Isaiah forty two. God is drawing our attention, as He always does, to His servant. God declares…
Behold my servant, [“Study, scrutinize, observe, my servant.”] who I uphold; [“I support him, I’m behind him, I sustain him.”] mine elect, [“My chosen one.”] in whom my soul delighteth (42:1);
So the description of God’s servant. Upheld by God, chosen by God, one who brought pleasure to God.
I have put my spirit upon him (42:1):
Again going back to Isaiah chapter eleven, “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and of might, the spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord will make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord, so that he will be able to judge righteously”.
The other prophecy of the Messiah, actually, it is the Messiah Himself, speaking prophetically, in Isaiah sixty one. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good tidings to the meek. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to those that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
How glorious it is for each of us to be able to bear witness of the fact that Jesus has opened the prison in which we were once bound. That prison of darkness, bound by the power of sin. Oh how glorious to be set free! What marvelous freedom we have in Christ!
That is a strange kind of a paradox that does exist. Because, there are people today who are talking about freedom. The American Civil Liberties Union, their whole desire is for freedom. Freedom from religion, freedom from God, freedom of sex, freedom for pornography, freedom for all kinds of sexual expressions and desires. Freedom for aberrant sexual experiences. Yet, there is no one who is more bound than those who are bound by their flesh. There is no one who is less free! You tell me that, that person who is on crack, or that person on cocaine is free? You’ve got to be kidding! They’re not free at all! They are completely bound!
I’m free! I don’t have to have coke, or crack, or whatever. I’m free! I don’t have to pick up a cigarette, I don’t have to take a drink, I’m free! I’m the freest person I ever saw, and I love my freedom! It’s the person who has given himself over to these things that is really bound. You start out doing them in the name of freedom, “Well yes, I want freedom”, and you start doing these things in the name of freedom. “I’m free to do it!” But yet, once you get started, soon you become bound. Once you are bound, then you keep doing it, but not because you want to, or like to, but, because you have to. You’re no longer free, you’ve become a slave.
So, that marvelous freedom that we have in Jesus Christ, through the power of His Spirit. So God says, “I delight in him, I put my Spirit upon him”, and through the power of that Spirit, He has opened the prison to those that were bound.
he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles (42:1).
Righteous judgment. Jesus shall reign over the whole world. Not just over Israel, not over the Jews, His is a universal reign. He’s King of kings, and Lord of lords. Judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street (42:2).
He’s not gonna lift Himself up. He isn’t going to come with a great publicity campaign. As you look at the life of Christ, He avoided so many times, publicity. There were many opportunities to sort of demonstrate and show off, if He so desired, His miraculous power. He could’ve used His powers for His own personal gain and benefit, but He did not.
When, even when He was before Pilate, and Pilate didn’t want to make a judgment, He sent Him to Herod, who happened to be in the area at the time. Herod was thrilled, because he had heard about Jesus, he had heard all these stories about the miracles that Jesus did. He wanted to see some kind of miraculous thing. So he sort of challenged Jesus, “You know, do something, show me something. Do a miracle!” Jesus wouldn’t even speak to him!
Now Jesus could’ve done some kind of a miracle, and astounded Herod, Herod would say, “Hey let Him go!” But Jesus wouldn’t use His miraculous powers for His own personal benefit. That was suggested by Satan in the beginning. “Hey turn this bread”, or “this stone into bread. Feed yourself, use your powers for your, for yourself. For your own personal gain!” “No. Man shall not live by bread alone.” “Jump off the pinnacle of the temple! Demonstrate your powers! Let the people be amazed as you land there on the ground, you know, full tact, no problem.”
Then also, even offering Him the glories of the kingdoms of the world. But Jesus’ ministry, for the most part, was on an individual basis in the close-knit group of the disciples, or within the synagogue, within the temple, within the home, or by the seashore, on a mountainside. But He didn’t go out of His way to seek publicity. In fact, He sought rather to avoid it. “He will not cry, nor lift up”, exalt Himself, “nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.” A little bit of the character and the nature of the Messiah.
