Isaiah 8, How To Serve God In A Rebellious Land
1. Obey God Before You Understand Why (v1-10)
2. Fear God More Than Man And Man’s Plans (v11-15)
3. Renew Your Commitment To Be An Example (v16-18)
4. Test Everything By The Scriptures (v19-22)
Isaiah 8, How To Serve God In A Rebellious Land
Isaiah 8, How To Serve God In A Rebellious Land
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Here, as we look at Isaiah Chapter 8 this evening I've titled the Message How to serve God in a rebellious land, how to serve God in a rebellious land that is really what the mission of all the prophets was.
They were all called to a people who were rebellious against God and we.
Address that a little bit on Sunday that that is the mission of all of the prophets as we work our way through them over the next couple of months, we'll be looking at these guys who were sent into rebellious territory.
People who were.
Deliberately being disobedient to God, knowing what God said and required and called us too, but then refusing that and walking in their own path and heading towards destruction and experiencing firmer and firmer discipline.
Greater and greater judgments along the way, until finally there's.
Going to be the Babylonian captivity, where the entire nation of Judah is completely taken out.
Taken captive, left desolate, and they're going to be in captivity for 70 years while they learn the lessons that God was trying to teach them.
Over the previous couple hundred of years and so, Isaiah was a man who was very familiar with serving God in a rebellious land.
In fact, Chapter 8 is really not so much of a prophecy against the nation.
Chapter 8 is really an interesting chapter where it's Isaiah experience with God.
God in endeavoring to fulfill his role and to be the prophet that God had called him to be and there is some you know things that are spoken about the nation and and looking forward but.
But it's really.
Isaiah interacting with the Lord and processing the things that the Lord is revealing to him, and so Isaiah really serves as a.
An example for us, and as I shared on Sunday there's it's really hard to compare the parallels between our nation and the nation of Judah as we work our way through the prophets that there is this just very consistent.
Picture that is painted that is consistent with our nation as well of a people who begin in right relationship with God in many ways and yet digressed and digressed and digressed more and more and more.
And so the nation itself was reduced and reduced and reduced.
And there was more and more difficulty.
And more and more challenges.
And it's very clear and easy to see that parallel as we look at the nation of Judah, and we look at our own nation and.
So we can identify with Isaiah here and we can learn some really important lessons from him, especially as we progress as we continue on in this land that is rebellious unto the Lord.
How do we stay faithful to God and how do we fulfill our role in much like Isaiah?
We have an opportunity.
And a call to serve the Lord.
In the midst of unfaithful times and in the midst of a land that is rebellious to God.
And so we're going to look at 4 examples from the life of Isaiah here and the interactions that he has with the Lord to help us learn how to stay the course and be faithful in our service.
To God, even in the midst of a rebellious land.
And so the first one that we look at is going to be in verses one through 10 point number one obey God before you understand why.
And this is a good one to spend some time meditating on. We need to obey God before we understand why God has instructed us in such a way or called us to such a thing before we have the whole picture before we understand what God's intentions are or what is going to unfold in the days.
Ahead, we need to be obedient to God first when we know it.
When his voice is clear, we don't have to have all the reasons and purposes and understandings.
We just need to obey and I.
I really find this as we begin here in verses one and two.
It says, moreover, the Lord said to me.
Take a large.
Scroll and write on it with a man's pen concerning mahershalalhashbaz.
And I will take for myself faithful witnesses to record Uriah the priest in Zechariah, the son of Jeb, Jeb Hrachya, or something like that.
Here, as we begin Chapter 8, Isaiah is given instruction by the Lord.
It's not a lot of instruction.
It's very, very simple.
Take a large scroll and write a name on it.
Large scroll write a name.
He doesn't tell Isaiah why.
At this point he doesn't explain what the meaning of it is or the intention behind it is.
He doesn't explain how he's going to use this effort that Isaiah is putting forth.
He just tells him take a large scroll and write on it.
This particular name and along with that.
Isaiah brings along some faithful witnesses Uriah and Zechariah, and so he's not to just go in a room all by himself and write down this name on a large scroll.
But, but he's to bring in Uriah and Zechariah bring in two witnesses.
They don't know what's going on either.
They don't know the whole story right?
It would just be like if I called Richard and Rick and I said hey guys, come up here.
I'm not calling you.
You can stay there, but come up here and watch me write down a name on this piece of paper on this large scroll.
The name, of course has meaning mahershalalhashbaz.
Literally it means speed, the spoil hasten the booty.
Speed the spoil.
Hasten the booty it's speaking about the rewards that are obtained by conquering a city and nation of people the the spoils, the booty is those rewards of what is taken away from the battlefield.
And so this name means something.
It's talking about a quick.
