"The Miracle of the Mercy"
8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.
9 All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
1. There is a court cast taking place:
According to verse 9 - in this passage of scripture, it sounds to me like there is a big court case that is about to take place.
Verse 9 says - All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
The court room is open, the witnesses have gathered, the Judge is ready, and the peoples are assembled.
So let the case begin!!!
Ok so that bring me to this question.
If there is a big court case going on here, then my question would be "who is on trial?"
Well, if I look at verse 10 which says - “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
According to this passage of scripture - It sounds to me like the witnesses on the stand are to be witnesses for The Lord.
So if the witnesses on the stand are to be witnesses for The Lord, then that must mean that God Almighty is coming up against someone in this court of law.
Because the only reason you will have witnesses for you in court, is if you are being tried.
Ok so if God is on trial at this court, my next question is - who can an Almighty, All Powerful, Omniscient God, be on trial against.
Well if we look at the Verse 10 again, but focus on the second half of the verse it says Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
So God goes from you are My Witnesses to saying - before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
So it sounds to me like God Almighty is on trial against other gods.
He says before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
Now that is a powerful statement so lets take a look at the statement real quick:
God is saying before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
So that means any god that comes after god is formed.
Whether it be an idol, a statue, or an animal, or whatever the god they found themselves Worshiping. God wanted them to know it had been formed.
He is saying I am The Only God that has not been formed. I was, I am, and I will always be.
Here is a note:
Whenever you have God and formed in the same sentence - God is always the subject and not the object. He is the only God that was not formed.
Ok now lets get back to who God is on trial with.
So according to verse 10 - it sounds like Israel found themselves in a place were there were all kinds of foreign gods among them and God is on trial against false gods.
They found themselves in a place were they had forgot all about what the One True Living God had done for them.
So God says, who among these gods have been able to do what I have done among you.
Bring them to this court and lets see who is the right God.
God begins to explain in verse 12 - all the things that He has done - predict the future, interpret the past, and explain the present in Sorveign detail and across the centuries.
Now the other gods are invited to bring their witnesses to this court, if they have any, to give evidence of their power to do the same and prove they are the right god.
So now we need witnesses in this court for the gods of the nations and for YHWH.
The witnesses for the gods of the nations are the nations themselves, but they have nothing to say, because the gods they defend are "less than nothing" Isaiah 41:24
Now we need to know who will speak for YHWH in this great assembling of the courts?
Who will testify of His real Power?
Now this is where it gets good because the answer to this question is the basis of my message.
2. YHWH needed some witnesses.
YHWH turns to the people whom He has just described as blind and deaf, and tells them you, yes you, are to be my Witnesses. Isaiah 43:10
What does it mean to be a witness?
The dictionary definition of the word witness is:
1. to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception:
2. to bear witness to; testify to; give or afford evidence of.
So we see what the dictionary says about being a witness.
Now what are some expectations of a witness?
1. In the old testament time, It was regarded as a sin if you failed to speak up about a matter that you had seen or heard if the matter had been brought to court.
2. Perjury could cost you your life.
What is perjury?
Perjury is basically lying on the witness stand. To bear false witness was a serious covenant offense.
The bible even talks about a false witness as one of the things that The Lord hates and one of these things is in Proverbs 6:19 which says - a false witness who pours out lies.
The witnesses who testified on the witness stand, would have a big responsibility in the outcome of the Judges and for the execution of the court's verdict.
So we see to be a witness was not something that was to be taken lightly, but had a big responsibility.
Here we see that God is depending on the nation of Israel to be a witness for Him.
Now I don't know about you, but there is something that stands out to me here.
We just read earlier in Isaiah 43:8 that says -
8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.
Who is God talking about here. Who are the ones that have eyes, but are blind? Who are the ones who has ears, but are deaf?
God is saying to Israel you have seen and heard of all the wonders and miracles that I have done among you, but you still choose to follow the false gods among you.
Not only that, one of the main reasons why Israel had been under God's judgment was because of their failure to uphold the standards of justice in court, that their own covenant law called for. Amos 5:10
But God Almighty still sees fit to use Israel to be a witness for Him in this court.
The miracle is the risk that God takes in relying on such people.
But there is no plan B, because God says about Israel in Isaiah 43:10 "you are my servant whom I have chosen."
Israel had been chosen from the time of Abraham and God was not going to go back on His Promises.
No matter how they had rebelled or the situation they find themselves in.
The miracle of such a situation is that God, even though the people where rebellious and stubborn, He still wanted to use a people to be a witness for Him in court.
*** He wanted to use Israel's testimony in this court of law, to prove that He is The One and Only True God.
That's heavy - God wanted to use the testimony of Israel to prove that He is The One and Only True God.
In Isaiah 42:6, 49:6A we see Israel was chosen to be a servant and whose mission would include being a light to the gentiles or the (nations).
He wasn't going to go back on His promise because of their shortcomings.
Now if we really look at everything and the situation that Israel is in, it seems that the plan of God is facing some challenges.
Why, because Israel finds themselves in a place where they are no better off than the nations.
So any hope for Israel to be a light to the nations, would have to depend not on Israels natural capacity to respond and obey, but on a miracle of God's grace and transforming power.
The nations had their many gods and then there is The One True Living God. So how can the court decide which god is "real" or in the "right?"
In order to decide the people needed some witnesses.
In order to see what God was going to take home the victory - the witnesses had to stand up.
Doesn't that sound like our world today.