A bruised reed shall he not break (42:3),
The bruised reed was a crushed reed that had become bent over, they are rather brittle. They grow in abundance around the Jordan river, around the Nile. Going through them, they, the, they’re sort of top heavy anyhow, and they easily break. Crushed, and they’re broken. But, “A bruised reed shall He not break.” Of course it’s a reference to that person whose life is crushed by the weight of the world, and by the weight of sin. When that sinful person comes to Jesus Christ, He doesn’t break them, He restores them to completeness. The Lord isn’t wanting to break you, He isn’t wanting to destroy you. The Lord is wanting to save you, to heal you, to mend you. “The bruised reed He will not break.”
and the smoking flax shall he not quench (42:3):
That is that little wick in the oil light. The oil is run out, and so the flame is gone out, and there’s just the smoke now from the wick. It’s acrid, it’s irritating. The natural thing is just go over and pinch it, put the smoke out, cause it to quit smoking. But, He will put new oil in the vessel, and bring the flame back into full brilliance. That person whose love and passion for God has waned. There’s no longer that fire burning in their hearts. Their experience can be likened to just a smoking flax. There’s the remnant there of past blessings, but the fire is gone. As Jesus said to Ephesus, “Thou hast left thy first love.” That dynamic of the first love, that flame of passion is gone. That person comes to Christ, He restores the flame, restores the fire!
he shall bring forth judgment unto truth (42:3).
Or true judgment. Oh God how we need true judgment today!
And he will not fail nor be discouraged, till he has set judgment in the earth: and the coast lands shall wait for his law (42:4).
I so often get discouraged when I look at the world, when I look at the conditions of the world. When I see the inequities of the world, I often am discouraged, I think, “Oh Lord! How long? Lord get me out of here! I don’t belong here!” It looks to me like evil is triumphing, it looks to me like the forces of darkness are, are more powerful than the forces of light! They seem to prevail in so many cases that are brought before the courts, and all. I think, “Oh Lord!”, and I get so discouraged in, in my idealism in hoping for real justice, and real righteousness. But, He will not be discouraged, until He has accomplished His purpose, until He has established true justice here on the earth, and has set judgment in the earth.
Thus saith God Jehovah, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; [That is, all of the plant life that comes out of the earth.] he that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein (42:5):
God, over and over, throughout the whole Bible is acknowledged as the Creator, Creator of the earth, Creator of the heavens, Creator of the life forms within the earth, Creator of man, the sustainer of man, He gives breath to man, puts spirit within man. God is speaking, and whenever God speaks, He usually announces Himself as the Creator.
This is another discouraging thing. Send your children to the public school, and they are taught that they are an accident. They were not created. “Matter, upon matter”, over now it’s twenty billion years, “has brought forth this marvelous, marvelous instrument.” How can a sane person look at the body, and the functions of the body, look at how the DNA can store the memories, look how the blood stream operates. Look how, even your breath, God said, “And I give breath to man”. Just your breath itself, the cells of your body need oxygen in order to function. They burn the oxygen like, like a car burns gasoline, your cells burn oxygen. Like your car, when it is burned, the gasoline gives off a carbon monoxide gas, as the result of the combustion. So your, your body gives off carbon dioxide gas, as the result of the burning of the oxygen in the cells. Thus there has to be a discharge of the carbon dioxide, and a fresh supply of oxygen for the cells.
So God has designed this whole beautiful system of the, of the lungs, and your capacity to breathe in the air, and from this seventy nine parts of nitrogen, and twenty parts of oxygen, your, your lungs take that oxygen, and it sort of spreads it out over the lungs. The blood comes pumping in to your lungs, from the heart, and it, the blood discharges all of the carbon dioxide that it’s picked up, all of the garbage, the carbon dioxide gases it has picked up as it’s gone through your whole system, in each cell. It deposits that carbon dioxide in your lungs, and as it goes through, it takes the oxygen that has just been brought into your lungs by that deep breath, and it goes back into the heart, and down through the cells, re-supplying them with oxygen, and on the return trip, picking up the carbon dioxide.
Now when you do a little exercise, do your aerobics, you’re using more oxygen. The cells are working harder, and so they’re burning up more oxygen. So what happens? Your lungs start working faster, your heart starts beating faster, because you have to get more oxygen to those cells that are sloughing off the carbon dioxide. You got to keep the cells functioning properly. So, you, you start, now do think that? “Well, I’ve really been running hard, I better start breathing harder!” No you don’t even think about that. Why? Because your lungs are involuntary muscles.
You have voluntary muscles, and involuntary muscles. Your voluntary muscles are attached to the skeleton of your body, and they are operated by a command from the brain. You say to your hand, “Move”, it moves. But of course there’s quite a, quite a functioning actually, because the brain not only tells your hand to move, but it tells your arm, and elbow and everything. I mean it just, you know, it says, “Clench your fist”, you know. They’re voluntary muscles and they’re controlled by the brain.
But you have your involuntary muscles. Your heart, your lungs, because you see, your life depends on your heart and your lungs. The sustaining of life depends on the heart, and the lungs. You know, you can live without clenching your fist, you can live with a withered arm, but you can’t live without your heart pumping, and your lungs working. So those muscles of your body that are important for the sustaining of life, God keeps control of those. He lets you control your other muscles that can get you in trouble, or do things for you. But those muscles upon which your life depends, God keeps control of those muscles. So that, you don’t have to think, “Heart beat, lungs work.” They’re not, they are involuntary muscles that, that operate without conscious thought patterns from the brain.
Marvelous, marvelous, the way God has created us! To think that, that could’ve all just evolved over a matter of time by mutations, and all. It, it’s just ridiculous! Yet that’s where, that’s where I get discouraged! I think, “O God!”, you know it’s so insane to try to propose that all of this came about by these fortuitous??? occurrences of accidental circumstances. It’s crazy!
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; [Put the stars up there, even in the form of a cross, and an opening in the clouds, I love it!] he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it (42:5);
The plant life, the marvels of the plant life. Oh amazing! Each seed with a genetic code, within it. With all of the potential for the development of that same plant. Marvelous!
he that gives breath to the people (42:5)
It was interesting when Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar was having his famous party, there in the palace in Babylon, or Iraq. For entertainment’s sake, he ordered them to bring the gold and silver vessels out of the treasury that they had ripped off when they were in Jerusalem. They had come out of the temple, and were used for temple worship, but were now a part of the museum, and the art gallery in Babylon. While he was drinking the wine out of these golden cups, taken from the temple, and praising the gods of gold and silver, suddenly there came a hand, and it was writing in words they did not understand upon the wall. The king began to shake. “His knees began to”, it says, “smite against one another”.
He called for the wise men to interpret, none of them were able. Daniel was brought in. Before Daniel interpreted the dream, he gave a sermon to the king. In his sermon, he told him that he had praised the gods of gold and silver, but the God in whose hand his very breath was, he did not glorify. “You praise and glorify the gods of gold and silver, but the God who controls your very breath, the God who can cut off your breath at any moment, the God in whose hand your breath is, you’ve not glorified. I am God, I am Jehovah!”, He said. He talks about, “I give breath unto the people upon the earth, and spirit to them that walk therein.” Life, and breath from God.
I Jehovah have called thee in righteousness, and I will hold your hand, and I will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles (42:6);
So the prophecy concerning His Son, Jesus Christ. God has called Him in righteousness, He will hold His hand, and He will give Him for a covenant. Jesus said, “This is a new covenant, it’s in my blood, which is shed for the remission of sins.” Then, a light to the Gentiles, they that sat in darkness have seen a great light, unto those sitting in the shadow of death hath that light come. The ministry of the Messiah.