Victory, it's talking about a quick obtaining of a people's possessions and valuables.
So there's meaning there, but but he doesn't tell Isaiah why he's to write this down.
He doesn't tell him why he's to take 2 witnesses to bear witness to the.
Fact that he wrote it down.
But then we get more insight as we head into verse 3.
Then I went to the prophetess.
And she conceived and bore a son.
Then the Lord said to me, call his name mahershalalhashbaz.
We don't know.
How much time takes place between verse two and three?
But the idea here is.
There is this event that happens in Isaiah life.
You picture him hearing from the Lord.
Go write down this name on a scroll.
And grab 2 witnesses.
OK, grab 2 witnesses.
Write down the name on and scroll and then some time passes because then he goes to the prophetess and by that he's referring to his wife.
And she conceives and bears a son.
So how much time is passing between verses two and three at least nine months, right?
Because there was the time for her to conceive and then be pregnant, and then bear a son.
And then the Lord said to me.
Here's what you're going to name him.
You remember Isaiah 9 months ago.
I had you write down a name.
On a scroll.
Or maybe it was ten months ago or 12 months ago.
Again, we don't have the exact timeframe, but we know is at least nine months.
I say remember how I had you write that down?
I had you take some witnesses.
You didn't know what was going on.
You didn't have the whole story yet.
Even in verse three we don't have the.
Whole story, but.
But here's the next step.
God says you did that.
You were obedient back then, even though you didn't know why.
And now I'm going to inject new meaning into that message.
I gave you a year ago.
And this son that has just.
Been born, you are to.
Call him by this name.
Shalal hash Baz.
This is now going to.
Clarify and bring some insight into God's plan and purpose.
In all of this, in verse four, he begins to explain a little bit more, he says, for, behold, I'm sorry for before the child shall have knowledge to cry, my father and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria, will be taken away before the king of Assyria.
There's a lot going on.
Here the king of.
Assyria was, well, the Syrian empire was rising to power and conquering much territory during the lifetime of Isaiah.
There was conflict where Isaiah lived in the nation of Judah.
There was conflict with the northern Kingdom.
Which was the the capital of that was some area that was after the Kingdom of Israel split into there was the Northern Kingdom, Israel, the southern Kingdom, Judah, the northern Kingdom.
Israel had the capital of Samaria, and so he's making reference to some area here in verse 4.
He's also making reference to Damascus.
Which was the capital of Syria, which was even farther north above the nation of Israel for Isaiah and the city of Jerusalem.
Well, there was some.
Schemes that were going on between the nation of Israel and the nation of Syria.
They saw the looming threat of US Syria, and so they were trying to come up with alliances and work out plans and trying to prevent being conquered by the Assyrian Empire.
But here God is announcing.
The Assyrian Empire is going to be victorious over the nation of Syria.
The capital of Damascus and the Nation of Israel, with the capital of Samaria.
And this is going to happen within a certain time frame, before the child.
We'll be able to say, my father.
Or my mother?
Before the child can say ABBA or AMI.
Both Syria and Israel will be conquered by Assyria.
Now this is.
All tide to a name that God had.
Isaiah write down nine months, 10 months, 12 months.
And and you can understand a little bit here that there was this development of what the Lord was doing and it and it brought depth and meaning and power to this testimony, that the fact that God was working and that God was speaking to Isaiah and to his people.
The the Lord here is helping Isaiah have a firm foundation to stand upon and the Lord will do this many times in our lives.
Where he gives us a little piece of instruction.
It's just a little bit of.
Information, one step.
One thing to do.
Maybe it's similar to Isaiah that you're spending time with the Lord in the morning and the Lord just impresses upon your heart and name.
And maybe you're to write down that name.
Or maybe you're to send a text message to that name.
Or maybe you're to pray for that name and you don't know necessarily anything about what's going on.
But it's this little piece of instruction.
That God gives.
And it's important that we learn.
As we hear the voice of the Lord is God prompts our hearts and moves upon our hearts in that way that we get into the habit of obeying.
There's a lot of occasions where.
It's appropriate for us to wait for some clear direction from the Lord and it's.
Like I think.
I know what God wants to do, but it's not quite clear and there's high stakes.
You know there's a lot.
There's a lot at stake in the midst of this decision, and so Lord, I'm looking for confirmation and all of that right.
But when God tells you something simple like write down a name.
Or turn left here.
Or would the Lord impresses something upon your heart that's you know, not expensive, not costly.
Not something that you have to really wrestle with or agonize with, but anytime you sense the slightest movement.
Of the Lord upon your life.
In that way it's good too.
Take action quickly and to develop the habit of taking action as the Lord speaks to you.
Because what the Lord often is doing is developing and he does it over a season of time and it might not be, you know, for a year or so before you really understand why the Lord had you praying for that person.
