Hello Project Ezra family! This week we will be reading from Isaiah 44. This chapter includes some of my favorite passages of scripture. One of those passages, which is central to the gospel presentation below, is verses 6 through 8, where the LORD challenges so-called gods to prove their deity by foretelling the future. And indeed, one of the best apologetic proofs of the truth of the Bible is specifically fulfilled prophecy, particularly in regard to the person and life of Jesus Christ. If you have not investigated this subject, in encourage you to do so. I will not be looking at it in depth here, but have included a link to give you some ideas. Multiple times, particularly in the book of acts, the disciples are said to have appealed to the prophets in explaining who Christ was, so there is definitely precedent for doing so.
The passage also addresses the foolishness of idolatry. A man takes a piece of wood, cooks his dinner over half of it, and carves the other half into an idol, which he worships. Obviously nothing could be more foolish. However, although most people, at least in Western cultures, don’t bow down to wooden idols, most do commit idolatry in their minds. They create a god which is directly contrary to the God of scripture, based on nothing but their own preferences, a god who will smile at their sin and tell them it’s OK, and then choose to worship that. Many will even insist that their god IS the God of the Bible, even though most couldn’t even begin to show where scripture supports their beliefs. They simply believe it because they choose to, and such a sinful belief, if their eyes are not opened, will sent them to hell for all eternity.
So we will focus on these two points in this week’s reading. I pray it is a blessing to you.
All for His glory,
READ ISAIAH 44
As Isaiah 44 says, there is no God besides the Lord
God knows of no other. If He knows none, there is none
If one claims another, God challenges them to prove it
Says “Let him foretell the things that are to come”
His existence, and the truth of His word demonstrated in prophecies, particularly of Christ.
Where He was born, where He lived, who His family was, His death, His resurrection. Most
importantly, His identity, His salvation.
(More information on Messianic Prophecies is available HERE)
The LORD who made all things. God evident in the creation
Who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by Myself
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20 ESV)
Also revealed in conscience. God’s law is written on our hearts
Law given to show us what sin is (Gal 3:24, Rom 3:19-20, 7:7-8)
As we are without excuse in regards to creation, we are without excuse in regards to God’s law
We know when we do wrong
When we lie, we know that we do wrong. All liars have their part in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8)
When we steal, we know that we are in rebellion. No thief will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10)
When we look with lust, whether or not we remember Christ’s words, we know we have committed adultery in our hearts. (Mt. 5:27-28)
We know that the hateful thoughts in our hearts, which make us a murderer in God’s sight, are wrong and wicked, even if we won’t admit it even to ourselves (Mt. 5:21-22, 1 Jn 3:15)
Though we may try to suppress it, we know we are guilty before God, and deserving of judgment.
Our guilt makes us worthy of hell, where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched (Mk 9:48)
A punishment that is eternal (Rev 14:9-11)
May not agree with God’s law, or like it
May believe that God is not a just or wrathful God, but only a loving God
Guilty of idolatry of the mind
Passage talks about the foolishness of idolatry
Those who take a piece of wood, cook their food with half, and turn the other half into an idol which
they bow down to
You may not bow to a wooded statue, but could still be worshipping an idol
Idols can be created by hand or mind
Idol to suit your sins. Cannot help you on judgment day because he doesn’t exist.
When you, like the craftsman, say to idol “deliver me, you are my god!”, He will not
You will see the foolishness of denying the true God
But the true God not only a just judge, but a loving Father
Patient and forgiving (Joel 2:12-13)
Blot out Israel’s transgressions like a cloud, their sins like mist.
Your redeemer, who formed you in the womb
God who created you humbled Himself to save you
Jesus Christ, God in the flesh (John 1, Col 2:9)
Came as a man, lived a perfect life, became perfect sacrifice
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29)
On the cross the debt was paid, justice was satisfied (Col 2:13-14)
Rose again on the third day, seated at God’s right hand
Proved His power over death, proved who He was
Now He is one means of salvation to those who repent and trust in Him
Only name under heaven by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Turn from your sin, and to the savior
Take your eyes off the evil of the world, fix your eyes on Christ
For God so loved the world (Jn 3:16)
So repent of your sins, and trust in Christ for eternal life today.
OFFER TO TALK TO PEOPLE. IT WOULD BE WISE TO HAVE TRACTS AND BIBLES AVAILABLE IF PEOPLE DO RESPOND.