To open the blind eyes (42:7),
We’re, we’re in that gospel of John, chapter nine right now, and I love it. Jesus healed this blind man, and we’ll give you just a little synopsis of what we’re coming to. Jesus healed this blind man, He made clay, he spit on the ground, and made some clay, and, and He put it in his eyes. He said, “Now go down to the pool of Siloam, and wash your eyes out.” So he went down to the pool of Siloam, washed his eyes out, and then he could see! He was born blind, but now he could see. So people were excited, they said, “Isn’t that the guy who was blind?”, they said, “Well, it sure looks like him!” “Well I thought he was blind!” “Well he was!” “But, how come he can see?” “I don’t know. Why don’t you ask him?” He said, “Well how is it you can see?” “Well some guy made some mud, put it in my eye, and told me to go wash, and when I washed, I can see!” He said, “Well that’s marvelous! Who is it?” “Well His name was Jesus.”
So the Pharisees, who were enemies of Christ said, “Ah he probably wasn’t blind.” You know, people always try to rationalize or explain the miracles of God. “Probably wasn’t blind. Get a hold of his parents! Is this your son?” “Yep.” “Was he blind?” “Yep.” “How come he can see?” “We don’t know.” You see the Jews had already determined, anybody who acknowledged Jesus was gonna get kicked out of the synagogue. So they said, “We don’t know. He’s of age, go ahead and ask him!” Ha, ha!
So they, they came to him again, and they said, “You know, how come you can see?” And he said, “Well this fellow made some mud, and put it in my eyes, and told me to wash, I can see.” He said, “You know you guys are asking me all these questions, all I know is, once I was blind, and now I can see.” You know, they, they tried to put Jesus down. They said, “You know He can’t be of God, because it was the Sabbath day when he made that clay. You’re not supposed to make clay on the Sabbath day. So He can’t be a God!” He said, “Well hey, all I know, once I was blind, now I can see.” They kept badgering him, he said, “Why do you keep asking me? I’ve already told you! Why do you ask me again?” He said, “Are you gonna become His disciples?”, and oh that made them mad! They said, “Outa here!”, they kicked him out! Jesus came and found him. He said, “Do you believe in the Messiah?” He said, “Who is He Lord?”, He said, “I am.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” Beautiful, the testimony, “Once I was blind…”
Isn’t that the testimony all of us can give? “Once I was blind, but now I can see!” Once the Bible was a mystery, once the things of God were a mystery. I, I just was blind to the truth of God, to the love of God, to the work of God, but now I can see! It’s a miracle! No less great than the miracle that God, that Jesus performed on this blind fellow there in Jerusalem! Is the miracle of our being able now to see the things of the Spirit, as God has opened up our eyes. That is the ministry of Christ, “To open the eyes of the blind.”
to bring the prisoners from out of their prison, [Those that are imprisoned by their sins.] and those that sit in darkness out of that prison house of darkness (42:7).
And into the glorious light of Jesus Christ. The tragedy with a person who is living in the world, and living after the flesh, is his blindness. That really is the real tragedy. They are destroying themselves, but they just can’t see it. You try to point it out to them, and they just can’t see it. “Because”, the scripture tells us, “the god of this world has blinded their eyes, that they cannot see.” The work of Satan, and the work of sin, is that of blinding.
I was reading an interesting article in the Medical Journal the other day. It was by a research team that’s done a lot of research in drug abuse. They talk about how the drug destroys a certain chemical in a person’s brain. That chemical that helps them to have judgment, gives them power to control. It destroys that chemical out of the brain, so that when a person starts ingesting drugs into their body, it begins to damage the brain. The thing that it attacks really is the person’s capacity, of strength of will. So once that is destroyed, you become sort of like putty. Sort of a senseless blob, and you don’t have good judgment, you don’t have the ability to say, “That’s harmful”, or “that’s dangerous, I won’t do that.” That, that sense of judgment somehow is destroyed, and thus, a person becomes a slave, having lost this power of, of will, of resistance, or of, of clear judgment.
