Sabbath School Lesson for January 16-22, 2021

Lesson 4 Overview (Isaiah 7 & 8)

For daily videos about the lesson, see

  • Sunday: God reveals how soon His prediction about Judah will be fulfilled (Isaiah 7:14-16)
  • Monday: God describes how complete the destruction of Judah will be (Isaiah 7:17-25)
  • Tuesday: The impact of Isaiah’s second son for understanding the prophecy (Isaiah 8:1-10)
  • Wednesday: Learning to fear God, and not the conspiracies that might be going on around them (Isaiah 8:11-15)
  • Thursday: The need to recognize demonic voices and influences that kept them from God (Isaiah 8:16-22)

If there was ever a time for Judah to trust in God again, it was when things were already beginning to spiral down for them. God had been sending appeals for them to renew the covenant relationship, but they repeatedly rejected His offers.

As the danger loomed ever closer, God’s warning messages got stronger and louder. Without God’s intervention, they were doomed to devastating defeat and their land would be desolate.

Memory Text: “I will wait on the Lord, who hides His face from the house of Judah; and I will hope in Him.” Isaiah 8:17 NKJV

How important for Judah to trust in God, not in the supposed knowledge and experience of their king, whose affiliation with idolatrous tribes had done nothing to better their spiritual condition.

Although it’s important to trust our leaders, it’s also important to HAVE trustworthy leaders. Which is why we must keep our eyes on the most trustworthy One of all, the King of the Universe. When we wait on the Lord only, we have hope for a better future.

Sunday: Prophecy Fulfilled (Isaiah 7:14-16)

God had spoken to King Ahaz through Isaiah in chapter 7 about “two stubs of smoking firebrands”, who they were told not to fear. These “firebrands” would quickly burn out and not be a threat any more. These firebrands  referred to Israel and Syria, whose kings were threatening to invade Judah.

When the king of Judah refused to ask God for a sign, God gave him one anyway (Isaiah 7:14). Isaiah 7:15, 16 describes the difficult time Judah would have when the prophecy was fulfilled. Curds and honey was the diet of nomads, or wanderers, indicating that although they would be destitute, they would have enough food to survive.

Isaiah’s prophecy was probably delivered to Ahaz around the year 734 B.C. In just a few short years, Assyria conquered both Israel and Syria. The bribe and alliance Ahaz made with Assyria had not been needed.

God knew where Assyria’s thirst for power would take them. And it would happen very quickly–“before the Child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”

The Assyrians took the capital city of Samaria in 732 B.C., after Hoshea, king of Israel, foolishly rebelled against the Assyrians. Thousands of Israelites lost their identity in other populations, when they were deported. Isaiah predicted this would happen in Isaiah 7:8. He said that Ephraim (the tribe residing in Samaria) “would not be a people.”

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, and Isaiah 9:6

  • In what way was the Messiah, born Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, an important sign for Jerusalem and God’s people?
  • How was this Child more than just another prophet?

Isaiah 7:15, 16

  • What do these verses tell us about the difficulties they would encounter and the short time frame that it would occur?

Monday: Foreseen Consequences (Isaiah 7:17-25)

People mostly talk about UNforeseen consequences–things that happen without warning that surprise us. But this was not the case for Judah. The prophet Isaiah had worked diligently to warn and prepare them for the consequences that would overtake them in such a short time.

The good news was that Syria and Israel would no longer be a threat. But the bad news was that Assyria, who they had attempted to be friends with, would became an even more dangerous enemy.

The rest of chapter 7 provides a very descriptive view of the result of trusting man (“princes”), and not the Lord (Psalm 118:9). Ahaz not only rejected God’s help, but he began to worship the false gods of Israel and Syria, because it appeared for a time that their gods had been good to them. See 2 Chronicles 28:20-23.

Notice what the king used as payment (a bribe, as it turned out) to Assyria. One of the things given up were treasures in the house of God. It says in 2 Chronicles 28:22 that in the time of distress, Ahaz became even more unfaithful to God. This can happen when we put our trust in man and temporal things, which do not last.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Isaiah 7:17 and 2 Chronicles 28:19

  • When trials come, why do some people drift further away from God, instead of closer to Him?
  • How could this be avoided?

2 Corinthians 4:18 and Hebrews 11:1, 13

  • Why is it important to look to God and not to the things we can see, hear, and touch?
  • What happens when we don’t look at the broader picture, and try to see it from God’s perspective?
  • How do we get God’s perspective?

Tuesday: What’s in a Name? (Isaiah 8:1-10)

Isaiah’s second son also had an interesting name, and God told Isaiah what it was before the child was even conceived. “Maher-shalal-hash-baz” meant “speed the spoil, hasten the plunder”. Quite a more ominous tone in this name, as opposed to Isaiah’s first son–“A Remnant Shall Return”.

The second son’s name was to remind them of the possibility of spoil and plunder, which happens as a result of an attack. These names tell us that when we reject God’s warnings, He increases the volume of His appeals to get our attention.

In the first half of chapter 8, Isaiah declared the bad news to King Ahaz. Assyria would invade Syria and Israel, their neighbors to the north. As a matter of fact, the powerful empire would be a threat to Judah as well.

Although God was allowing these horrific consequences, He still gave them glimpses of hope. Despite the military disasters and exile that were coming, God would be with them and ultimately restore them to their land.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Isaiah 8:1-3

  • What was different about the second son’s name? What message did it bring to those who heard it?

Isaiah 8:7, 8

  • How did these words portray the expanding empire of the Assyrians? What did it feel like for those who were attacked?

Isaiah 8:9, 10

  • Even though their alliance with Assyria would fail, what did God still promise them?
  • In what way is God with us, even when we aren’t listening to Him? Or, is He?

Wednesday: Nothing to Fear When We Fear God Himself (Isaiah 8:11-15)

The people of Judah had plenty to fear back then. No matter which way they looked, there were threatening outcomes to consider. Their idolatrous behavior was bearing fruit, and the consequences would not be pleasant.

Conspiracies were everywhere. They didn’t know who or what to trust any more. Their neighbors had become their enemies, including the neighbor they thought most likely to bring them safety–namely, the Assyrians.

While God warned them of these dangers, He also reminded them that the only way to overcome their fears was to center their trust and allegiance in Him, our true refuge in time of trouble (Psalm 91:2).

The three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12 (God’s last-day call to a dying world) tell us to “fear God and give glory to Him”. Jesus said and demonstrated that fearing God means to love Him. See Matthew 22:37.

God’s people had lost their first love when they chose to worship other gods. Something we continue to struggle with. 1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Isaiah 8:11-13, Matthew 10:28, and Psalm 118:9

  • Why should we not fear what man can do to us?
  • Why is God the one we should fear and respect? How has He earned our love?

Isaiah 8:14, 15 and Luke 2:34, 35, 20:17, 18

  • How is God a rock of protection for some people, and a stumblingblock to others?

Thursday: Gloom of the Ungrateful Living Dead (Isaiah 8:16-22)

These last verses in Isaiah 8 bring out some important issues and consequences for Judah and the king. We are told in 2 Kings 16 and 2 Chronicles 28 that King Ahaz was heavily involved with pagan religions.

When these worshipers sacrificed to false gods, it was the same as sacrificing to demons. See 1 Corinthians 10:20. In other words, they were aligning themselves with the occult, with Satan and the rebellious angels who were cast out of heaven (Revelation 12:9).

Isaiah focused on God’s law and testimony in this passage (Isaiah 8:16, 20). It was an effort to bring them out of the dangerous religious affiliations that caused them to worship Satan, rather than their Creator God.

There was also a prediction about the people turning against and cursing Ahaz (Isaiah 8:21). 2 Chronicles 28:27 tells us that they did not bury him with the kings of Israel, a sign of the disrespect they had for this king.

We still see many spiritualistic tendencies in our world today. Modern witchcraft/wizardry and other New Age practices are the equivalent to what the prophet was talking about in Isaiah 8:19, 20.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Isaiah 8:16, 20

  • How would the law and testimony (God’s word) have been a protection for God’s people, if they had allowed it to be?

Isaiah 8:19, Daniel 12:2, and John 11:11

  • Why is it useless to seek counsel from the dead?

1 Corinthians 10:20

  • Who are we really seeking guidance from when we become involved with occult practices?

Friday: Final Thoughts

King Ahaz caused Judah to trust in the Assyrians to save them. The alliance they created with that kingdom proved to be a deadly one. The king even gave away treasures from the temple, in order to have Assyria’s protection (2 Chronicles 28:21). This open disregard for God’s house should have been a wake-up call for the people of Judah, but the majority continued to trust their king for their safety.

The prophet Isaiah repeatedly warned and instructed his people to trust in God. How many times have we mouthed the words, “He is my refuge and my fortress” (Psalm 91:2), but then continued to trust in our own efforts and wisdom to feel and be safe?

We also have a tendency to trust in our leaders who promise to change our circumstances, just like they did in Isaiah’s time, seven hundred years before Christ. Even though we know in Psalm 118:9 that “it is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in princes”, we become overly confident of our choice of political leaders. We take our eyes off God far too often and allow ourselves to be charmed and swayed by humans, who are just as fallible as we are.

The words of Isaiah, chapter 8, should jump out at all of us. The Lord tells us there, ” ‘Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.’ “ In other words, we should not focus our attention on human conspiracies, whether true or false, but rather on the power of God.

Many see conspiracies everywhere in the world today. How easy it is to become embroiled in the supposed theories of man, rather than keeping our minds and hearts in God’s word. Misinformation and fake news sources are a constant attraction for many of God’s people today.

No matter which side of the political spectrum we are on, we are in danger of being diverted from the only protection we need. And that, of course, is God’s protection.

Next Week: Sabbath: Noble Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9-12)

To read the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly or see more resources for its study, go to