We're talking to that person or in.
Merging that person or writing down that name.
Or you know doing that little step.
Writing that little card?
Putting that posted.
Note somewhere that you know you might not fully understand for a long time to come, and maybe not even until eternity, but but those little things are really important.
That that God is oftentimes leading us down a path to greater impact.
But it begins with these little steps of obedience to the Lord.
It's one of the reasons why in the New Testament we find the one who is faithful and least is also faithful and much.
That's not just the hey, if I can trust you with five bucks, I can trust you with 20 bucks, right?
That's that's part of it, but but part of that is because if I can trust you with five bucks, then, well, you're developing that 5 bucks and working on it.
And so it's not just that later on, I'll give you 20 bucks, but you've earned 20 bucks.
And now I give you 20 bucks 'cause you were proven faithful with your 5 bucks.
And now you've got 30 bucks or 40 bucks depending on how faithful you've been with it, right?
But it's that kind of thing that that it grows and develops.
And and as we take those little steps before the Lord as he prompts our hearts, there's.
There's a multiplication effect that later on as God breathes new and fresh.
Meaning, an insight and a fresh message into those things that he spoke to us previously about, then then they increase greatly and and we end up having a greater impact down the road than we could have ever imagined at that little tiny nudge, the Lord gave us at the very beginning.
And so it's important for us to obey God.
Before we understand why we don't have to have it all figured out, it doesn't have to seem like it matters so much or have such a big impact.
We don't have to, you know, have all of these things figured out and know how our part in the body and and how that's going to.
You know impact all the others and how that's going to really make a difference for the.
Kingdom of God.
And all the people that are going to be.
Changed and challenged and impacted by it.
We don't have to have all of that figured out.
Well, we need to have is a sensitive heart.
So that when God says, hey, I want you to write down a name, grab a couple witnesses so that later on, when this becomes more meaningful and impactful, they can bear witness.
The Lord really did this.
He really did set this up.
And so now when the child is born, God Re says that name to him.
He confirms that message to him.
I can't help but think about the day that.
The Lord told.
Me, I was going to marry Kim and I've told this story.
I think recently even but well, I'm telling it again on the way down to Costa Mesa, driving down the 55 freeway.
I heard the Lord very clear one of the most clear times I've ever heard from the Lord you're going to.
See the one that you're going to marry today.
And I went down to Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa.
I sat down.
I didn't see the one I was going to marry.
I was like, OK, I'm just, you know I was just weird, you know, I just had a weird Taco for lunch or something and so not not really concerned about it until the Lord said it again later on that night when I saw her car parked out in front of Pastor Toms House.
And then the.
If if that was the.
First time the Lord had told me you're going to see the one that you married tonight when I.
Saw her car at.
On parked in front of Tom's house, it wouldn't have had that much impact, but it had a lot of impact because six hours earlier the Lord had spoken it to me.
I believed it.
Then I kind of doubted myself a little bit, but then later on when he said it again, it was like.
Clear crystal is like for sure.
This is a word from the Lord that I knew exactly what he was saying in a similar way we we have to be open and sensitive to those little things, and they may seem insignificant.
But later on God is going to give them much.
Much value and meaning and impact.
And so this child is going to bear this name.
As a witness and as a testimony to the nation of Judah, that this was going to take place now, this was important for the nation of Judah, because they were worried about Assyria as well.
But they're also worried about Israel and Syria and them teaming up against Judah.
There was all this back and forth, conflict and tension.
Between them, and so God is using this to tell his people guys you don't have to worry about Israel.
You don't have to worry about them conquering you.
You don't have to worry about Syria taking you over.
Also, you don't want to join forces with them, right?
Within a short amount of time before this child is really able to speak.
Those nations will be conquered by the king of Assyria, verse 5 the Lord also spoke to me again, saying, inasmuch as these people refuse the waters of Shiloah that flows softly and rejoice in resin and in Remily's son. Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up over them the waters of the river strong and mighty.
The king of Assyria, and all his glory.
He will go up, go up over all his channels and go over all his bakes.
He will pass through Judah.
He will overflow and Passover he will reach up to the deck and the stretching out of his wings will fill the breath of your land O Emmanuel.
God is here further explaining the nation of Assyria.
Is going to overflow their whole land.
In direct connection to the people of God and their rejection.
It's pictured there in verse.
Six the waters of Shiloh that flow softly.
You might remember the pool of Siloam mentioned in John Chapter 9, and we see it in the Gospels.
There was this.
Source of water there in Jerusalem, and it wasn't a rushing spring.
It wasn't a great river, it was a gentle pool.
A small, slow moving.
Gentle, calm, peaceful.
