Summary: God wants us to be godly even within an ungodly culture, as defined by Isaiah and generalized into principles by Jesus.
The Beatitudes in Isaiah 57
(Isaiah 57:1-2, 13-21)
1. An interesting story broke from UPI this week: “PORT ST. LUCIE , Fla., May 16 (UPI) --Florida police officers who were attempting to catch a suspected car thief got a little help when an alligator decided to cross the road.
Port St. Lucie police were on the lookout for a man they suspected had taken at least five cars from parking lots at Walmart, Sam's Club and Publix. Officers eventually spotted Calvin Rodriguez in a Honda Civic and tried to stop him.
Unfortunately, the car "began driving at a high rate of speed and was lost sight of."
That's when the alligator stepped in.
Police were able to catch up with Rodriguez when he hit the alligator and was stopped.
2. Some of us are like that criminal, so busy doing whatever it is we do that we do not take time to listen to God. But God has a way of bringing us to a standstill and jarring us to pay attention to him.
3. God would do this with the nation of Judah; he would exile them for 70 years to Babylon, & then they would pay attention to God, finally. As he predicts his discipline & their return to him, he shares truths I believe Jesus developed into some of the beatitudes. See if you agree with me as we go on.
Main Idea: God wants us to be godly even within an ungodly culture, as defined by Isaiah and generalized into principles by Jesus.
I. The Persecuted Righteous Are Rewarded ETERNALLY (1-2)
Before discipline via Babylon, the people obliviously continued their same course. But some godly.
A. Sometimes PERSECUTED and misunderstood (1)
1. Picture: righteous men and women put to death, become fewer
2. People who are not necessarily persecutors are oblivious
3. Sometimes it is not persecution, but depletion
4. Western Europe turned away from Lord, will end up oppressed by Muslims
The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands.
Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied...” They are examples of fulfillment, but not one notices, no one learns from them…
Instead of learning from functional people, we are too eager to learn from dysfunctional people who maybe have coped but are still out of balance… We need to notice the stable…whlie they are around
B. REWARDED in eternity (2)
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds
who walk in their uprightness.
Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
C. Application: Persecution is part of the PACKAGE
• This is why it is important to train our youth to take a stand…
• The pressure to conform that we feel during teen years continues through life
God wants us to be godly even within an ungodly culture,
II. The Humble Inherit the LAND (13-15)
• When Jews were humbled from the devastations of Babylonian conquest, they would be ready.
• Arrogance or pride is the first sin, Lucifer committed it and it turned angels into demons
• Haughtiness is not a mere personality defect; it hurts many who come in contact with it.
Randy Kilgore shares this incident, “We were in line at the ice cream store when I noticed him. His face bore the marks of too many fights—a crooked nose and some scars. His clothes were rumpled, though clean. I stepped between him and my children, using my back to erect a wall.
The first time he spoke, I didn’t hear him clearly and so just nodded to acknowledge him. I scarcely made eye contact with him. Because my wife wasn’t with me, he thought I was a single parent and gently said, “It’s hard raising them alone, isn’t it?” Something in his tone made me turn to look at him. Only then did I notice his children, and I listened to him tell me how long his wife had been gone. His soft words contrasted with his hard exterior. I was duly chastened! Once again I had failed to see beyond outward appearances.” Our Daily Bread
A. The Humble take REFUGE in God, not idols nor ego (13)
The word “land” and “earth” are both the Hebrew eretz
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (see also below “lowly spirit”)
B. God dwells in the HUMBLE heart