How insidious, and that’s just how sin works. It destroys the capacity of a person, to be able to rationally judge a situation. So a person plunges into a situation that is destructive, that is destroying them, and, and they can’t see it, they’re blind to what it is doing to them. It is just really a tragedy indeed! But Jesus came to open the eyes of those that were blind, the prison to those that were bound! Now the Lord goes on to say…
I am Jehovah: [Or Yahweh] that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images (42:8).
Now Israel had, at the time of Isaiah, begun to multiply their idols, and the different gods that they worshiped. God said, “I am Yahweh, and I won’t share my glory with another.” This is a verse of scripture that I so often use when I’m talking with pastors. For one of the dangers of the ministry, is that of accepting glory that belongs to God, because of the work of God. Because God used you as His instrument to do His work, people many times are prone to praise you, and to glory in you, because you were God’s instrument that was used to touch their life. If you start taking the glory that belongs to God, then you’re in big trouble! Because God will not share His glory with another. Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of Jesus Christ.” God will not share His praise with graven images.
Behold, [The Lord said] the former things have come to pass (42:9),
Now God had already prophesied through the various prophets, many things that had already transpired. They’d already been fulfilled. There have been predictions that were made, and they’d already come to pass. So the Lord is pointing out, “Look, I’ve told you things before, that have already come to pass.”
and I’m telling you new things: before they spring forth, I’m gonna tell you about them (42:9).
So God not only spoke of things that had already been fulfilled, but He has also spoken of things that have not yet been fulfilled. So the interesting thing about prophecy is that you can measure the accuracy of prophecy, by those things that have already been fulfilled. That means that the chance factor of those things that are not yet fulfilled, is extremely great, because of the numbers that have been fulfilled with one hundred percent accuracy.
If a person gets at the foul line and shoots, say, three hundred straight baskets, what are the chances of him sinking the next one? I’d say they’re pretty good! He’s sunk three hundred in a row, the guys got the groove you know, and the chances are he’ll sink the three hundred and first one too! Well, you’ve got God going with a record, a straight that’s just incredible! Over three hundred prophesies concerning Jesus Christ, that were completely, literally, fulfilled!
Now, there are prophesies about Jesus Christ that have not yet been fulfilled. He’s gonna stand in that day on the mount of Olives, the thing’s gonna split in the middle. That hasn’t yet been fulfilled. But I’ll give you any kind of odds you want that it will be fulfilled. Because of the success of accuracy of the preceding predictions. So God says, “Before things spring forth, I tell you about them.”
Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, and ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the coast lands, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: [Kedar interestingly enough, is Kuwait.] let the inhabitants of the rock sing, [That’s the area of Petra, which is Jordan.] let them shout from the tops of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands (42:10-12).
The glorious day to come, when the word of God will be fulfilled, when the servant of God establishes His kingdom, and righteous judgment upon the earth. Singing unto the Lord this glorious song of praise. Hour of darkness has been broken! Now the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof!
The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he will cry, yea, roar; and he shall prevail against his enemies (42:13).
That, that tremendous roar of, of the Lord, as He comes in, in, in victory. You know there are several passages of scripture throughout the whole Bible that refer to Jesus as He returns, just with this tremendous roar of, of victory. Sort of roaring, even as a, as a lion. It says in Revelation ten, three, “And He cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth”, and Joel speaks about it. Here, Isaiah speaks about it. That tremendous shout of victory, triumph! Power!
I have long time held my peace; I have been still, I’ve refrained myself: but now I will cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once (42:14).
