45:9; 64:8). Actually the people knew nothing of what was going on, but God always knows everything.
. verse

vv. verses
cf. confer, compare
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. 1983-c1985. The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures. Victor Books: Wheaton, IL

Here is another point of view to ponder:

from 14, 2013
By Sam E. Stone

Each week our lesson planners include a devotional reading that is parallel to the message of the printed text. Their choice for today, Luke 8:9-15, comes from Jesus’ parable about the sower. It clarifies and confirms the meaning of Isaiah 29. God is concerned about what we really mean when we say we worship.

In Luke 8:10, Jesus quotes a similar passage in Isaiah (6:9) that warns those who are “hearing, but never understanding . . . seeing, but never perceiving.” Lewis Foster notes, “These words do not mean that God desires that some will not understand, but it expresses the sad truth that those who are not willing to dig for the treasure will never find it. Their disinterest in spiritual truths and their concentration on the things of this world keep them from pursuing the deeper lessons of the parable.”

People’s Apathy
Isaiah 29:9-12
Isaiah declared that his hearers have made themselves blind and drunk. They refuse to see and understand the prophetic message. R. B. Y. Scott writes, “Willful disobedience to moral and spiritual claims upon his life finally destroys man’s capacity to hear and respond.” Such people stagger like a drunk man in their moral confusion. For them, all that Isaiah has been prophesying means nothing. The people to whom the message has been given come up with meaningless excuses (“I can’t read it; it’s sealed” or even “I don’t know how to read”).

Described in these verses is a person who bandages his eyes and covers his head (v. 10). By this he shows an unwillingness to listen and learn what the Lord is saying to him through inspired messengers. One of the New Testament passages citing this reference is Romans 11:7ff. When speaking of how only a remnant of Israel will be saved, Paul explained, “The others were hardened,” referring to Isaiah 29:10.

God’s Awareness
Isaiah 29:13-16
The so-called worshippers whom Isaiah condemned were only interested in keeping up appearances. If you had heard them sing or pray, you might have thought they were deeply spiritual. The problem is, you can’t see inside them like God can. Their hearts are far from me. Their worship . . . is based on merely human rules they have been taught. These words of Isaiah were quoted by Jesus when he described the Pharisees and teachers of the law in his day (see Matthew 15:1-9). Mark also recounts what Jesus said about these people, as he quotes this text: “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites . . . ‘They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules’” (Mark 7:6, 7).

How God reacts to hypocritical worship is clear: The wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish. In speaking to the Corinthians years later, the apostle Paul contrasted the truth of the gospel with the so-called wisdom of “the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:18ff). He concludes, “The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom” (v. 25). No “human rules” can produce the kind of worship the cross can generate. Regardless of how the world’s intellectuals may view things, it is God’s analysis that counts in the end.

On another occasion, Paul cited these words of Isaiah to make his case when challenged by some people who wanted their choices and decisions to have supreme authority. “Who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” (Romans 9:20). Such a view would turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! The people of Israel would be judged for their unbelief. Faulty thinking does not excuse wrong actions any more than the potter’s clay can condemn the potter for how it has been made. When we worship, we must do so from the heart, in harmony with God’s will.

H. Lynn Gardner summed it up well: “The religious leaders and the crowds had opportunities to trust and understand Jesus’ teachings concerning his kingdom, but their selfish and materialistic view of religion and life kept them from seeking to truly understand. They heard the words, but did not understand their intended meaning.” Isaiah’s warning is still needed today if we are to worship the Lord with meaning!


*Lesson based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2009, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

June 10: Isaiah 1:10-17
June 11: Isaiah 2:5-17
June 12: Isaiah 58:1-7
June 13: Jeremiah 13:1-11
June 14: Zechariah 7:8-14
June 15: Luke 8:9-15
June 16: Isaiah 29:9-16

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