God says with me if you trust in me and have relationship with me that it's like this gentle soft flu.
But he says my people have rejected that they've rejected at me and they rejoice in resin and then ramales son speaking.
These are references to the Kingdom of Assyria.
The nation of Judah was.
Sometimes trying to align themselves with Israel and Syria, sometimes trying to align themselves with US, Syria against Israel and Syria so.
You can imagine, right?
Just like we have all those kinds of alliances and changing of our minds and different ideas politically about whether it's better to align with this powerhouse or that powerhouse.
Like this was happening.
And so there was this trust in and reliance upon Assyria to save them.
From the nation of Israel and the nation of Syria.
And because they were trusting in US, Syria to save them because they were trying to make this alliance.
God says they've made a choice instead of experiencing the soft flow.
Of the waters of Shiloh, they're going to experience the overflowing torrent.
King of Assyria in verse seven, he talks about the king of a cereal and all his glory will go up all over his over all his channels and go over all his banks.
It's the picture of a river overflowing and and really taking over and wiping.
And so that's exactly what the nation of Assyria does.
Here's a quick look at the boundaries of the nation of Assyria, the Nation of Israel, and Judah is on the bottom left of that.
And there's this little tiny pocket.
It's kind of too small even to see on this map.
There's this little tiny pocket of territory that Assyria was not able to conquer, and that was the the area around Jerusalem.
Most of Judah was conquered, most of the nation was taken captive because the waters.
Overflowed the banks and so all of the people were basically.
Rushing into Jerusalem and taking shelter in Jerusalem.
Now later on Babylon is going to come and conquer Jerusalem, but, uh, Syria.
Was not able to.
Do that, but they were able to take so much other territory and they were able to conquer Israel.
They were able to conquer Syria, just as God foretold here to the the Prophet Isaiah.
God is giving more meaning and insight and depth into this name as.
Isaiah is obedient to take these steps that God had called him to verse 9.
Be shattered all you peoples and be broken in pieces.
Give your all you from far countries.
Gird yourselves but be broken in pieces.
Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces.
Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing.
Speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.
The king of Assyria is coming with this message be shattered.
Everybody who stands up against us be shattered.
Grade yourselves, do your best to defend yourselves, but you will be broken.
Take counsel, come up with elaborate schemes and join forces.
With other people.
But it will not stand because God is with us and the nation of Assyria could see this to a point.
Because God had apportioned to Assyria and called them to bring judgment and discipline on the surrounding nations.
Now Assyria did try to take it.
Too far and.
Saw God's boundary and said no. Thank you. I want to take more and met some resistance there and we'll see that later on in Isaiah, under the King the reign of King Hezekiah.
But here again, in this message it's a really powerful message that is powerful to the nation because Isaiah was simply obedient at the beginning to write down the name on a piece of paper.
And over time God developed that message and made it clear, and it became very clear.
That it was from God, and very clear that what God was saying it was going to be proven true within just a matter of time.
But you know the if.
The kids started speaking.
Before these things started to unfold, then there would have been some issues, right?
It would have been recognized.
Isaiah is not really a prophet, but as he was faithful in the little things, his word was fulfilled and confirmed that he truly had heard from the Lord and and that oftentimes is the way that God works.
In our lives that we need to obey God before we understand why.
Later on, he'll confirm things he'll make more things clear.
He'll develop those into more impactful things, but don't wait for the big things to start obeying God.
Start obeying God and the little things.
Even if you don't understand why or how they could have any kind of difference or impact in the situation at hand.
All right, moving on to verses 11 through 15, we get point #2 and that is fear. God more than man and man's plans verses 11 through 15 says this.
For the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people saying.
Do not say a conspiracy concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.
The Lord of hosts him you shall hollow.
Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling at a rock of offense to both the Houses of Israel as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and many among them shall stumble.
They shall fall and be broken be snared.
Says in verse 11, this is what the Lord.
Spoke to me.
With a strong hand.
As I said, this is kind of a.
A record of Isaiah interaction with the Lord, not so much a message that he's out pronouncing that that's part of it, but he's kind of telling you.
From his perspective.
Here's here's what I experienced.
God had me write down a name and then ten months later he told me.
To name my child that had just been born, that name and then he gave me a message that goes along with that.
So in people.
Say, why on Earth did you name your son this long?
Name that I can't remember and.
Isaiah can then say, well, here's the message of the Lord.
Here's what God told me at that time.
Well, now verse 11, he says the Lord spoke with us with me with a strong hand.
And again, it's not a message for him to go out on the corner and start announcing things.
It's a message for Isaiah himself.
To process things differently, to think about things, to have a different outlook and attitude about things then the society around him.
Isaiah is sharing what God has spoken to him personally and how God helped him keep his head on straight and keep focused on what God had called him.
