Summary: Are we willing to make a change in our church?
Are we willing to change, Are we willing to go forward?
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
As I began to think about this verse, the question came to me, “Are we willing to change, and are we willing to go forward?”
In our scripture text, the writer was speaking about how Israel had been in the wilderness, between the Red Sea and Canaan, and was guided, and supplied with water by Jehovah;
But the "new" deliverance that he prophesied here, shall be attended with manifestations of God's power and love, eclipsing the old.
"I will open a way, not merely in the Red Sea, but in the wilderness of the whole world;
and not merely one river shall gush out of the rock, but many, which shall refresh, not the bodies as formerly, but the souls of the thirsty, so that the prophecy shall be fulfilled:
'With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation”.
God said He would make a way in the wilderness.
The words, "A way" often stands for the true religion (Ac 9:2; 18:26).
The word, "Rivers" express the influences of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39).
Now, the prophet had referred to the deliverance from Egypt and the passage through the Red Sea;
But here he promises that the same power shall be employed in their redemption and return from the Babylon captivity.
God’s power was wonderful and great with the Red Sea experience, and the deliverance from the Egyptian tyranny of Pharaoh.
But wait until you see what God is going to do for you now!
God said, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.”
Now I don’t believe God was telling them to completely forget about what God had done for them in the past.
But I believe He was telling them to not hold on to the things of the past.
Don’t sit around reminiscing about the good old days, by having your minds so infatuated and obsessed with the past that you cannot go forward.
God said, “Don’t consider the things of old.”
Or, don’t be concerned too much about the things God did for you in the past.
Be thankful, be grateful, hold it somewhere in your memory to remind you of God’s power and faithfulness, but don’t be concerned too much about it.
Why would God tell them this?
Because He said, “I will do a new thing.”
It wasn’t that the old things were not important, it wasn’t that the old experiences were not of great significance, but God wanted to do a new thing!
He did not want them to hold on to past experiences!
Behold I will do a new thing!
The word “new” was taken from the Hebrew word, khaw-dawsh, and it means fresh, new thing.
God will send a fresh thing!
I do not believe God wants us to hold on to the former things.
Yes, we must always cherish the past experiences this church had in the years gone by.
We must always reverence the former leaders and church members who have blazed the trail before us with their faithfulness and holiness.
But God doesn’t want us to live back there! He doesn’t want us to hold on to the former things.
He wants us to leave those things in the history books to recall from time to time, and move forward in our experience with God.
God did some wonderful things in the former days of our church. And even in our individual lives.
But now, God wants to do a new thing!
And new things require change!
God wants to bring something fresh, and to do that we must get rid of the stale.
Which of these had you rather have,
Stale bread or fresh bread
Stale milk or fresh milk
Stale air or fresh air
Stale oil or fresh oil
I believe God loves fresh things!
And sometimes God likes a fresh start!
At the time of the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem the church world had become stale and stagnate.
The people became weary of the rituals and cleansings, and washings, and laws and ordinances, and sacrifices, and commandments they felt was impossible to keep.
The book of Malachi bears this out very clearly.
Mal 1:13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.