Like a woman who is in travail, she’s been waiting, waiting, signs are all around that the time is coming, it’s getting closer, it’s soon! There’s evidence, there are signs, that it’s soon to come to pass, the child will be born. My daughter’s about two weeks away, you try and tell her she’s not pregnant, and you’ll have a hard time convincing her. “Now when is the child gonna be born?” “We don’t know, but we know it’s going to be, and we know it’s gonna be soon! The evidence is it’s gonna be very soon! I can’t tell you the day or the hour, but I can sure tell you the times, and the seasons, and I can tell you it’s getting close. There are signs and evidences that it’s getting close!”
So with the coming of our Lord. Can’t tell you the day or the hour, but I can tell you it’s getting close! There are sure a lot of signs! You know it’s going to happen, you know it has to happen. The signs, and the evidence is there. “For a long time”, He said, “I’ve held my peace, I’ve held back! But now as a woman that’s in travail, the time has come, to give birth to this kingdom.”
I will make waste the mountains and the hills. I will dry up the vegetables, [This time of great tribulation, immediately after the tribulation of those days, “shall they see the Son of Man, coming with power and great glory.”] I’ll make the rivers as islands, and I will dry up the pools. I will bring the blind by the way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: [The world is gonna go down a horrible path into destruction.] I will make darkness light before them, and the crooked things straight. [That’s of course when He establishes the kingdom.] These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. [God will be with the Jews and His people during that dark day of tribulation upon the earth.] They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to molten images, You are our gods. [The folly of the worship of false gods.] Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. [Hear the voice of God, see the work of God.] Who is blind, but my servant (42:15-18)?
Now this servant here is different from the servant at the beginning. This servant is Israel, the nation of Israel. God called them as His servants, even as we are called as servants of Jesus Christ, Israel was called as God’s servant. “And who is blind but my servant?”, or Israel.
or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? Seeing many things, but you observe not; opening the ears, but you hear not (42:19-20).
So Isaiah’s dilemma with the people, who, having eyes, did not see, having ears, did not hear. They would not see, they would not hear, there are none so blind as those who will not see. None so deaf as those who don’t want to hear. So, “Who is as blind as the servants Israel, who turn their backs upon God, who were worshiping these images? You observe them not. You see many things, but you don’t observe.”
The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. But this people is a people that are robbed and spoiled; they are all of the trapped in holes, they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivers; they are a spoil, and non says, Restore (42:21-22).
No one is interested in them. They are robbed, they are spoiled, they’ve been trapped, they’re imprisoned, they are a prey, and there’s none to deliver, they are a spoil, and no one says, “Well restore them”. Desolate.
Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and he has set him on fire round about, and yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart (42:24-25).
So they experienced this judgment of God, and still, they didn’t respond. They didn’t, they didn’t stop and say, “Look, we have forsaken the Lord, and that’s why we are having these problems!”
Now the Bible says that, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to many people.” The Bible says concerning the king, that, “As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.” God sent a message to king Asa, and He said, “If you seek me, I will be found of you, but if you forsake me, I will forsake you.”
Now God often times brings judgments to a land, to a nation, to wake them up. They’ve become blind! They’ve become insensitive, they’ve become deaf! They don’t listen to God, they don’t see God.
It’s interesting how that we do not see God in the establishing of our nation now, in the text books, in the school. We’ve put God out of it. Without God, this nation could not, and would not have been established. Read, “The Light and the Glory”, get a true view of history! The founding of the United States. Read the spiritual background. These were men who sought God, these were men who prayed all night, seeking the guidance of God, the help of God, the direction of God, for the forming of this nation. But now we, you know, it’s talk about free enterprise, we talk about democracy, and “these are the keys to the strength of the nation.” No! God was the key to the strength of the nation.
