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Summary: Those of us who know and serve the true God have an omnipotent ally who upholds us in even the most challenging times.

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God, Our Omnipotent Ally

(Isaiah 41:1-20)

1. Do you know what a pocket call is? I don’t like ‘em, esp. when I make them.

2. One day I heard a familiar voice in my pocket –my sister was garnering attention.

3. Interesting news about a pocket call this week:

ORANGE CITY, Fla., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said they arrested a man who accidentally called 911 while allegedly talking about selling drugs.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said dispatchers contacted deputies around 9:42 p.m. Tuesday and told them an apparent accidental 911 caller was discussing drug dealing with two other people, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported Thursday.

The cellphone was tracked to a pickup truck and the vehicle was pulled over by deputies.

4. Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” That’s what happened to Judah.

TIMELINE (all dates in BC)

740—680 586 539 536

Isaiah Babylonian Cyrus conquers Cyrus decrees

Captivity (Jerusalem Babylon (Medo- Jews may return

and temple destroyed) Persian) to Israel (Ezra)

But God is also gracious. We see here first of 31 references to a servant of the Lord in Isaiah. Yahweh’s Servant can refer to:

(1) Cyrus, the Medo-Persian king who would conquer Babylon and set in motion the return of the Jews to Israel and the rebuilding of the Temple.

(2) The nation of Israel as a whole.

(3) The godly from among the nation of Israel.

(4) The Messiah who would later be revealed as Jesus.

This text is both vaguely general but also probably specific in application to Cyrus. But its lesson

Main Idea: Those of us who know and serve the true God have an omnipotent ally who upholds us in even the most challenging times.

I. Yahweh Invites Sinners to TURN to Him (1-7)

A. Because God cares even about GENTILE peoples (1)

When Marylu and I were engaged, both sides of family had a wedding shower…

No one likes to feel left out, unless they don’t want to come…even then, invited

• Not only inviting the gentiles to argue a case with him, he is, in the process, inviting them to consider Yaheweh as the one true God.

• The LXX adds, "hold a feast for me." A court scene, perhaps. He is arguing his case to vindicate Israel, but also to impress and draw the gentiles.

Isaiah 19:24-25 reads: " In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

1. Have you ever felt like a misfit? Left out?

2. Your peers may not accept you, but God will.

3. Jesus: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden.”

4. As believers, do we welcome and accept people different than us?

5. Hard to tell people God loves them when we don’t

B. Because God directs the COURSE of history (2-5)

God is the first and last (timeless]; In Revelation 22:12-13, Jesus says,

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

C. Because false religion and idolatry are worse than WORTHLESS (6-7)

1. Many religions have their good points, and can make life richer

2. But they cannot save; only Yahweh through His Son can save

3. “It is not these idols who strengthen their worshipers, but the worshipers who strengthen their idols.” [Constable]

Application: No matter what you have done, God can forgive you. Jesus said, “He who is forgiven much loves much” (Luke 7:47). Matthew the tax collector went on to become an apostle, while the religious Pharisees were lost. He wants you on his side. He wants to be your ally, not your adversary.

II. Yahweh Has Great PLANS for You (8-20)

A. God's plan: Israel and grafted believers are to SERVE God now (8-9)

God’s friendship with Abraham is the reason that God has determined to bless Israel:

Verses 8-9 remind us of

Deuteronomy 7:7-8, “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”

Romans 11;13-18 passim, “Now I am speaking to you Gentiles… to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them… if the root is holy, so are the branches.

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