To do God.
Says Isaiah, don't be like everyone else.
In Isaiah day.
Everyone else was saying conspiracy, everyone else was.
Stressed about worried about some kind of scheme or conspiracy conspiracy against them?
Again, there was all this political tension, the nation of Assyria rising up and Israel and Syria teaming up against Judah and Judah, wanting to team up with Assyria.
But but all of these back.
In force and all, we heard about Egypt too.
They're in the mix and and who's going to tie up with who and how is that going to impact the rest of the, you know, like all of this positioning and posturing.
That was going on.
And so it was the constant talk of the town everywhere they would go there was this, you know, daily stress.
This daily conversation.
Did you hear, you know?
We think we saw a messenger from Israel?
Running across to Egypt and and.
And there was this back and forth, and we heard about this situation and and there was all these rumors and and.
This fear this underlying fear amongst all of the people of Judah.
As they talked about a conspiracy, did you hear about this conspiracy?
Did you hear about that conspiracy?
They're calling all kinds of things conspiracy God is saying.
God says, I say it, while everybody else is freaked out about conspiracies and schemes and plots of very powerful people.
Here's what I want you to do.
Don't say the same thing that they say.
Don't call it conspiracy.
And don't be afraid of their threats.
So what if those superpowers team up together?
So what if those political aspirations you know are fulfilled by that person?
Don't be troubled by that.
Don't don't be afraid of that.
Don't be freaked out by that.
I say you need to handle things differently than the people around you.
And you must not say conspiracy.
You must not be so worked up about those things.
As the nation around you is verse 13, the Lord of hosts him you shall hollow.
Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
I said here's how you are to be different.
Don't be so caught up and moved when those.
Ideas, plans and schemes of powerful people are talked about, rumored or taking place.
That's not to be the thing that moves you that that you are occupied with that.
You're consumed with.
You are to fear God.
You're to hollow him, not power, not money, not prestige, not brilliant plans.
You're not to elevate those things and think, whoa, they've got some really good ideas.
They've got a really brilliant strategy.
They've got, you know, all of this in place, and whoa, that is impressive.
God is saying, don't be impressed.
By any man or any of men schemes, any amends plans.
Be impressed by the Lord of hosts.
Be the one that you.
Fear, let him be the one.
That you dread.
You stay focused.
On the Lord fear God more than man and more than man plans and he tells Isaiah in verse 14 if you do this.
He will be as a sanctuary.
If you'll learn to not be moved by the words of plans or schemes or rumors, all of those things.
But instead, if you will be overwhelmed by God and focused on the sovereignty of God focused on the work of God, the goodness of God, the the things of God, then you will be.
In the Sanctuary of God you'll be sheltered.
Everybody around you they're tossed to and fro by every wind of conspiracy that comes through, but you'll be sheltered.
God will be a sanctuary to you because.
You've made him your focus and your fear.
Although God will be a sanctuary to you.
To others, he goes on to say, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the Houses of Israel as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and many among them shall stumble.
They shall fall and be broken, be snared and taken.
What is a sanctuary for Isaiah?
Because he trusts in the Lord and is focused on the Lord becomes a rock and a stumbling to everyone else because they're working against the Lord, they're fighting against the Lord.
They're gonna fall on the rock and be broken.
And it really presents to us our options.
We can learn to fear God first and most and above all else, to hallowe him and be impressed with him more than we're impressed with anything else.
To be focused on him and not distracted by the winds of doctrine.
The winds of conspiracy, the rumors and and all of those things.
If we're focused on those things, we will fall against the rock of the.
Lord and be broken.
But if we're focused on the Lord.
All of those things will fall against our sanctuary.
And will be thief within and.
The grasp of the Lord.
Right where he has us right here where he wants us to be.
Don't fear men.
Don't fear plans.
Don't fear plots.
Don't fear politics.
Politicians fear God.
He will be a sanctuary to you.
He will be a shelter to you to protect you.
This portion of Scripture is interesting. I think it kind of captured Peter's attention because he quotes from Isaiah Chapter 8 twice in his letter, first Peter.
I think it's.
Beneficial for us to consider that for just a moment, here first Peter Chapter 2.
Verse seven and eight.
This is therefore to you who believe he is precious.
But to those who are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, they stumble, being disobedient to the word.
To which they also were appointed.
Here Peter quotes from 2 passages in Isaiah, the stone being rejected being the chief cornerstone that's later.
But here in Chapter 8 is the stone of stumbling in.
The rock of offense.
And Peter is saying here in this passage in first Peter Chapter 2 that that we come to him as the living stone.
And although Jesus is the living stone, he was rejected by men, but chosen by God.
And so there's this.
