Summary: LENT 5(C) - Live in God’s salvation today by savoring God’s deliverance and praising God for His spiritual blessings.
LIVE IN GOD’S SALVATION
ISAIAH 43:16—21 APRIL 6, 2003
16This is what the LORD says-- he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements to-gether, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
20The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
Yesterday, today or tomorrow—which is most important to us? Sometimes at different times in our life, it’s hard to tell which is the most important. Today in our text, if you caught the phrase in the middle of our verses, it says, ‘don’t dwell on the past.’ Isaiah stated it is good to remember but not to dwell on the past. In our society, as we look at the future, I don’t know of any place in the media, whether it’s the newspaper, radio or TV that makes the future look very promising at all—whether it’s global warming or the war or even the economy. Not many even want to look into the future. Today is the day we want to live in. To live in God’s salvation today is God’s gift to us. Paul writes in Corinthians, "For he says, ’In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation"(2 CORINTHIANS 6:2). That is what we want to concen-trate on this morning. We are to live in God’s salvation today. We are to live in God’s salva-tion now. We will want to forget about the past that may have disappointed us and not look ahead to the future, which yet lies ahead of us.
LIVE IN GOD’S SALVATION TODAY
I. Savor God’s Deliverance
II. Praise God for Blessings
I. Savor God’s Deliverance
When take the big overview of the book of Isaiah the Biblical scholars have divided it into three parts. Chapter forty-four is near the beginning of the second part. This second part of Isaiah is where the Lord God, Himself, talks how He’s going to deliver the children of Israel by His grace. It is a part of joy and rejoicing. It was especially important for the children of Israel because at this time in their history; they were no longer in the Promised Land, no longer in Israel, they were in Babylon. The king there had come and conquered them, had taken them away from their Promised Land, had taken them to Babylon. We know where Babylon is—it’s where they’re fighting the war. It wouldn’t be too far from Baghdad today. It is quite a ways from the Promised Land if you were walking. Isaiah comes as God’s prophet. He isn’t in the Promised Land either. Isaiah is in captivity with them.
Our text says, 16This is what the LORD says—. Isaiah wanted to remind them that it wasn’t he, Isaiah, speaking. It was the Lord speaking once more. Now, if they had forgotten who the Lord was, because of their constant idol worship, Isaiah is going to remind them. This is what the LORD says, he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters. It did not take long for the children of Israel to remember when they had their backs against the walls, when the Egyptian army was on one side coming to put them to death, and the Red Sea was on the other. There was no escape. This is the Lord who made a path through the water—and even more than that. 17who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together…(remember that Pharaoh chased them down)… and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick. It doesn’t take much to snuff out a wick on a candle. One puff and it is blown out. That was the power of the Lord against all of the great power of the Egyptian pharaoh. His great army with chariots and horsemen were snuffed out like a wick. This is the Lord’s deliverance for the children of Is-rael. They may have thought they were forgotten and forsaken. Isaiah comes and says, ‘Remember the Lord. He has delivered you in the past.’ In essence, the Lord had delivered them now. They were not dead; they were still living. They were well taken care of by their captors. Sure, they weren’t living in their homes, they weren’t living in the Promised Land, they were no longer by the temple, but God was still with them.