Third Sunday of Lent 2023

Isaiah 44:1-28

Third Sunday of Lent 2023

Watch What You Worship

I. FOLLOWING the FLOW of the text. (v.1-28)
A. A PROMISE filled with HOPE. (v.1-5)
B. One KING over EVERYTHING. (v.6-8)
C. Idols: A PRACTICE of FUTILITY. (v.9-20)
D. REMEMBERING our REDEEMER. (v.21-28; Jb. 19:25)

This weeks text reminds me of what some people call the criticism sandwich. Say something nice, say the criticism, say something nice. God is pointing out the futility of idol worship, but he embeds it in his calling of Israel and His love for them.

1. Kid’s Question: If you could ask God, King of the Universe, one question, what would that be?
2. As you read through this chapter, what is one thing that stands out to you? Why might that be?

II. IDOLS are more SUBTLE today. (Gen. 3:1-6; Mt. 4:1-11)
A. An grasp at POWER and CONTROL. (v.12-13; Gen. 3:4-5; Mt. 4:8-9)
B. A LONGING to be LOVED. (v.17; Gen. 3:4-5; Mt. 4:5-6)
C. Seeking SAFETY and SECURITY. (v.17; Gen. 3:6; Mt. 4:2-3)

Idols seem to be such an out of date concept. Sure there are cultures and even religions that still bow down in worship to physical objects, but that doesn’t seem too tempting to North American Christians. The reality is that the idols that tempt us are more subtle than the statues of 3000 years ago.

3. Which of these three “appeals” of an idol is the most tempting for you personally? Why do you think that is?
4. If you had to name some idols in your own life, what would you say?
5. Can you think of other reasons we are tempted to look toward idols to meet our felt needs? How can you being to discern and dethrone the idols in your life?

III. There REALLY is no COMPARISON. (v.2,7-8)
A. The POWERFUL one MADE you. (v.2,21; Col. 1:15-20)
B. The LOVING one FORMED you. (v.2,22; Rom. 8:35-39)
C. The STRONG one will HELP you. (v.2,24-28; Ps. 46:1-3)
D. Why FEED ourselves on ASHES? (v.20; Ps. 139:23-24)

God’s point in this chapter is this – “Why would you settle for an idol?” There really is no comparison. He reminds the people of who He is and of what that means about who they are.

6. What is more important to you, God’s power or God’s love? Why?
7. What does it mean that God has chosen you? How does that impact your life on a daily basis?
8. How can you better focus on God’s love and power this week in order to help you resist the temptations to power/control, love/affection, and safety/security?