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A Study of Isaiah 44 with the NKJV Bible Study Bible
I am a sucker for a good study Bible. I have a growing collection and have been able to regift many to those who do not have a study Bible or need a different one to support their studies but struggle to let go of them (my husband may even go so far as to call me a Bible addict). Study Bibles are wonderful tools to help believers learn more about God’s Word and more fully understand what God has to say to us through these 66 books. The NKJV Bible Study Bible is a type of study Bible I had not previously had the pleasure of using, but I am excited to tell you about it through a study of Isaiah 44, which happens to be where the Water On Thirsty Land name comes from.
What is the NKJV Bible Study Bible?
The NKJV Bible Study Bible is a study Bible that provides a Bible study for every chapter of the Bible. Every chapter of scripture has a provided study guide to help readers dig deeper, think broader, and understand better what is being read. Within each chapter study are three sections to go through – Start, Grow, and Go. We will be looking at Isaiah 44 as an example below.
The NKJV Bible Study Bible also includes features such as:
What is the purpose of the NKJV Bible Study Bible?
I appreciate the heartfelt explanations that are included at the beginning of this study Bible. There is a message from Sam O’Neal who wrote all of the study material in the NKJV Bible Study Bible, and he explains that his vision for this study Bible is that it be used for personal Bible studies, as well as group Bible studies. It is designed to be flexible and helpful for any number of people reading and studying God’s Word together or alone.
Who is the NKJV Bible Study Bible designed for?
The NKJV Bible Study Bible was created for those who wish to dive in and truly explore and learn from God’s Word. As someone who studies a lot on my own, with my husband and child, leads groups of adults and teens, and teaches younger children I am excited for the NKJV Bible Study Bible to become a go-to in all of these groups and on my own. I especially believe the NKJV Bible Study Bible would be an amazing resource for teens and new Bible readers.
A study of Isaiah 44 with the NKJV Bible Study Bible
Isaiah 44 is the chapter we find the verse our name, Water On Thirsty Land, comes from. I love to review study Bibles by doing an actual Bible study with them. The NKJV Bible Study Bible provides chapter studies for every chapter, so we will walk through a study of Isaiah 44 using only the NKJV Bible Study Bible to get a hands-on look at how to use it. As explained above, this study Bible includes 3 sections for every Bible study – Start, Grow, and Go. I invite you to read Isaiah 44 with me, and feel free to walk through along with me! I will be on pages 1072-1074 of the NKJV Bible Study Bible.
The Start section is a nice little “on-ramp”, as they call it. I would describe it as a nice little icebreaker to the chapter that causes you to think about something in your own life and experiences that has something to do with the content of the chapter. I have a big pet peeve about people reading themselves into scripture where they should not, and so far after looking through many chapter studies, I greatly enjoy the Start section. This section is formulated in a way that just kind of opens our minds up a bit, which I believe opens us up better to what God may be trying to speak to us.
In a group study, this Start section can be a great way to start a conversation as you embark on your study. Most studies include some activities as well, which are a really cool way to look through a new lens or perspective regarding the main topic of the given chapter. The Activities are designed for those who are visual and hands-on learners, which I really appreciate!
“Start: On a scale from 1 (poor) to 10 (great), how would you rate your ability to build things with your hands?” (pg 1074)
I love to build things with my hands but am honestly not always that great at it – especially with my wrist injured for over a year. I would give myself about a 6, maybe even a 5.
“Activity: Imagine you are getting a tattoo. What would it be? Draw what it would look like. Write what you would like to communicate and why it would be important to you.”
I actually personally love tattoos and believe that if we do get them, they should bring God glory. It is His temple we are marking up, so we should honor Him with every single thing we do to our bodies. I have had a vision for a tattoo for a long time that includes a mountain range, a forest, and a cross. Embedded in this beautiful scene would be Psalm 46:10. The mountains remind me that God is my strength and fortress, bigger than anything I can ever face and that faith in Him can move mountains in my life. The forest reminds me of stillness, peace, and joy that come from God because that is how I feel when I am in His beautiful forests. Psalm 46:10 is basically my life verse. As someone who was wrought with depression, abuse, and darkness so much of my life, Psalm 46:10 reminds me of the incredible, indescribable peace I have in Him and how beautiful and necessary it is to make time to truly rest in Him for who He is, not just what He does.
The Grow section is what they call the “meat” of the chapter study. It goes from a nice ease-in with the Start and Activity, to a chewier Grow section that gets your mind moving and engaging with the given chapter. Sometimes, like in our study today, there is an Explore section to work through some additional relevant passages, and sometimes there is a section for Groups.
“Grow: What promises did God make in verses 1-5?”
“Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant,
And Israel whom I have chosen.
Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.’
One will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’;
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
And name himself by the name of Israel.
God made several promises in Isaiah 44:1-5.
- To help His people
- To pour water on those who thirst and on dry ground
- To give His Spirit to the descendants of His people
- To bless the offspring of His people
- To multiply His people like willows by the water
“Explore: In verse 3, God declares “I will pour out My Spirit on your descendants.” Read Acts 2:1-12 to see the moment that prophecy began to be fulfilled. How would you describe the Holy Spirit’s role in your life?”
