Summary: LENT 3(A) - Believers awake to God’s light of salvation as God uses alarming threats of law to wake us up and then uses the gospel as our glorious dawn.

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March 11, 2007

LENT 3 - Isaiah 42:14-21

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INTRO: Not everyone likes the morning. It can take a while to get adjusted to the day’s activities after a good night’s sleep. BUT for the believer each day is another day of God’s grace. We are to rise and shine as the lights of God in a sin darkened world. Today’s text helps us to possess that shining attitude reflecting God’s grace. The apostle Paul agrees. "For it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: ’Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you’" (EPHESIANS 5:14). Our theme:


I. God uses alarming threats of the law to wake us, and: II. God uses the gospel for our glorious dawn.


A. Isaiah chapter 42 opens with a description of the Servant of the Lord, God; Christ.

1. Our verses (14-21) record for us the words of the Servant of the Lord.

2. Verse 14a. God has been patient. He was withheld judgment upon God’s people.

B. This patience is nearing an end. Verse 14b describes the sudden pains of childbirth.

1. In the same God’s judgment will arrive, quickly and unstoppable. For some painful.

2. The Lord reminds his people of his great, almighty power in verse 15.

3. It is the Lord God and the Lord God alone who has power over nature.

C. God’s power over nature is to be a reminder of those who turn from him. Verse 17 idols = shame.

1. Pay attention is the message of verse 18. They have not been seeing or listening verse 20.

2. Verse 19 mentions the servant of the Lord. Who is this blind and deaf servant? God’s people.

a. This is NOT the Servant of the Lord.

b. God’s people were created to serve and proclaim

3. God uses threats of the law as an alarm clock to wake up his people to pay attention.

D. How many people today have fallen asleep in the comfortable living our blessed nation provides? Too many! We do not want to hear what God’s law says to us. God’s law threatens punishment and eternal destruction for all of our sins. God’s law reminds us that we sin daily and we sin much. Our evil thoughts condemn our hearts. Our wicked words bring judgment upon our souls. Our sinful actions destroy any chance of eternity. That is God’s law. Who wants to hear that? What happens? There are many today who are church shoppers and hoppers. It is a sign of the end. "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear"(2 TIMOTHY 4:3).

E. We need God’s law to remind that we can never, ever save ourselves. All too many today think that trying hard enough or praying hard enough is enough. Hardly. God reminds us that all our righteous acts are like sinful rags. Our works do not earn any forgiveness for one single sin. Too many are lead astray today by listening to the words and teaching of men rather than God. We are taught to be great confidence in ourselves. Eternal salvation does not work that way. "This is what the LORD says: ’Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD’"(JEREMIAH 17:5). Not trusting in God is to turn our hearts away from him.

F. God’s law cannot save us. That is not the purpose of God’s law. God’s law is reveal sin. God’s law is to remind us just how utterly helpless we are. Truly we are lost and condemned creatures. Again, this is not the message our itching ears may want to hear. This message of God is still the truth of God’s word. "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin"(ROMANS 3:20). We now have nowhere to turn but to God. God’s alarming law threats remind us we cannot trust ourselves to save ourselves.

AWAKE TO GOD’S LIGHT OF SALVATION. God’s alarming threats of the law wake us up.


A. It is important to remember that Isaiah contrasts the Servant of the Lord with servants of the Lord.

1. There is a vast difference. THE Servant of the Lord sees all, hears all, and knows all things.

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