Summary: Compares the condition of Israel; to that of the US, and how God encouraged Isaiah before sending him out.
A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR DISCOURAGING DAYS
In many ways, the prophet Isaiah would feel right at home in our days. In chapter 2 of his book, he talks about the days when God will physically rule on the earth, when men beat their swords into plow shears and there is peace in the land. I too look forward to those days, but sometimes, I imagine like Isaiah, those days seem a long way off.
In chapters 2-5, he talks about the judgment he knows is coming on his land and on his country. He knows God is going to judge them. In chapter 2 he says that God is going to judge his country because of their pride. They trust their wealth and military might instead of trusting and depending on the Lord.
In chapter 3, he complains about the women who encourage their husbands to break the law and to act immorally, while they parade around in their fancy clothes and expensive perfumes. In chapter 5 he again acknowledges that his country deserves and is going to be judged by God for 6 things.
1. They are covetous – In verses 8-10, he complains that the rich folk are defrauding the poor. They are building large mansions and extensive farms at the expense of the poor. God warns that their large houses will be empty and their harvests will be poor.
Doesn’t that sound like the homes of many in our country today? They own several large homes, but they are largely empty because they have lost their families. There’s no need to discuss the poor harvests. Turn on the news any night now, and you can see that’s true.
But, not only are they covetous, the land also has many drunkards.
2. They are drunkards – There are many people in the land who think little or nothing of working. They don’t worry about what they can accomplish or what they can contribute to society – they want to party from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed in the evening. It’s everyone else’s responsibility to take care of me. I want to eat, drink, and be merry.
3. Third, they are careless – Isaiah complains that his country is filled with people who think little or nothing of God. They are wrapped up in sins and addictions and instead of being grateful to the God that has protected them and built their nation, they mock Him. They take His name in vain and laugh at His rules.
4. They are lying – They flatter one another but don’t mean what they say. They twist and distort the truth where you can’t even recognize it anymore. We see the same thing today, when people sue claiming they can’t work, and then are seen working out and playing. We don’t see tax increases, but revenue enhancements. You can’t disagree with someone without being a hater. Our language has been twisted to where you can no longer recognize it.
5. They are Prideful – Instead of praying and seeking God, the country’s leaders were prideful. They consulted one another and based their decisions on their own wisdom, never consulting God’s Word or asking His guidance.
6. There was Injustice – The judges who were supposed to enforce the law used their authority and power to free the guilty and attack the innocent. The judges and politicians were more interested in their parties and with lining their own pockets than they were with doing what was right.
In chapter 6 we find that King Uzziah has also died. Uzziah was a good king. He loved the Lord and he loved the people he was leading. He taught them the things of God. He built up the military and built cities. He increased religious and other education across the land. He was one of Israel’s good kings and now he has died as well.
If there were ever a time and a person who could be discouraged, it was Isaiah. His godly king was dead. His nation had turned their back on God. He knew judgment was coming and the promised deliverance and peace that he dreamt of seems so far away.
How many of you can relate?
In the midst of all of this discouragement, in the midst of this immorality, in the midst of a nation on a downward spiral, God calls a man. The man Isaiah. Before God sends this man out in to a world filled with sin, discouragement and nay Sayers, God reminds him of several things.
Please open your Bibles this morning to Isaiah chapter 6 this morning as we look together at God’s Word of Encouragement for Discouraging Times.
I. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE