When God’s Word Pours Down Like Rain

Teaching Outline:

Rain is the difference between life and death. God’s Word is like the rain. How so? True life (both physical and spiritual) comes from beyond us. We can’t control it; we can only receive it.

  • When God’s word pours down like rain, we heed the invitation to our Lord’s banquet of grace (Is. 55:1-5). Like rain, God’s Word is a gracious, life-giving gift to us bringing spiritual satisfaction… for which the food at the beginning of the text is a physical metaphor.
  • When God’s Word pours down like rain, we marvel at the splendor of the Servant (55:6-7).
  • When God’s Word pours down like rain, we rest in the promise of our glorious future (Is. 55:8-13).

The end result of God’s banquet of grace (Isaiah 55:1-3) is that the effects of the fall are rectified and all things are made new (vv.12-13). This vision points to the future that Romans 8:21 describes: the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

“The renewed creation ‘shall make a name for the Lord’ (Isaiah 55:13). The renewed creation, enjoyed by a renewed humanity, ruled by the unchanging Christ—the whole point of this massive salvation is to display forever what kind of person God is. The curse will be reversed. C.S. Lewis’s ‘silent planet’ will become Christ’s singing planet. And never again will there be another human fall like Adam’s. Our salvation will be ‘an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off,’ to the eternal glory of God.”

– Ray Ortlund, Jr., Isaiah: God Saves Sinnerspp. 373-374.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is Isaiah 55:1-2 such a wonderful description of gospel grace? Isaiah 55:1-2
  2. What did God promise David? How was it fulfilled in the work of the suffering servant? And from this text, what are the results that flow from his work     Isaiah 55:3-5
  3. Identify the ingredients of an authentic response to this one who is “endowed with splendor?”  Isaiah 55:6-7
  4. Isaiah 55:8-11 offers wonderful promises to those who have never shared God’s Word with another person. Reflect on Isaiah 55:8-9. How should knowing this encourage you today? How does this help us when life doesn’t make sense and when life hurts?
  5. What are the particular confidences and encouragements that God has for you today from the extended metaphor contained in Isaiah 55:10-11?
  6. What was the immediate relevance of this promise to the Jewish exiles? How is it fulfilled for us in Christ? Isaiah 55:12-13  Romans 8:21

Two Scripture Songs for Reflection:

The Trees of the Field and Go Out with Joy

The Power of God’s Word:

We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.[10] And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.[11]

– Westminster Confession of Faith, chap. 1, point 5.

Scripture Memory Verse:

This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

Isaiah 48:17

 

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