Summary: A sermon to inform the whole congregation but to challenge young people (Much material taken from The NIV Application Commentary on Isaiah by John N. Oswalt, pgs. 504- 507)
Two Catholic priests, in their religious uniforms, were fishing on the side of the road. They thoughtfully made a sign saying "The End is Near! Turn yourself around now before it's too late!," and showed it to each passing car. Well this one car that passed didn't appreciate the sign and shouted at them: "Leave us alone you religious nuts!" All of a sudden they heard a big splash, looked at each other, and one priest said to the other. "You think we should just put up a sign that says: 'bridge out' instead?
A. Exegesis of Isaiah 44:6-8
Vs. 6- Martin Luther once said, “Your thoughts about God are too human.” In Psalm 50:21, God says, “You thought I was just like you…” We tend to look at God through the wrong end of a telescope. We reduce Him to our proportions.
Lord here is Yahweh, The Great I Am
Israel’s King- He is the King of the whole world, but in a special way King of Israel. “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.” Isaiah 43:15, KJV.
Israel’s Redeemer- He redeemed Israel out of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and would again redeem them from the Babylonian captivity
Lord Almighty- God is all powerful, hear more in a few weeks
I am the first and the last. the first cause and last end; all things are of him, through him, and from him; all things were made by him in creation, and for his pleasure they are and were created. Also talking about His eternity, who is from everlasting to everlasting, without beginning or end, the Alpha and Omega; the same is said of Christ. “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.” Revelation 1:17, NIV.
Apart from me there is no god. Isaiah 40-48 God is calling upon nations to prove their gods. God is calling them into court to give evidence of their gods. ““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. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.” Isaiah 43:10, 11
Seen something similar in ““Bring in your idols to tell us what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come,” Isaiah 41:22, NIV.
set it in order for me- KJV
Do not tremble, do not be afraid. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10, NIV.
You are my witnesses. “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.” Isaiah 43:12.
No other Rock. There is no rock to build upon for salvation, but Christ the rock of ages.
Also we see here that God is unchangeable, He is a Rock. Talk more about this in the future. “The doctrine of God’s unchangeableness is of the highest significance… The contrast between being and becoming marks the difference between the Creator and the creature. Every creature is continually becoming. …only He is pure being and no becoming. Hence, in scripture God is often called the Rock… Herman Bavinck, The Doctrine of God
For the rest of these verses, we are going to talk about truth and confronting our age. The first, access to truth, is vs. 9- 20; confronting our age is vs. 21- 28. Access to truth gives focus to many of the things we have been talking about, and confronting our age is the application and challenge of this message. Especially have in mind the young people among us.
Access to truth (Vs. 9-20)
What do these verses have to do with modern day? We don’t do things like this, make an idol
This also strikes our modern ears as harsh. Why is Isaiah making fun of these people? Even though they are doing something strange to us, why make fun of them? They are so sincere
In our day, intolerance and politically incorrect speech are the only sins left.
Intolerance is defined in the widest terms possible as believing that someone else is wrong. We have lost all confidence that anything is absolutely true. What you believe is just as likely to be true as what I believe; therefore, how dare either of us criticize the other? I may hold to any strange beliefs and practices I wish as long as I do not insist you should believe and practice them as well.