Summary: Exposition of Isaiah 41

Isaiah 41

Nothing to Fear

Who’s in Control? Vs. 1-7

I Am With You vs. 8-20

Empty Promises vs. 21-29

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Isaiah 40-44 is a really special section not only in Isaiah but in the whole Bible

It is God’s message comfort and encouragement to a group of backslidden people

God talks about how he will renew us, stand with us, and pour out his Spirit upon us

This morning he shows us how we have nothing to fear

Read Is 41:8-10


Isaiah is writing 170 years in advance

He is writing to a group of people who are in captivity and getting ready to get out

Israel had enjoyed hundreds of years of blessing under the watch of God

While in the dessert they journeyed 40 years w/o their clothes of shoes wearing out

When they entered the promised land they lived in houses they didn’t build and harvested crops they didn’t plant

This whole time they were slowly turning away from God

So God brought Assyria to discipline them

They had backslidden and had been chastened by the Lord

Still they didn’t turn back to God yet became more wicked

Centuries of rejecting the prophets message to repent they now get it

After a time of captivity they get the message and want nothing more than the favor of God again

Now their biggest fear is “Will God accept me back?”

God’s message this morning is “Return to me, there is nothing to fear.

Who's in Control? Vs. 1-7

The first reason we have nothing to fear is that God is in Control

Vs. 1 Bring your Best Defense

This verse gives you the idea of being in a courtroom

In fact God is judging all of the nations and their idols and gods against him

He invites them into his courtroom and asks for silence as he

He tells them to rest up and build up their defense agains Him because he is going to judge

This verse gives us a perfect picture that God is in control

He will be the final judge and no one will be able to mount a defense

Vs. 2-4 King Cyrus

In vs. 2-4 God starts to lay out his defense

He talks about stirring one up from the east, a king and ruler that is relentless

The person that God is talking about won’t even be born for another 125 years

God is talking about King Cyrus of Assyria

Is 45:1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed:

Probably the most brutal and effective military commander the world has known

Yet God uses him to set the captive Jews free from Babylon

When he conquers Babylon he makes an edict that allows the Jews to go back to Jerusalem

He actually has the local governors pay for it

This shows how God in his sovereign power can use the worst the world has to offer for his purposes

Vs. 5-7 Misplaced Trust

What will be the world’s response to this judgment?

God has defeated their idols

Vs. 5 they will tremble and be afraid but eventually they will turn back to their idols

Vs. 6 Everyone help his neighbor be strong

Instead of turning their hearts toward God they look to their friends, turn back to their idols and call it good

Three problems we see here

First, is looking to your friends for support when God is discipling you

If you find your strength in anything besides God it will fail you

They might pump you up for a little while but eventually that will fade

God wants us to look to Him

Second, they go and make new idols to replace the ones that were destroyed

While we don’t make idols of gold and silver anymore we still do elevate idols

Money, possessions, and prestige can all be idols that people chase after

But even simple things like food can be idols

Remember back about 20 years ago when people carb loaded

We would eat plates full of spaghetti because it gave us energy

Then we flipped to atkins diet which was all protein and fat

Then we dumped all the bad stuff of atkins and 2/3 protein, 1/3 carbs, and 1/3 fat

Then we got pyscho and started doing Paleo where it was all natural protein with carbs like bread and pasta being evil

It got so bad the people started calling their diet a religion

We as humans are really good at making things besides God our idols

Finally, they call it all good

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