Summary: A sermon loosely based on Isaiah 45 that focuses on impassibility and the eternal decree (Based on Dr. Jack Cottrell's book, God Most High, chapter 25 "The Immutability of God")
Simon, Garfunkel “I Am a Rock”: I've built walls, A fortress deep and mighty, That none may penetrate. I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain. It's laughter and it's loving I disdain. I am a rock, I am an island. I have my books, And my poetry to protect me; I am shielded in my armor, Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. I touch no one, no one touches me. I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain; And an island never cries.
A. Exegesis of Isaiah 45:20-25
Vs. 20- We have seen this language time and time again. God is in a courtroom trying to get the nations to see that their gods are nothing. He is openly confronting the gods of heathen.
The repetition of this in these chapters, Isaiah 40-48, suggest that it is very clear and definite, and certainly it is very important for God’s people to understand. God has foreknowledge.
In the beginning of this chapter and the end of 44 we have the prediction of Cyrus who will come and set the Israelites free from their Babylonian captivity. This is 150 to 200 years in the future from Isaiah’s day. Isaiah looks beyond the current Assyrian danger (Assyrians tried to invade Judah during Hezekiah’s reign at the high point of Isaiah’s ministry). He foresees the end of another nation, Babylon. It would be another hundred years of so before Babylon would carry Judah away captive even as the Assyrians carried away northern Israel.
For those with little faith, this kind of prophecy seems impossible. In fact, many try to break up Isaiah into at least 2 sections and say that the last section was not written by Isaiah.
The Bible presents God as the only Living God, the Everlasting One, who not only announced the future but who acts to bring about foretold events. For people of faith, the prophet Isaiah, through the Living God, is looking back on a day that is still future to his own time. The Living God Who is Always Present with His people, is in unique position to know.
What we might expect next are words of judgment, but instead we have an invitation to these people from the ends of the earth to turn to the Lord and be saved. Foreshadowing of Gentiles coming to faith in the Christian era.
If he is the only God, then he is also the only Savior. The Living God is the One to whom all persons must turn to if they are to realize the purpose of their lives.
Now this is not a blanket offer of universal salvation. There are those who accept God’s offer and come, and there are those who refuse to come and suffer shame and defeat.
This is foretelling of a future time, the time of Jesus Christ.
“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10, 11.
This chapter goes from Cyrus, at least 150 years in the future, to Jesus Christ, 700 years.
It is and through Jesus Christ that persons will be able to say that “in the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.”
Romans 3:21-24: “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Good stuff but like 2 weeks ago, I said that many times there are things that we accept as true that we have not examined that might not be true. 2 weeks ago we talked about the view of God and time called simultaneity. God does not go through time in any way. Everything is one eternal NOW for God. Doesn’t make sense but people have accepted it as truth. Open theists come along with a different view and we have to look at the Bible and see what is the truth from the Biblical perspective.
In much the same way, open theists have overreacted to a view that has been largely accepted until recent times. Need to go back to the Bible to see what is the correct view. From Simon, Garfunkel we find that they want to be a rock. Why? Because a rock has no feelings, a rock is untouchable with pain, a rock (an island) never cries. Isaiah 44:8 uses this imagery of God.