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all [a]with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them [b]divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own [c]language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and [d]Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
In my own life, the Holy Spirit is my guide and is who convicts me. I am growing in my awareness of the Holy Spirit, and learning to listen when He speaks and recognize His voice and ways. I am always craving to learn more about how to bear His fruits and strive to be watchful of the fruit I produce. I certainly get it wrong, but I love having the Holy Spirit and desire for everyone to know how it feels to be filled with the Holy Spirit and led by Him.
“Groups: Pass around a few pens to your group members. Encourage everyone to write “The Lord’s” on their hands as a reminder that they are part of God’s Kingdom and members of His family.”
This is another fun way to be more hands-on. This also feels like an area you can easily take an idea from to implement in whatever way you feel called to by the Lord. For example, I would love to design a picture versus draw on my hand. If you’re into Bible journaling make a picture in your Bible or on another piece of paper.
“Verses 6-8 declare that Yahweh alone is God. What evidence helps you trust that declaration?”
I see evidence all over my life that God alone is the one and only true God. A huge part of my testimony is how God proved Himself to be truly God. I should not be alive but God proved His very existence to me, as well as His sovereignty, by keeping me alive when in all human sense I should not be alive. Later in life, He proved again that He is the only God when I strayed, struggled, and looked for love in all the wrong places, yet in both of the darkest times of my life, He rescued me. He saved my life literally, then I finally gave Him my life, and the way it feels to have Him in my life and the way He provides even when it makes no sense is evidence that He alone is God. Nothing and no one else could do what God has done for me. It feels like going from a dry, parched heart and life to a flood of refreshing, living, rushing water coming into my very being. Or like not realizing you’re drowning underwater until you’re brought to the surface and breathe in a gulp of air for the first time.
“What catches your attention from verses 19-20?”
Isaiah 44:19-20 is what it is like to worship idols, worldly things, and manmade things, and be hardened because you fail to see God yet worship created things in His place. This very much reminds me of what it was like before I knew God. I did not realize that I was deceiving myself while I chased people, money, hobbies, and a career… all the things that tempt a teen and young adult in this culture. I did not stop to consider for a long time that there was a different way of doing things or different things that were actually important. I saw things the way people around me saw them and obsessed over the things people around me obsessed over. Like verse 19 says, “no one considers in his heart” that they are worshiping created things, idols, and that there is Someone worthy of our worship instead of these things. These things will never save you – only faith in Jesus can do that.
“How can we tell if we are worshiping idols today?”
If we are not worshipping God alone, the Creator of the universe, then we are worshipping something else. The “something else” is an idol. If it takes our focus off of God and onto itself, it is idolatry. For a time, I struggled with worshiping video games. I was utterly obsessed. I was focusing more on gaming than praying, reading the Bible, or my relationship with the Lord. I just wanted to game as much as I could. Later, I was reminded by my family that my focus was all wrong – I needed to turn back to God. If we are not running to God first in all things, chances are we are giving our worship to something else – it could even be stress, worry, a job, family, friends, finances, hobbies, sports, and so much more. I tend to filter myself by asking “is what I am doing bringing God glory? Is this what will bring God the most glory? Does this line up with what God says will bring Him glory?” If it’s a no to any of those questions, I am failing to worship God alone.
“What can we learn about God’s nature from this chapter? And His character?”
God is our Creator and longs to have a relationship with us. This chapter is written for the nation of Israel, but is also relatable for me, too. He longs for all of us just like He has for Israel, His chosen people. He wants to refresh us, fill us, indwell us, bless us. God’s nature is to love and care for His people, and His character is to provide and protect His people. He is our Helper no matter how disobedient and idolatrous we are – He still desires us to be restored to Him, just like the Israelites.
The Go section focuses on doing something with what you have learned in the chapter. This section helps us to see why the chapter is important, and sometimes how it does apply to us personally. Sometimes there is an encouragement to pray in this section, and honestly, it seems like whether there is or is not it gives you some things to pray about.
“What would you like to learn or experience when it comes to the Holy Spirit’s work in your life?”
Sometimes I struggle with knowing when it is the Holy Spirit speaking to me, or something I desire. I personally would love to grow in my ability to discern the Holy Spirit over my own desires and plans, and also grow in aligning my desires and plans with that of the Holy Spirit.
“What are some sources of fear in your heart and mind?”
I definitely struggle with the fear of accidentally mishandling God’s Word, and also with going in a direction I wasn’t intended to. I am a “do-er” I love to serve the Lord, but I don’t always know when to slow down and back off, so sometimes I worry that I am not doing what I am supposed to.
While the NKJV Bible Study Bible is not a typical study Bible with commentary to explain the verses of the Bible, it is a study Bible for those who want to learn to study the Bible or add structure to their study time. After doing a study of Isaiah 44 I see how the guided chapter study was helpful in guiding me through the chapter and also connecting me to other passages in scripture.
Do I recommend the NKJV Bible Study Bible?
I believe the NKJV Bible Study Bible is an outstanding Bible study tool that I recommend for new Bible readers, teenagers, and anyone who desires to add some structure to their Bible study time. Even as someone with a shelf filled with wonderful study Bibles, the NKJV Bible Study Bible is an exciting addition to my collection which I will definitely be using regularly.
Where can you get the NKJV Bible Study Bible?
You can get the NKJV Bible Study Bible at the following locations online: