Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Pathway Through Isaiah

    I get excited when is comes time every four years to teach Isaiah to my Early Morning Guests. Of all the Old Testament books, I have lingered longer in that book than any other and my calendar says I have three weeks to teach it.

   We actually had almost finished the second week when I stumbled upon the idea to compile a list of  similes, one from each chapter, to get a feel for the images Isaiah leaves us. I was surprised by what can be learned from reading through this list.

1. Your sins are like scarlet and repentance is like snow
2. The temple is like a mountain
3. The apostate rulers of Israel are like babes
4. The atonement is like a cloud in the day and a flame at night
5. The house of Israel is like the plants of a vineyard
6. The coal from the altar is like the cleansing of the atonement
7. A sign from God is like getting a message of greatest worth
8. Isaiah's sons names were like signs from God
9. Trees are like the people of Israel
10. What happened to the Northern Kingdom is like what will happen to Judah in Isaiah's time
11. The Savior is like a new rod growing from the branch of Jesse (house of David)
12. A well is like salvation from which you can draw living water
13. Babylon is like the mortal world
14. The fall of Babylon is like the fall of Satan in the millennium
15. Being bald and beardless is like what the people of Moab will feel  
16. The people of Moab will be like a wandering bird who has fallen out of it's nest.
17. The destruction of Damascus will be like the gleaning of grapes where there are just a few grapes left on the top of the vine
18. The restoration will be like an ensign on a mountain
19. Egypt will be like a woman who is afraid
20 Isaiah walking around barefoot is like Egypt when the Assyrian's beat them
21. Isaiah is like a watchman on a tower who cries about the enemy coming
22. The Messiah is like a key that will open the house of David
23. The people of Tyre are like their ships that have no wind in their sails
24. The destruction of Jerusalem will be like the harvesting of olives and every last olive will be stripped from the tree
25. The blessings of the Atonement are like a shadow in the heat, like a feast of the best food, like a covert in a flood
26. A woman in labor is like a people repenting of a grievous sin
27. A Leviathan is like the nations taking on Israel
28. Christ is like a beautiful foundation we can build on
29. The strangers who come to overrun  Israel will be like dust in the future
30. The atonement of Christ is like a glue that can bind up a breach and is seven-fold the light of the sun

40. The Lord's strength is like the wings of an eagle

53. Jesus is like a tender seed because no one could see in him his potential as a child
    We are like sheep who go astray
54. The tent is like the church

55. My words are like rain, they bring forth good fruit

58. A person who fasts correctly is like a well watered garden

59. Mortal man without a Savior is like a blind man
60. The House of Israel is like a light shining before the world
61. Righteousness and praise will be like a garden in bloom
62. Watchmen are like prophets who watch over their people
63. The Savior's atonement is like treading a wine press alone.
64. We are like clay; the Lord is like a potter

66. The Lord's peace is like a river

The chapter is not in the scriptures, we made it up ourselves
67. The Celestial Kingdom is like a Harry Potter tent.

   Only 23 more chapters to go and one week to explore more word pictures.

       We certainly spend intense time in some verses but finding these similes in every chapter gives my students some overall themes to traverse the path through Isaiah.

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