A slow-burning fuse sputtering toward a stick of dynamite is one of Hollywood’s classic tension-creating scenes. Will the hero put out the fuse in time? Or will the dynamite detonate?

Isaiah’s first chapters are bursting with the same type of tension. Will the slow fuse of God’s judgment be averted by repentance? Or will God’s people experience the devastation of detonation? But here’s the twist: at times, Isaiah seems to be the only one who is even aware of the crisis. What can we learn from this? And is there a way to avert the explosion of the holy dynamite?

These are challenging questions, which is why I’m so grateful we’ll have my good friend and Old Testament professor Brent Strawn teaching from Isaiah 6 this week. The sermon is going to be… explosive!


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Title: Holy Dynamite: How to Understand, Avoid & Survive It // Scripture: Isaiah 6

ARRIVAL / SOCIAL TIME 15-20 minutes Spend the first 15 minutes or so of your time together catching up and socializing with one another. Also find time to catch up together on how the assignments from last week turned out.

SERMON REVIEW 5-10 minutes
Today we looked at Isaiah chapter 6. Don’t we, like the prophets, want to know God’s specific calling on our lives? The calling of God is a process, marked by specific stages. Success in Isaiah’s call is measured by decreasing numbers. So Faithfulness (not Fruit) is his grim prophetic task. We see God’s reassurance to Isaiah was His presence and His work. It wasn’t Isaiah’s doing but God’s.

THE MAIN THOUGHT keep this in mind as you facilitate discussion.
God’s call is often unappealing and uncomfortable, but it is always accompanied by His presence and peace.

SEE ITQuestions 10-15 minutes
Picture (What is the story saying?): What was Isaiah’s objection to God’s calling (v.11)? What was God’s reassurance and sign of confirmation to him? What was left after the devastation? What could that symbolize?

Mirror (Where am I in the story?): What aspects of such a call of God resonate with me? During hard times, what was God’s reassurance to me? How have I experienced His unshakable peace?

Window (How does the story change how I see those around me?): How does knowing God’s will help you fulfill His calling in faithfulness and affect your view of the hard things you’re facing?

BE IT – Practice Which of these areas is God speaking to you about this week?
Change UP // Exercise
Pray that the God of resurrection will do His work in and through you. Be still for a minute, listening to His voice. Then share any words or pictures of confirmation He gives you.

Change IN // Group Activity
Pass out a small piece of paper to each person in the group. Give everyone two minutes to write down something they’re facing that seems bleak or impossible. Have everyone pass their paper to the person on their right. Give one minute of silence for everyone to pray over the paper they’ve received. Then go around the circle and speak words of truth and blessing to the writer of the paper you received.

Change OUT // Life Application Assignment
Think of a way you can confirm God’s calling and work in one person’s life this week.

Take a few minutes to gather any prayer requests and pray for each other to SEE IT and BE IT this week.

Brent Strawn

Brent Strawn

Dr. Brent Strawn is Professor of Old Testament at Emory University. Brent and his wife Holly and their family have been a part of Grace for years.