Anne Graham Lotz: When God Shakes a Nation

Anne Graham Lotz: When God Shakes a Nation

Our nation is being shaken by COVID-19, an economic collapse and violent unrest in our streets. There are endless conversations, discussions and opinions voiced by friends and family, educators and scientists, politicians and pundits—discussions about all the causes as well as the effects. At the same time, many people are being shaken by job loss, isolation, loneliness and the stress from all of the above.

But I wonder … Is God using this time of great unsettledness to shake our nation? Is God trying to get our attention? 

When God shakes a nation, what should His people do?

I. LOOK AHEAD

  • What are some reasons that God shakes a nation? See Haggai 2:6-9; Psalm 18:7; Isaiah 2:17-19.
  • How does the Bible describe the days immediately preceding the return of Jesus? See Mark 13:24-26; Luke 21:25-28.
  • As you look ahead, what encouragement do you receive from Hebrews 12:25-29?

II. LOOK ABOVE, ISAIAH 6:1-4

  • How was Isaiah’s nation shaken in verse 1? Describe it in a contemporary setting.
  • When his nation was shaken, what unique revelation did Isaiah have? See verse 1.
  • Who specifically did Isaiah see seated on the throne? See John 12:41.
  • Put into your own words each phrase that describes the Lord in verses 1-3. 
  • Match the following verses with a phrase from verses 1-3: Ezekiel 1:25-28; Revelation 4:2; 5:13; Genesis 14:19-20; Numbers 24:16; Job 22:12; 1 Chronicles 29:11; Exodus 15:1; Acts 5:31; Ephesians 4:8; 2 Chronicles 6:18-21; Revelation 4:8; 15:4; 1 Peter 1:15-16. 
  • Do you think Isaiah would have looked up if his nation had not been shaken?
  • How are you being shaken? What difference has it made in your life?

III. LOOK WITHIN, ISAIAH 6:5

A. REPENT OF YOUR SIN

  • What impact did the vision of the Lord have on Isaiah? Read verse 5.
  • Give phrases that indicate a similar impact from Job 42:5-6; Luke 5:4-8; Revelation 1:17; Ephesians 5:13-14.
  • How is this impact affirmed in Psalm 51:17? Isaiah 57:15? 2 Corinthians 7:8-11? Revelation 3:19?
  • Rending your heart is a Biblical phrase for repentance. Is it an option according to Joel 2:13? Matthew 4:17? Luke 13:3? Acts 3:19? 
  • Use the following references to pinpoint possible sin in your own life from which you need to repent: Romans 1:21; Hebrews 3:19; Matthew 23:28; 1 John 2:16; 1 Timothy 5:8; 1 Corinthians 3:3; Malachi 3:8. 
  • Is anyone exempt from the need to repent, according to James 2:10; 4:17; Romans 3:10, 23; 2 Peter 3:9? 
  • When was the last time you wept in grief over your own sin? 

B. RETURN TO THE CROSS, ISAIAH 6:6-7 

  • When the seraph touched Isaiah’s lips with the burning coal, what did this represent? See John 16:8. 
  • What did the altar illustrate in verse 6? See Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:14, 22; 1 John 1:9. 
  • What hope does God offer ruined sinners like you and me? See Isaiah 1:18; Acts 10:43; 26:18; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Romans 8:1. 
  • What is hindering you from returning to the cross and repenting of your sin? Whatever it is, what do you need to do to overcome it? Would you do it now? 

C. RECOMMIT TO SERVING GOD, ISAIAH 6:8 

  • What bearing do you think Isaiah’s repentance and return to the cross had on his experience in verse 8? 
  • How were the calls in the following Scriptures the same? How were they different? Isaiah 6:8; Nehemiah 1:1-4; Exodus 3:1-10; Luke 5:4-11; John 21:16-18; Acts 9:1-6; 13:2. 
  • What is your calling, according to Romans 1:6; 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 9; 7:15; Galatians 5:13; Philippians 3:14; Colossians 3:15; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 2:9, 20-21; 3:9; Revelation 1:5-6; 17:14; John 21:19-22? 
  • How does your response to God’s call compare with Isaiah’s in verse 8? Simon Peter’s in Luke 5:10-11? Matthew’s (or Levi’s) in Luke 5:27-28?
  •  Is it possible that God is shaking our nation as a means of getting your attention? Is He even now recalling you to serve Him at this critical time?

As God shakes not only our own lives, but also our nation and our world, look ahead! Jesus is coming! Look up. He is in control, seated on the throne! Look within. Make sure everything in your life is right with God. ©2020 ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ

 

This article is adapted from a study originally published in March 2006 titled “Wake-up Call.” 

Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, “Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion,” is available from major booksellers online. 

Photo: Joel Marklund/Bildbyran via Zuma Press

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