Summary: Exposition of Isaiah 51-52
Anchored to the Rock Vs. 1-8
Filled with Joy Vs. 9-23
Put on Your Strength Vs. 1-12
Happy Mothers Day
Cartoon of Motherhood Inc
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
Motherhood is by far the most labor intensive underpaid job in the universe
You can work at it for 20 years and still feel like failure
Yet in those brief moments God can give you a joy so intense that nothing on earth compares
If anything motherhood is exhausting and if there was some logical way to give up I think most would
God gives comfort to those who are weary and the future looks uncertain
He fights for us and strengthens us in ways we can't imagine
Even in the midst of a jam that we got ourselves into He is there
Today we are going to see how God comforts those who need it
Read Isaiah 51:1-4
God addresses an audience made up of a group of righteous Hebrews,
“those who pursue righteousness” and “those who seek Yahweh.”
These are not sinners who have rebelled against God
Pursuing righteousness implies a desire to maintain a life characterized by that quality.
Pursuing “righteousness” in Deut 16:20 is related to acting justly in a court of law,
In Prov 21:21 pursuing righteousness is parallel to having a relationship of loving others
In Zeph 2:3 the way to avoid God’s judgment is to seek to be righteous and exhibit humility
The “seeking” of God does not involve the activity of trying to find a God who is hidden in some faraway place;
It is the activity of remaining in relationship with him at the sanctuary at a time of sacrifice or through prayer.
It involves earnest and concerted effort with singleness of heart.
The results of seeking God might involve his protection, his words of approval, or his presence with his righteous people.
There is a connection between seeking God, pursuing righteousness and receiving the benefits of having a relationship with God.
But even those who are trying to live a righteous life can get discouraged feel defeated
This morning God has a word of comfort and encouragement for those people
Anchored to the Rock Vs. 1-8
Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness:
The LORD here speaks to His people; but His people have had trouble listening to Him.
So three times in this chapter, the exhortation is given: Listen to Me.
The reason that He is saying listen to me is because he is going to lay out how God’s comfort is available
Look to the rock from which you were hewn . . .
To be hewn out of a rock means that a master sculpter came and chiseled you out
We have been cut out to be molded and shaped into his image
If we forget what we are supposed to look like we are to look to the rock
God counsels His people to look at His work in His people in days past.
This is one of the great glories of God’s Word to us; it tells us how God has dealt with His people, and gives us faith and guidance for His work in our lives - if we will listen to Him.
As Isaiah speaks to them here, God’s people were in a discouraged place.
They felt defeated, and the prophet tells them to look to God’s work in and through His people in days past.
“Once a Christian gets eaten up with discouragement and unbelief it takes a great deal to shake him out of it.
Those two emotions are the masterstrokes of Satan.
If satan can convince us that something isn't right and that it isn't going to get any better then he can get us in a pattern of defeat
God reminds us to remember what he has done as proof that he will do something
So long as the child of God maintains an attitude of praise and trust in the Lord, then he is invincible.
The Lord offers comfort and makes deserts like gardens
He will put the joy and gladness back into our hearts and a song on our lips
Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
So how does this comfort and joy come about?