Summary: The new thing God promised to do in showing a way out of the spiritual wilderness and deserts people find themselves in
God will make a way when there seems to be no way! Sometimes we feel trapped in a situation with no easy or good solutions out of it. This is when we must depend on God and claim the truth of this promise.
This truth is given scriptural base in Isaiah 43:18, 19. Please stand in honor of the reading of the Word of God.
The southern kingdom of Judah was facing difficult time. The Babylonians had taken them as captives and made them slaves. The Lord God gave to the children of Israel this positive and uplifting message of hope. Maybe you can use a message of hope today as well.
III. We must put the past behind us
The prophet Isaiah tells the people in verse 18 two things they need to do. Forget former things
What former things is he referring to? Verse 16 refers to the parting of the sea and deliverance from Egypt. The Jews Isaiah was writing to focused on this miracle of God in the life of their people so much, it had become a blinder to see what God could and would do now.
It was a double edge sword. One side of the blade was the wonderful truth that God had intervened in the life of the Jews and delivered them from bondage in Egypt. The other side of the sword is they needed to forget the past so they could see God working in their future. Ever here someone talk the good old days in such a way it hampers them from moving forward.
1. Do not dwell on the past
The second truth Isaiah was teaching the people was not to dwell on past mistakes. Their forefathers had rebelled against Moses at Mount Sinai; they had failed to have faith in God to provide their food and water in the desert and failed to seize the opportunity to conquer the Promised Land. The keys to dealing with mistakes is recognizing them, learning from them and moving on.
A wise proverb says “If you are looking behind you, you cannot see where you are going”.
I don’t know what your past is like, but most people have some kind of regrets, mistakes and problems they would like to forget and put out of their mind. For some it is a divorce, for others it might be the loss of a job or a health issue, for someone else it might be a broken relationship, whatever it is ask God to help you put your past behind you.
Some people are dominated or controlled by their past. There present is not as cheerful and positive because they can’t move beyond what happened in the past. Maybe you have already tried praying about this, maybe it is time we got together and talked. Maybe I or one of the Deacons can come along side of you and help you break the chains of the past.
IV. We must trust God’s path before us
In verse 19 the Lord God says “I am doing something new”. Let me embellish on the “I” in this phrase. In verse 15 God gives several titles for Himself. Each one carries significance:
• I am the Lord – this is the famous Yahweh the personal name for God. God Himself is the one who is going to take action. He isn’t going to send an angel or a prophet – He Himself is going to do this!
• Your Holy One – The God who is holy and calls us to holiness is telling us that it is a sin to worry and fret over the past, present or even the future.
• Israel’s Creator – in Genesis 1 God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. The Lord God also created the nation of Israel out of nothing and made her a great nation. In light of what the creator God has done, He certainly has the power to create something new!
• Your King – years earlier the people demanded a King like other nations. God gave to them Saul, David and Solomon; however, God really wanted to be their King
These various titles of God are here to convey distinct truths to us about God’s nature and character and His ability to do something new.
Notice it is worded in present tense “I am doing” although God has worked in the past to bless His people. He is also working with them now. One reason I think this should be emphasized is because we can’t see God and sometimes fail to see His workings in our lives. Just because God isn’t doing what we think He should be doing, doesn’t mean He isn’t working.
What is God doing? According to the text it is a new thing. There is nothing like the feel of something new - the pride of wearing new clothes, the excitement of a new baby or a new car! God was going to do something new for the people of Judah – something that only God could do! Wouldn’t you love to see God do something new in your life and in our church?