So when we begin to exalt these other premises, and give glory to them, rather than to give glory to God, He just shuts off the faucet for awhile, until we have to shut off our faucets here in Southern California. Says, “Oh you think you’ve got it made? You think you’re so smart, you think you can control things huh? You’ve got all this kind of technology! Alright, see what you can do.” And He dries up the reservoirs. We become embroiled in affairs across the other part of the world, and our young men go over, and suddenly, we all pray, “Oh God! Help our men! Lord, bring them home safely! God put an end to this conflict!” God puts an end to the conflict, and we say, “My isn’t our technology tremendous?” “My oh my what awesome power! What brilliance of man!” We’re immediately ready to give credit to Schwarzkoph and to Bush, and to Raytheon. “They develop that patriot anti-missile system, isn’t that marvelous?” We are so quick to forget God!
Here, you know, we should’ve had the greatest day of rejoicing that California had ever seen. For in the same day, or within a twenty four hour period, we had the end of the war, and we had a good rain, a storm of five inches. The following Sunday the church should’ve been jammed! Well, it was jammed, but it should’ve been more jammed with people!
But you know, it doesn’t take long to forget what God has done. To fall back into the old patterns, and the old ways. To become careless again in our relationship. Yet, God in His tenderness, puts up with us. He is so patient with us! He doesn’t break the bruised reed. He doesn’t quench the smoking flax. But He is there in love, to restore. He is there in love to help when we call.
But it is always dangerous to presume upon God, to take God for granted. To think, “Well it doesn’t really matter. I’ll do my own thing, and when I get in trouble, then I’ll just call. Because He’s always bailed me out, and so you know, I’ll just go ahead and do my own thing, and when I smash, well, I’ll just call and say, ‘Hey God help me!’, you know, doesn’t matter. So live the way you want, when in trouble, dial 911. God’s always there, He’ll respond.”
But Israel came to the place, where God said, “I’ve had it.” He speaks here of how He allowed them to go into captivity. He allowed them to be robbed, He allowed them to be spoiled, He allowed them to be snared, He allowed them to be imprisoned, He allowed them to become a prey, and to be hated around the world. No one said, “Help them! Restore them!” He said, “Wake up! Don’t you realize this has happened to you because you’ve forsaken me?” God said to the nation, “When your calamity comes, and you call upon me, I won’t listen any more. Call upon the gods you’ve been worshiping and serving! Let them deliver you. I’m through!”
So the Babylonians came, and they went out with their military might, and they were defeated. They began to call upon the Lord, but the Lord said, “Don’t bother me. Call upon the gods you’ve been serving.” They went into captivity. God says, “Consider this, look at the thing! Consider this!” Because it is a pattern of man, that is followed over, and over again. You call upon God, He delivers, you forsake God, you get in trouble, you call upon God, He helps. You forsake God.
But there comes the time, when you can exhaust the patience even of an infinite God. A time when you are snared, a time when you go into this prison. A time when you become a spoil, and a rot. “Therefore He has poured out the fury of His anger, and the strength of battle: you’ve been set on fire round about, yet you don’t know you were burned.” You didn’t lay it to heart, you didn’t realize, “It’s because we’ve turned our backs on God.”
So, next week we’ll take forty three, and forty four. You have another week to study forty three. Shall we pray?
Father we thank You now for Your word. Help us now to give a more earnest heed to those things which we have heard, lest we should drift away from the truth. That we might walk Lord, before You, in all honesty, uprightness, purity, and holiness, giving glory unto You, and to Your name, for all You are, and all You have done. Bless now Lord, Your people, as they go forth to be a light in this dark world, carrying to this world, the message of hope and salvation, delivering and setting free those that are bound by the power of darkness, as they share the glorious love, and life, of Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, Amen.
Great week ahead of us! Looking forward to what God is gonna do in our heart and in our lives, as He works by His Spirit in His church, and through His church, to reach a lost, and dying world. May the Lord strengthen you, and may the Lord bless you. May the Lord keep you in His love, and cause His grace to abound, and your life to overflow with His goodness. May your cup run over!
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7261