First Sunday of Advent 2018

First Sunday of Advent 2018

The King is Coming ~ Part 1 What kind of name is that? Isaiah 8:1-18 December 2, 2018

A. The MEANING of the NAMES. (7:3; 8:1-3)
B. The CONTEXT of the NAMING. (8:6)

As we come into Advent this year we are looking at the book of Isaiah. Today we look at the names of two of his sons and how they were used by God to communicate to the people in the northern Kingdom of Israel. The future is not bright.

1. Kids question: What does your name mean? Do you like the meaning? Does it describe you?
2. In what ways do you see 8:6-10 describing our world today?

II. The REALITY of what is COMING. (v.4-10)
A. A DESIRE for POWER… (v.6,9-10)
B. …LEADS to a SHATTERED nation. (v.9-10)

One of the biggest challenges in the spiritual life is letting God give direction to us. We see what we want and we move in a direction to get it. Often God calls us a different way, but we are not willing to trust and wait that He will take care of us in the way we hope. What we grasp at can often be our undoing.

3. When has a desire to be in control put you in a difficult place?
4. In your opinion, why do we continue to do things as individuals and cultures that lead to our “shattering”?

III. A CALL to be DIFFERENT. (v.11-18)
A. LOOKING beyond CIRCUMSTANCES. (v.12-13)
B. IDENTIFYING the holy “PLACE”. (v.14-16)

Despite bringing a difficult message to the people, Isaiah also shares what God has told him to do in this situation. When the world is falling apart around us it is hard to look beyond what is happening to who God is and what He is up to. But that is key for us as we move through challenging times.

5. Do you find it challenging to look beyond circumstances when things are difficult? What questions surface in your mind that make it difficult to trust God in these times?
6. What does it mean that God is our “holy place”? How does that comfort you? What questions does it elicit in you?

IV. Advent WAITING and HOPING. (v.17-18)
A. Looking PAST the WORLD around us. (v.17; Heb 11:13-16; 2 Cor. 4:16-18)
B. TRUSTING God’s METHODS. (v.11-15; Phil. 2:5-11)
C. Hope is in a PERSON, not an OUTCOME. (v.14-17; John 14:6)

Advent starts by seeing the chaos around us, and waiting in hope on the God who is guiding all of history toward His conclusion. We’d like to ignore or avoid the difficulty of the world, but turning a blind eye to it doesn’t do us any good. It’s far better to realize that even in this critical time, God is the one giving direction to the future.

7. Read Heb. 11:13-16. What would living that way look like today in your context?
8. How can you tell if you are trusting God’s methods? Hoping in a person or an outcome?