Rock that we have run to this solid foundation which we have and so to those who believe he's precious and and and we grasp hold of Jesus and grasp hold of the rock.
But to others.
Who have not received the Lord.
That same rock that is precious to us.
Is a stumbling block.
A rock of offense.
Except the Lord, and so they are broken against.
Well then in first Peter chapter three he quotes from Chapter 8 again.
Looking at verses 13 through 15, at first Peter three, it says.
And who is he who will harm you if you have become?
Followers of what is good.
But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake.
You are blessed.
And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you for a reason, for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Peter says, don't be afraid of their threats.
Nor be troubled.
That's what the Lord told Isaiah here in Chapter 8.
And and Peter here is encouraging people.
The letter is written to those who are dispersed.
In rebellious lands, they're in hostile territory.
Worried about what's going to happen to us?
We've been driven all over the place.
Where strangers in foreign lands, Peter says, listen.
Don't don't worry about the harm.
That you might experience for doing what it's good.
Don't cave in and start fitting into the people around you and disregarding the ways of the Lord and the will of the Lord, because it seems safer to to fit in and not to be such a target.
No, you you stay focused on doing what is.
Good, who's going to?
Harm you for doing what is good.
And he goes on to say, you know, actually, it's not that nobody will ever experience harm.
You might suffer harm.
But even if you do.
If you suffer harm, you might.
You might suffer harm for being faithful to God in a rebellious land.
If you do, if the Lord allows that.
He has reason he has purpose and there will be blessing in it.
So don't be afraid of their threats and don't be troubled when everybody else around you wants you to disavow God and run away from God and disregard what God has said.
You don't do that.
And prepare yourself.
To suffer for righteousness sake.
Because it'll come with blessing.
And when you suffer for righteousness sake.
He goes on in verse 15.
Prepare yourself sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.
Put God first.
Put God high hallow him right.
And be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks for a reason.
For the hope that is in you.
When they see you suffering greatly and all this persecution against you, but you're still loving people, even those who are enemies against you, and they say, how on Earth can you behave that way under suffering?
Peter says be ready when people ask that when you suffer so much that it causes people to be perplexed and wonder how can you suffer so much and have so much hope and meekness and fear.
How is that possible that you can?
Go through so much and have so much pain and and suffer so much for doing what you say is good and what you think is good.
How can you endure this kind of suffering?
Be ready to give an answer.
Here's the reason why I have this hope.
The precious cornerstone.
That suffering in the midst.
Is a powerful testimony.
But if we fear man and men plans more than we fear God.
We'll never have that opportunity.
Listen in the midst.
Of a rebellious land there is going to be.
Difficulty and opposition.
There's going to be temptation to cave.
On issues to cave in, practices to cave in, language to cave and to.
Kind of assimilate into the society around us.
Behave like them, look like them, talk like them.
Walk like them.
And there's going to be great temptation, because it seems like, well, it'll be so much smoother for us if we do.
But if we fearman and let that pressure.
Bring us to the point point of compromise.
We will be broken against the rock.
We need to learn to fear God more than men.
More than men plans.
And there's going to be the reasoning in our head, but if I do this and then there's these plans and this person is out to get me, and this person is going to say that, and there's going to be these schemes, and those conversations and this person is in power.
And now this is going to happen.
We're caught up in the wrong things.
Fear God more than man and man's plans.
Well, point #3 verses 16 through 18. Now renew your commitment to be an example.
Renew your commitment to be an example.
Verse 16 says bind up the testimony.
Seal the law among my disciples.
And I will wait on the Lord who hides his face from the House of Jacob, and I will hope in him.
Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me.
We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts who dwells in Mount Zion.
Secures and renews
His commitment to obedience to the Lord bind up the testimony.
Seal the law.
This is something that is going to be held onto.
This is something that is going to be kept, not trashed, not tossed.
But held onto.
And ivia proclaims.
I will wait on the Lord.
God tells him fear, God more than man and don't be calling everything a conspiracy and worried about all those things.
Isaiah says, I hear you, Lord, I'm going to do that.
I will wait on the Lord.
It's in direct response to what the Lord had just instructed him to wait on.
The Lord is the opposite of calling things conspiracy.
And being worried.
About all of those plans and purposes of the people around us are the people in power.
To wait on the Lord is to rest in God's plan to rest in the sovereignty of God.
I will wait on the Lord, but notice he says, who hides his face from the House of Jacob?
God hides his face from the House of Jacob.
That doesn't sound like a good.
Thing it's because it's not.
Because God is hiding his face from the House of Jacob because the House of Jacob is rejecting God, they could have had the soft flowing waters of.
Siloam, but they've chosen the raging rivers of the king of Assyria, right?
They've rejected God.
And so God is hiding his face, and they're.
