Summary: A New Thing - (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com)
1. Look Back and Appreciate!
2. Look Ahead and Anticipate!
3. Look within and Evaluate!
• Over 2,000 years ago a young Greek artist named Timanthes;
• Painted this picture - The Sacrifice of Iphigenia,
• What you see on the screen is a 1st Century AD Roman copy;
• Of a 4th Century BC painting by Timanthes,
• It was discovered at Pompeii, and now in the Museum at Naples
• Before he painted this masterpiece;
• When the artist Timanthes was a young man;
• He studied under a well-known and highly respected tutor.
• After several years, the young painter created a superb portrait.
• But unfortunately, he became so enraptured with the painting;
• That he spent days gazing at it.
• One morning when he arrived to admire his work,
• He was shocked to find it had been vandalised - blotted out with paint.
• Angry and in tears, Timanthes ran to his teacher,
• To report this tragic act of destruction.
• To his amazement, the teacher of Timanthes knew all about the defaced painting;
• Admitted that he had destroyed the painting.
• And he admitted that it was him who had damaged it!
"I did it for your own good. That painting was retarding your progress.
Start again and see if you can do better."
• Timanthes took his teacher's advice & produced ‘Sacrifice of I-phi-genia’
• Which is regarded as one of the finest paintings of antiquity.
AS YOU AND I FACE A BRAND NEW YEAR:
• Aren’t you glad that we do not have to just stare at and dwell in the past?
• We are able to press on to better things!
• As the hymn says; “We will praise him for all that is past……..”
• “………And trust him for all that’s to come!”
• Are you excited about the future?
• We should be!
• The encouraging thing about new year’s, new months, new weeks, new days;
• Is the word ‘new’.
• Webster’s dictionary:
• ‘Refreshed, different from one of the same that has existed previously, unfamiliar’.
• Best of all; new year’s, new months, new weeks, new days;
• It is a place to start over, to let God refresh, revitalize and to stimulate oneself.
We are starting a new series of teaching called ‘All Things New’
• A New Thing, A New Covenant, A New Morning, A New Song,
• A New Commandment, A New Creation, A New Future
• Tonight’s topic is called: ‘A New Thing’
• And is based on the verse from Isaiah 43:14-28
The Book of Isaiah can be called "a Bible in miniature."
• Now the chapter and verse divisions are not inspired;
• For just over a 1,000 years the Christian Church had Bibles without chapter & verse numbers.
• They were added for our convenience to help us find our way around.
• Whoever added them did an interesting thing;
• They divided the book into 66 chapters;
• The same number as the books of the Bible.
• Furthermore, they divided Isaiah into two distinct parts of 39 & 27 chapters;
• Sound familiar – of course the Bible is divided into two parts of 39 & 27;
• 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament.
• Also the message of the thirty-nine chapters of the first part of Isaiah;
• Summarizes the message of the Old Testament.
• And the twenty-seven chapters of the second part of Isaiah;
• Summarizes the message of the New Testament.
Now the second part of Isaiah (chapters 40-66):
• Divide very clearly into three sections;
• Each of 9 chapters.
• Our verses fall into that first division (chapters 40-48):
• And the theme of these chapters is comforting God’s people.
Question: Why do these people need comforting?
• Because for the people of God bad news is on the way;
• Isaiah’s message is always not a pleasant one!
• Isaiah looks through the telescope of prophecy;
• And he sees Babylon (ominous enemy) destroying Jerusalem;
• And taking the Jews going into Captivity.
• This is still 100-170 years in the future, (This would happen in 586 B.C.)
• Yet Isaiah also saw some good news;
• He tells the people of a forgiving God.
• Delivering them from Captivity,
• And taking them back to Jerusalem to rebuild their cities and restore the nation.
SPECIFIC BACKGROUND TO OUR VERSES:
• During the prophet Isaiah’s lifetime, Assyria was the world superpower.
• In 722 B.C., God allowed Assyria to capture the northern kingdom – Israel;
• Because of their idolatry and they were deported them from their land.
• Later Babylon replaced Assyria on the world stage;