There are soo many gods, so many religions, so many false gods, so many beliefs and they are all trying to take our God to court?
The world today is calling our God to court who will be His witnesses?
We need someone to come to the court for our God.
Even though Israel was referred to as blind and deaf. Even though Israel's stubbornness and rebellion had got them in this situation, God still wanted to use them to be His witnesses.
Wow - that is powerful!!!
God wanted to use a people on the witness stand who didn't have it all together to show the world that He is The True and Living God.
The miracle of this court is the ones whom God choose to use as His witnesses.
3. The witnesses that God chose to use.
God told Israel - 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
Well just like God needed some witnesses in the days of Isaiah - He is still looking for some witnesses who will stand for Him in a day were there are all kinds of gods trying to take Him to court.
Now the miracle is who God choose to put on the stand for Him.
It was a people who didn't have it all together, there were rebellious, there were stubborn, but yet God says I have chosen you, yes you...
Today God is looking for some witnesses - is there anyone that is willing to take the stand for Him.
You say, but I don't have it all together. Well neither did Israel, but God still chose to put them on the stand.
That is the miracle of the mercy.
The miracle is not that God had a witness, but who He chose to be a witness.
Israel had been called to court to witness to the truth about YHWH as The One True Living God even though they didn't fit the criteria in the natural, but God had given them a promise.
Can I tell you something Church.
God has given us a promise over 45 years ago - that He will give us the treasures out of darkness. Now I know you think you have to have it all together to fit into that promise and to be used, but the miracle is that God is calling a people like you and I to be a witness for Him in a world that is full of false gods that are calling our God to court.
I don't know if you know this, but we have been given a promise from God. Since 1967 God has promised us that He will give us the Treasures out of Darkness and hidden riches stored in secret places.
The miracle of the mercy is not that God gave us the promise, but who God gave the promise to.
Our founder was a heroin addict and bound up in drugs, but now he is the founder of one of the largest inner city movements in our time.
The miracle of the mercy is not that God called us and gave us a promise, but the risk that God takes in relying on a people who the world thought of as nobodies, outcasts, and will not amount to anything.
The miracle of the mercy is not that God is moving in such a powerful way in our lives God is God, but the miracle of the mercy is who God is using as witnesses in this court of the world.
The miracle of the mercy is not that God is saving people, reaching families, and restoring lives, through Victory Outreach Cape Town, but the miracle of the mercy is who God is relying on to get the job done.
The miracle of the mercy is not that we have a home of ex drug addicts and ex gangsters, but the miracle of the mercy is who God is using to run the home.
Ok you might be sitting there thinking - well Pastor Dre I didn't do drugs, I wasn't involved in gangsterism. Well neither was I. I wasn't involved in drugs or gangsterism, but I was far from having it all together.
As a matter of fact -I was so shy and quiet that my family used to tell me, what's wrong with you, does the cat got your tongue.
Even in school when it came to the teacher taking role, I was so quiet that I didn't even want to say here.
And to think that same person who was super quiet and super shy is now preaching to you this morning is the miracle of the mercy.
The miracle of the mercy is not that there is a preacher preaching to you today, there are many preachers, but the miracle of the mercy is who God is choosing to use to communicate to you this morning.
Wellll - I wish I had some witnesses - who say I thank God for the miracle of the mercy.
The miracle of the mercy is not that we have hundreds of Churches around the world, but the miracle is who God is using to pastor and start these Churches.
*** The miracle of the mercy is not that we just sent a Church to Mitchell's Plain, South Africa, but the miracle of the mercy is who God chose to send.
*** The miracle of the mercy is not that we just sent a Church to Durban, South Africa, but the miracle of the mercy is who God chose to send
The miracle of the mercy is not that God is moving powerfully in our Church services, there are Church services where God is moving all around Cape Town, but the miracle of the mercy is who God is choosing to use.
Is there anybody in the house that say I think God for the miracle of the mercy.
The miracle is not that we have this ministry or that ministry - but the miracle is who is leading that ministry.
The miracle is not that we have the young adult ministry, the life groups, the youth ministry, the children's, the sound, the ushers, the V.E.T.I. but the miracle is who God is choosing to be leaders in these ministries.
***The mission of God's people is not how great we are at doing the work of God, but how patient God is in doing the work through us.
Is there anybody here that is willing to get on the stand testify for our Lord Jesus Christ of His life changing Power...
4. Testify about what?
Even Paul when he was called said in Acts 26:16 - it talks about being a witness.
Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.
You remember how Paul's life was before he got saved.
God has appeared to you and I that we can be His witnesses in these last days to testify of what we have seen and heard.
Now I would like to come in for a landing with this.
A witness testifies of what they have seen and heard.
32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?
33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?
34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
Here is Moses is referring to Mt. Sinai when God spoke and also to the deliverance of God's people.
We need to realize what Israel had seen and heard in these times of the scriptures had not been done before.
1. The Lord descended on Mt. Sinai in fire - Exodus 19:18
2. They seen God deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. Exodus 13
***We need to remember this had not been done before.
You and I have been called to be a witness for God in these last days of what we have seen and heard.
* Has anybody heard how God has change lives in these last days?
* Has anybody here seen how God has changed lives in these last days?
* Has anybody experienced God change your life in these last days, then it is time for you and I to stand up and be a witness for The Lord.
I know you don't have it all together, but the miracle of the mercy is that God still wants to use you and I to be a witness for Him in this world which is the court of law.