Going to experience.
The discipline of God as a result.
So they're not going to see him.
But Isaiah says I will wait on the Lord.
I'm going to hold fast to his word and hold fast to the things that he has said.
And I will hope in him my hope, my trust, my rest, my treasure.
It's all going to be placed in the Lord.
I'm not going to hope in some new leader to step up and say, hey, we got to stop all of these.
You know, conspiracy theories and and put it into them or some new leader.
I'm not going to hope that they're going to stand up and and say, hey, we're going to get right now and we're going to, you know, change direction and we're going to escape this judgment that is to come.
I'm not going to hope in somebody.
Else to rise to the occasion and do something, I'm going to hope in God.
To work his plan.
To fulfill his will, I'm going to wait on the Lord as opposed to running around and doing what I want to do.
I'm going to wait on the Lord and do the things that he instructs me to do, and I'm going to hope in him.
Trusting that he will work all things together for good as he has promised.
And with that.
Confidence in verse 18, he says here.
And the children whom the Lord has given me.
Here am I sound familiar back in Chapter 6.
When the Lord when Isaiah seized the Lord High and lifted up the train of his robe, fills the temple.
He's cleansed by the Lord, and he hears the Lord, saying, who will?
Go for us.
Here am I send me.
He renews that commitment now here am I and.
He's got reinforcements.
The children, whom the Lord has given me.
Records, probably his first child, Chapter 8 records his second.
Both of them have significant names, prophetic names that are part of the message that God gave Isaiah to deliver to the.
Nation of Judah.
So he has some reinforcements now here am I.
I'm here to serve the Lord, and that's for me in my house.
We're going to serve the Lord.
And me and my children.
He says, we are for signs and wonders in Israel.
We're going to be the evidence.
Of God's word and God's work before the nation of Judah.
We're going to be.
We're going to be examples.
We're going to show people.
Here's what it looks like to.
Wait on the Lord.
Here's what it looks like.
To hope in the Lord.
Here's what it looks like to be faithful.
And obedient to the Lord.
And yeah, that might mean sometimes we name our kids really strange things.
Because, well, that's what God said.
It was a.
Message to the people and Isaiah says you know what?
It's going to cost my children to be this witness.
It's going to cost them to be an example, but they're they're part of this path.
They're my family.
Me my house.
We're going to stand against the tide.
We're not going to go with the flow.
We are going to stand.
In hope in the Lord, even when nobody else is, and so he renews his commitment to be an example to be a witness to the nation.
These are really encouraging things for us.
Helpful things for us.
How to serve God in a rebellious land to obey God before you understand why to fear God more than man, immense plans and then to renew your commitment.
To be an example, understanding it might involve.
Some real sacrifices, not just from you, but from your family.
But the alternative to go with the flow is to be broken.
Finally, verses 19 through 22 we get.
Test everything by the scriptures.
Verse 19 and when they say to you, seek those who are mediums and Wizards who whisper and mutter should not have people seek their God.
Should they seek?
The dead, on behalf of the living.
To the law and to the testimony if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no.
Light in them.
They will pass through it hard pressed and hungry, and it shall happen when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and cursed their king and their God, and look upward.
Then they will look to the earth and see trouble and darkness, gloom and English.
And they will be driven Into Darkness.
Chapter 8 ends kind of on a dark note, but it continues on the chapter break.
Here is not in the original manuscript, and the Lord goes on in Chapter 9 to announce the light that is coming.
The light to the Gentiles and and there's some awesome prophecies of Jesus there in Chapter 9 ministering in the land of.
Galilee, and that you see that in the 1st 3 verses and then that famous verse in verse six of Isaiah Chapter 9.
The sun is given.
The government will be upon his shoulder.
His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, the Lord so good at not leaving things in darkness.
That darkness doesn't win in the end that those who embrace the darkness, they they will end in the ending of the darkness.
But but God will bring forth light.
Even after the greatest darkness.
But in the midst of that, as they're on this downward spiral as a nation, and they're stressing about plans and plots and purposes of armies and kings and kingdoms, and talking about conspiracies and all worked up over all those things.
The people are desperate.
They're scrambling for direction for insight.
And so the call in verse 19 is to seek those who are mediums and Wizards.
Let's let's try talking to the.
Dead, let's try seeking out, you know sorcerers and those who are fortune tellers and and let's try to to figure out let's.
Get some insight from the spiritual realm.
Not willing to hear from the Lord, but they're willing to look everywhere else besides the Lord.
So when you see that.
Recognize should not a people seek their God.
People who are seeking mediums and Wizards and.
Horoscopes and all those things, here's the thing to understand.
They are seeking their God.
They may proclaim the name of the true and living God.
They may take the name Christian.
