Friday, October 11, 2013

Isaiah 25

Hello Project Ezra!  Thanks so much for being part of our group, and following this blog.  I pray that it will continue to be an encouragement to you, as many of you have been to me.

In the near future (details still to be determined), there will be a bit of a change in the project.  The most notable change is that someone else will be contributing to our blog.  Due to additional responsibilities I’m taking on at church, I can’t devote as much time to the weekly posts, so I have asked for help.  The good news is that one of the people who will be taking up the slack in Tony Miano, who founded this group!  It is a great blessing to have Tony participating again, and I’m sure his posts will encourage and edify you.  We may also have other long-time participants writing for the blog going forward.  Stay tuned for more!

This week, our suggested chapter is Isaiah 25.  It is a powerful passage, which highlights the foolishness of trusting in human power, and the wisdom of trusting in God.  It also talks about the great comfort there is in trusting in God’s goodness and grace.  I pray it is a blessing to you, and will have an impact on those who hear it preached.

All for His glory,



As this chapter tells us, the Lord God, the God of the Bible, is a shelter, and a comfort, to those who trust in Him

In chapter 25, Isaiah says “O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.”

He calls God a stronghold to the poor and to the needy in distress, and a shelter from the storm

I have also seen that, and know it to be true.

There is great comfort and peace in who God is, and in knowing Him.

But God does not only bring peace and comfort.  He is also a God who brings judgment.

Isaiah also says “He made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin.  Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you.”

The God of the Bible is a good God, loving and faithful.  But he is also fearful to those who trust in their own strength, or who turn to false gods

We are told the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, like heat in a dry place.  It is powerless and impotent.

Isaiah says as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is put down.

He says the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain, and Moab shall be trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill

He also says “the Lord will lay low his pompous pride, together with the skill of his hands.”

And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.

All the strength of men, all the edifices they build to exalt and protect themselves, will be cast down, and ground to powder, before God’s strength.

Where have you placed your trust?

Are you trusting in your own strength, and denying God’s existence?

If so, you are only lying to yourself

In our hearts, we all know that God exists.

Romans 1 tells us “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 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. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

We all know God exists, and only through suppressing that truth can we deny it.

Are you trusting in your own goodness?  Do you think God will let you into heaven because you have tried your best, or are better than your neighbor, or spouse?  Do you think you will get in because you go to church, or give money, or help the poor?

Scripture tells us in Romans 2 that “the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them”

Though we try to ignore it, and deny it, we all know when we sin.  Our conscience bears witness to our sin, and our sin separates us from relationship with God, and brings us under His judgment.

Romans 3:23 tells us all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  I have, and so have you.

Look at yourself in the mirror of God’s law, which was given to us to show us ourselves in truth.

God’s law tells us we should not lie (VERSE).  But we have all lied, including me.

God’s law tells us we should not steal, but every one of us is a thief.  Even if you have stolen something small, whether it is a pen or pencil, an answer on a test, music downloaded from the internet, or 15 minutes on a timecard that you did not work, it still makes you a thief, just like me.

Have you used God’s name in disgust, or in place of a curse word?  If you have used Jesus’ name as an expression of surprise, or said OMG, you have blasphemed God’s name.  God tells us in Exodus 20 that He will not hold him guiltless who misuses His name.

Have you looked with lust at someone who is not your husband or wife?  Jesus tells us in Matthew chapter 5 that even a lustful look is adultery in His eyes.

Truly, every one of us has broken God’s law, and is worthy of His judgment.

Ephesians 2 says, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

That wrath will be carried out in a very real place called hell.  It is a place of fire and darkness and pain, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  And there is no escape from hell.  It will last through eternity.

But the same passage that tells us we are children of wrath, also says that there are those who will escape that wrath, by an act of God’s grace

It says “4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

If you will humble yourself before God, turning from your sins and trusting in Jesus Christ alone, you can be saved by the gift of God’s grace.

That grace was provided through the death of Jesus Christ, God the Son, on a Roman cross 2000 years ago.

Jesus came to earth, and lived the perfect life we were called to live, but never could.

Then he was crucified, and when He was on the cross He was crushed under the wrath of the Father.

Isaiah 53 tells us that it pleased the Father to crush Him, for our sake.  It says:
he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

He died.  They three days later, He rose again from the dead, proving who He was, and proving His power over death.

Now he sits at God’s right hand as ruler and judge, but also as our advocate.

If we trust in Him, and in Him alone, then on the day of judgment, we will be seen as pure in His sight.

If you are here today, and are not trusting in Him, I plead with you to turn to Him while He has given you time.

Turn to Christ, and live!  And when you do, you will be able to declare, along with the prophet Isaiah:

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of His people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us.  This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation!

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