Summary: Church is more than just showing up, it's about meaningful worship.
One Sunday morning the pastor noticed little Johnny was standing and staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The young man of seven had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up and stood beside him and, gazing up at the plaque, he said quietly, “Good morning, son.”
“Good morning, pastor” replied the young man not taking his eyes off the plaque. “Sir, what is this?” Johnny asked.
“Well son, these are all the people who have died in the service,” replied the pastor. Soberly, they stood together staring up at the large plaque.
Little Johnny’s voice barely broke the silence when he asked quietly, “Which one sir, the 8:30 or the 10:30 service?”
For some reason, sometimes when we think of church we think of it as some place that we have to go and put our time in on Sunday, and hope that we survive it.
And sometimes we come, and when we leave and have no idea what hymns we sung, we have no idea what the pastor said, and no idea how many times we technically “dozed off.”
And we’re all guilty of this, myself included.
Which is actually even worse because I’m the one that gives the message.
And it’s really embarrassing when Terri and I are driving home, and I have to ask her what the Pastor talked about.
“Hey hun, what did the Pastor preach on today…I was kind of zoning in and out of it.”
But we all have Sundays like this...Sundays where our bodies were here, but we really weren’t.
And when we have a Sunday like that, it kind of makes you sit back and think about why we come here.
What is the reason that I am in church anyway?
Well today, I’m going to tell you why you should be here.
And then you can decide for yourself whether or not you’re here for the right reason.
In order to look at today’s Scripture and what it means, you first need to understand who Isaiah is delivering this message to.
So you need to have an understanding of the history of Israel.
So I’ll give you just a short history lesson, which is kind of important.
So don’t zone out on me quite yet…okay? We just started.
The nation of Israel has been delivered from the bondage of the Egyptians.
They have wandered the desert for 40 years, and they have finally taken the land that God has promised them.
There are twelve tribes of Israel right now that have come from the twelve sons of Jacob.
They have been living under the ruling of one king.
There has been Saul, and David, and Solomon as King so far.
When Solomon’s son Rehoboam however takes over, things go south.
When Solomon was in office, he made the work load and taxation very hard on the people.
So when Rehoboam takes over, the representatives of the twelve tribes come before him, and they ask him if he can lighten the load a little bit that his dad put on them.
So Rehoboam sends them away for three days so that he can talk with his advisors.
He asks the wise old advisors first how he should respond, and they say tell them that you will make their lives easier, and they will love you forever.
Rehoboam doesn’t like that answer however, so he gets a second opinion.
So he gathers up a new group of young dumb advisors, and asks them what he should say.
And they advise him to tell them, “to quit their whining, and that he’s not going to lighten it, but he’s going to make it four times as hard as his dad ever did.”
Well when the tribes hear this they don’t take it too well, and 10 out of the twelve tribes head off on their own.
So in 927 B.C. they split, and the 10 tribes head North. So now you have Northern Israel and Southern Israel.
Well, it doesn’t go to well for Northern Israel.
They turn away from God, and refuse to turn back.
So because of their turning from God, they only make it about 200 years, and in around 723 B.C. Northern Israel is captured and destroyed by Assyria.
So only two out of the twelve tribes are left, but they don’t last much longer either.
About 135 years later the Southern tribe is defeated by Babylon.
They are eventually restored, but all of this took place because they turned away from God.
So Isaiah is a prophet that was sent right in the midst of all of this.
He sent in the middle of the split of the Northern and Southern tribes to deliver God’s message to the people.