They may call themselves a child of God, but but those that they're seeking for direction are revealing those things.
Are their God?
They're not children of the true.
And living God.
Should they seek the dead on the behalf of the living?
Listen, we we serve a living God and a living savior.
And so he provides Isaiah with a standard by which two tests.
These requests these challenges these things that come.
Well, I went and we did the seance and we got this message back and so here's you know the the thing that we're supposed to do.
And now we're.
Coming up with new plans based on this.
The Lord instructs Isaiah to the law and to the testimony.
Go back to the scriptures.
That's the test.
Those words that might be given from those sources.
Mediums and Wizards and all such things.
They might sound great.
They might sound brilliant.
But go back to the word of God, to the law, to the testimony if they do.
Not speak according to this word.
If what they say is contrary to the scriptures, it is because there is no light in them, God's not in that.
It may sound brilliant.
It might even look successful as people execute that plan.
There's no light in them.
That plan will not last.
It will not work.
It will not succeed in the end.
Listen, everybody is going to have their advice about what to do in all situations.
I think social media has taught us that very well, right?
Everybody has their ideas about and we often use words like if, if only or just you know, here's what you got to do.
It's just there's a quick.
And easy answer to everything and the.
Problem is everybody has a different answer and so.
That's the the nature of the the complex life that we live.
Everybody is going to have their advice and some are going to say speak to medium, something to say call the psychic hotline.
So we're going to say find out what Grandma says.
This is some others are going to say, well, we need to find out what you know.
This sports player says we need to find out what this talk show host says and and what do they you know think about this and what's their solution for the thing.
Verse 20 is so crucial.
For us, I'd suggest it's one of the best verses in the Bible that calls us to look back to the scriptures to test everything, everything we.
Here everything we see everything we decide and wrestle with in our minds we need to test it by the word of God, even when we're studying the word of God.
Remember the apostle Paul when he was teaching and and the Bereans were more noble than the Thessalonians because they searched the scriptures daily to find out if what Paul was saying was true.
Preaching the gospel.
He's the apostle Paul.
But he was fact checked by the Word of God.
Does it line up?
Does it fit in with what God has revealed in his word?
Isaiah leaves out the standard.
And we need to take this verse to every bit of counsel that we ever hear and receive to every decision that we ever make to everything that we receive through the eyes through the ears, through the nose, wherever you receive it, that we would test all things by the scriptures.
Don't be freaked out.
By life by threats by problems.
Run to the Lord.
He's your sanctuary.
Those who run to him will find Sanctuary.
They will find shelter.
So fear God more than man plans.
He'll take care of you.
Obey him before.
You understand why, when it doesn't make sense when when you can't see the whole path ahead when you don't understand the strategies.
The Lord knows, trusts him, and respond as he prompts your heart.
Understanding that there is going to be a cost involved that that standing against society serving God in a rebellious land.
Is going to require a renewed commitment to be an example.
It's going to be hard.
There's going to have to be a firm stand that is taken.
Your family is going to be affected by it.
The other part of this is if you don't stand.
And stay faithful.
Serving God in a rebellious land.
I say your children might be the ones running to mediums and sorcerers and caught up in those things.
Because you didn't renew your commitment to.
Be an example.
So I say it's important renew your commitment.
I just says here I.
Am me and my children.
We're going to stand.
We're going to hope in the Lord we're going to wait on the Lord.
And everything that is suggested, all of the plans and purposes and ideas, we're going to go back to the scriptures.
And we're going to test those thoughts.
Those ideas, those concepts.
With what the word of God has to say?
Here Isaiah provides for us a fantastic example.
Here's how to serve God in a rebellious land.
So let's follow his lead obeying God before we understand why fearing God first above everything else, not worried about plans and conspiracies, renewing our commitment to be an example for God in the world that we live and testing everything, checking everything out to make sure it fits with the word of God before we adopt it.
Believe it, walk in it, say it.
Whatever the case.
May be Lord, we thank you that you provide for us this kind of.
Example, that's so.
Appropriate Lord for the world that we live in.
So many parallels here as we look at our land and the rebellions against you and Lord, there are glimmers of hope in our land and we rejoice and thank you for the the things that we see happening.
Lord, when it fits with your plans and purposes and and really aligns with your values God and we thank you for that.
Lord, we also recognize it's not.
The victory isn't done.
The battle is not over, but there's a great battle where that's stirring up and really increasing and intense.
City our society is fighting against you and what you say and what you have declared to be true.
And so Lord we need in this time to be valiant, to be steadfast and immovable and abounding in your work.
Help us Lord to serve you in the midst of a rebellious.
And help us to look to you to trust in you, to put you first and God.
I pray that you would lead us and guide us by your Holy Spirit in Jesus name.