Summary: Many people have heard the statement that history often repeats itself. Many have also perhaps heard that the reason we study our history, is so that we learn from the past and not make the same mistakes over and over and over.
Sermon Title: Guilty of our own Undoneness
Text: Isaiah 1:1-4
Date: July 11, 2003
Context of Scripture:
Many people have heard the statement that history often repeats itself. Many have also perhaps heard that the reason we study our history, is so that we learn from the past and not make the same mistakes over and over and over.
When we view the Holy Scriptures, how is it that we perceive them? We obviously see them as the written Word of God, or at least I would hope we do, but it is also an account of history from the perspective of our relationship or lack of relationship with God.
There was a story that my father often relayed to me after I have suffered bouts of “no common sense”. He tells of the man who sat out in the middle of the street repeatedly striking himself over the head with a hammer. When he was asked what exactly it was that he was doing, replied that he struck himself in the head with a hammer because it felt so good when he stopped.
Israel, repeatedly during its history rose to richness and prominence through faithful following of God, and when their greatness got to a point where it went to their heads, they abandoned God, and as a result they fell from prominence and they fell from prosperity. They would find their way back into the graces of God through the obedience and the leadership of a few, but the cycle continued on and on and on. Did they continue their disobedience to God simply because it felt so good to re-establish a relationship with them? How many of us are looking back at our lives and wondering why we also fit this description so well – you needn’t show your hands – I think many of us know how close to that description we came.
Please join me in the reading of God’s Holy Word.
1 ¶ The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the LORD speaks, "Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. 3 "An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand." 4 Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him.
How is it that people perceive us in various situations and in the company of different groups? How are we viewed as a nation? How are we viewed as individuals? How are we viewed as a congregation? The problem with this view that many get is that it may vary under the manner in which we are viewed. We oftentimes react differently in good times and in bad. Does our personality change or does the stress of the moment bring out our true selves as we loose the ability to maintain a phony front?
How about the manner in which we act in the context of our personal relationships? It seems that the closer we become to people the more free we are with what and how we say certain things. You would never dream of telling someone that was a total stranger that they had something stuck between their teeth, well let me rephrase that because there are some that would be so bold. That ability to speak frankly oftentimes also becomes free reign to badger, and bash, and abuse at the whim of a discontented and insincere heart. Brothers and sisters often say the meanest of things to one another. Parents may emotionally scar their children with things that they would never dream of saying in public. How do we respond in the close knit setting in the fellowship of believers. If our comments and discussions are not tempered through honest and earnest times of petition to the Lord, we may scar and discourage and plant the seeds of discontent that might erupt into a full scale congregational battle that could lead to the self-destruction of a wonderful component of a body of Christ.
I made a statement many years ago, that at times there was more honor in a bar-room then in the fellowship of believers, and as I reflect back on things, I can see where Satan can use the misguided acts of an unknowing individual and wreak havoc in an assembly of those that are dedicated to Christ. In military strategy it is often said that one enemy within is always more dangerous than a thousand outside the ranks. It is often times that loyalty is greater in those that are the lowliest.