Summary: A sermon on Isaiah 49:14-22 for Baby Recognition Sunday. (Thanks to many SermonCentral contributors for illustrations and ideas)
Sermon for 8/1/2004
A. Isaiah is the Shakespeare of the Old Testament. Start reading here and go through to the end of this book we see wonderful descriptions of Jesus Christ, of salvation, and of the New Israel (the Church) and of heaven.
B. Vs. 14- Discuss the feelings of the Lord has forsaken me. Despondency- depression from loss of hope, confidence, or courage.
C. Seven year old Bobby was telling his dad about his visit to New York City.
"Well, Bobby," his dad asked, "Did you get to see the Empire State Building?"
"Yes sir," replied Bobby." "How tall is it" asked the father. "From where I was standing it wasn’t any taller than my pointin’ finger." According to Bobby, the Empire State Building was small enough to fit in the span between his thumb and his pointing finger.
From a distance large things can seem a lot smaller than really they are and small things held close can appear to be a lot bigger than they actually are.
D. The sun’s diameter is about 100 times that of the earth and it would take about one-million earths to fill up the inside of our sun. A penny is about ¾’s of an inch in diameter, but if placed close enough to the eye it can eclipse the sun. From a distance God seems small and the problems that we face appear much larger than they are.
E. Hopelessness and despondency are inevitable when we allow our problems to eclipse God. Captive Israel felt forgotten and abandoned by God.
F. To help them out of their depression the Lord reminds them of his love.
A. A mother’s love for her child. Vs. 15
B. Marsha Kaitz, a psychology professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, did a test to see how well mothers know their babies. According to the Associated Press, the 46 mothers chosen for the test had all given birth in the previous 5 to 79 hours, and had all breast-fed their newborn. Each mother was blindfolded and then asked to identify which of three sleeping babies was their own. Nearly 70% of the mothers correctly chose their baby. Most said they knew their child by the texture or temperature of the infant’s hand. Kaitz said that the women apparently learned the identifying features during routine contact, because they weren’t allowed to study their babies to prepare for the experiment.(Paul Lee Tan, “15,000 Illustrations” # 8082)
It is improbable and unlikely for a mother to forget her child, but it is possible.
C. She may forget and even abuse her children. Susan Smith’s troubled marriage to David was in the middle of a divorce and she had just been rejected by her boyfriend Tom Findley. It seems that Tom might consider marriage to Susan if she didn’t have children. So, on the night of October 25, 1994, twenty-three year old Susan Smith drove her two sons, Michael and Alex to John Long Lake. As they slept in the back seat of her 1990 burgundy Mazda Protégé, she stepped out of the car and let them and the car roll into the dark waters of John Long Lake. Days later a horrified nation was stunned by the news that Susan had drowned her two sons.
D. God will not forget us. His love is compared to a mother’s love for her baby. However, it never fails.
Thesis: Verse 16 gives us two reasons why we know that the Lord loves us more than a mother loves her child.
1. Palms of my hands Vs. 16
A. (John 20:25 NIV) So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."(John 20:26 NIV) A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"(John 20:27 NIV) Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."(John 20:28 NIV) Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
B. Margo Edgeworth- If Jesus showed the nail prints
That are in His hands and feet
And testified that He partook of resurrection sweet,
Would you understand how on the cross
He died to save us all,
And took upon Him all our sins
To save us from the fall?
C. (Rom 8:34 NIV) Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.(Rom 8:35 NIV) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?(Rom 8:36 NIV) As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."(Rom 8:37 NIV) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.(Rom 8:38 NIV) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,(Rom 8:39 NIV) neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.