총 게시물 481건, 최근 2 건

'The hand of the LORD'

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-07-02 (월) 03:21 조회 : 57
설교일 : 2018.07.01
설교자 : Rev. Taegyu Shin
본문말씀 : Isaiah 41:17-20

July 1, 2018

 

‘The hand of the LORD’

Isaiah 41:17-20

 

Rev. Taegyu Shin’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

I want to share this story about a problematic family.

This man was driving above the speed limit and got caught by a policeman, who wanted to give him just a warning; “Sir, you have been speeding!”.

Then, this man wanted to give an explanation; “Sorry, I have been drinking a little bit.”

Now, the policeman was alarmed and realized that a warning wouldn’t be enough for punishment. So, he asked for the man’s driver’s license. Then, his wife sitting in the passenger’s seat said, “He doesn’t have any driver’s license.” The policeman was stunned and asked him to get out of the car right away. Just then, the child in the back seat shouted proudly, “Sir, one more thing, this is a stolen car!” His problems are piling up.

 

Just like this man’s multiple problems, today’s passage of Isaiah shows the people of Judah   having many crucial problems and in need of help. The name ‘Isaiah’ means ‘The LORD saves’ and like his name, the Prophet Isaiah proclaims the salvation of mankind, and thus the book of Isaiah is considered the 5th Gospel, after Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Lord Jesus began His ministry by quoting from the book of Isaiah.

 

The book of Isaiah has 66 chapters and can be considered as an abridged Bible.

The first part of Isaiah (chapters 1-39) is compared to the 39 books of the Old Testament and contains the rebukes and judgments against Israel, Judah and other foreign nations. The second part of Isaiah (chapters 40-66) is compared to the 27 books of the New Testament and contains the release of the Israelites from captivity, salvation of Israel through Messiah and the new Israel in the new heaven and new earth at the end of times.

 

Just as the New Testament begins with the cry in the wilderness by John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:1-12, Mark 1:1-8, Luke 3:2-6), the second part of Isaiah begins with a voice calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3).

 

Like the main message of the New Testament which is the salvation of mankind through the sufferings of Messiah (Jesus Christ), the second part of Isaiah foresees the sufferings of Messiah (chapter 53) and subsequent salvation of mankind (chapters 54-57).

 

As the New Testament ends with a new heaven and a new earth after the Judgment by the one on a white throne (Revelation), the book of Isaiah ends with the description of the new heaven and new earth for Israel after the Judgment (chapter 66).

 

Therefore, by reading through the book of Isaiah, one can get a summary of the whole Bible. In Isaiah, the names of Judah, Jacob and Israel are used together to indicate the people of God who are now captives in Babylon.

 

Today’s passage is the message of salvation for the crushed Israelites, which is to take place 100 years later.

 

Isaiah urged the people of Judah to repent and come back to the Lord, but they did not and stayed away from their God and eventually were taken away as captives to Babylon.

 

After bringing the Israelites into the Promised Land of Canaan, God blessed them and made Israel a nation of priests through His covenant with them. Therefore, Israel was to be ruled by God unlike any other countries and to be a good example to the others.

 

King David followed the will of God and asked God for guidance every time he went to war. He was so beloved by God that God granted his descendants to inherit the throne. David and Solomon had been anointed by God, but after their descendants inherited the throne, they soon forgot they were the servants of God, just like the priests or prophets.

 

As time went on, the kings of Israel behaved like the kings of other nations. Instead of praying to their God of Israel, they began to worship other idols and made alliances with other countries. Eventually, the kingdom of Judah was conquered and ruined by the Babylonian forces after they had taken over all the neighboring countries.

 

During 70 years of captivity in Babylon, the Israelites became keenly reminded of the prophecy and realized that they had sinned before God by worshiping those foolish idols.

 

God comforts them with “Do not fear” three times in chapter 41.

“Do not fear, for I am with you” (verse 10), “Do not fear; I will help you” (verse 13), “Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O Israel” (verse 14).

 

Do you have any fear right now? Are you afraid of anything? Then, I urge you in the name of the Lord to obey the command of God and throw away all your fear into a waste basket.

 

God’s heart for the people is clearly shown in verse 8, when He called them, “But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend.” They were the descendants of Abraham, chosen by God and belonged to Him, and God still remembers His promise to Abraham.

 

In verse 9, God says, “I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” This shows that the captivity for the Israelites was not any punishment for them, but it had to happen because they had left the protection of God. Just as the Prodigal Son had remembered his father only when he was destitute, the Israelites remembered God only when they were crushed, but God was there for them, all the time.

 

God is here with us, as He says “For I am with you”, but why don’t we believe His promise? God says that He has chosen us and has not rejected us. He is always waiting for us.

 

His words of “Do not fear” remind us of His words to Joshua before the fall of Jericho.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

 

The words of God to Isaiah has the same message as those given to Joshua; to return to the land of Canaan from Babylon with renewed hope and determination.

 

Now that Israel is in the hand of the LORD, they begin to change and they are going to be saved. The first aspect of their salvation is they are being freed from captivity in verses 8-16.

 

In verse 14, God calls them ‘O worm Jacob’. David had called himself, “But I am a worm and not a man” (Psalms 22:6). Here God calls them ‘worm’ not to scold, but to indicate their powerlessness.

 

But in verse 15, God wants to ‘make them into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth’ so that ‘they can thresh the mountains and crush them and reduce the hills to chaff.’ Like the time when Moses’ staff was held high in his hand, it parted the Red Sea and helped the water gush out of a rock, the powerless people of Judah are now going to crush the strong foreign forces and reduce them to chaff.

 

Actually, all the foreign forces which had conquered and ruined the Israelites have since disappeared from history, but the nation of Israel is still going strong.

 

The second aspect of their salvation is the devastated natural scenery of Israel in Isaiah 41:17-19.

Verse 17: “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.”

 

Then, in verses 18-19, God promises them amazing things; He will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. He will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.

 

The Almighty God is in charge of the rain from sky and of the water wells. By abundant rain, rivers and springs can flow and desert can be turned into pools of water and parched ground can become springs.

 

God wants to make these things happen with His hand for His people when they return from their exile to the Promised Land. He will work for them (verses 17-19), just as He did when the Israelites were marching into the land of Canaan. Whether they are in Babylon, or in Canaan, God will take care of them by providing water and resting places.

 

After conquering Babylon, King Cyrus of Persia allowed Zerubbabel and his followers to return to their homeland and protected them during their long journey by enlisting the help of local officials along their travel routes. Like their Exodus from Egypt, this was another miracle for the Israelites, as this kindly act of sending the captives home was very unusual for any king at any time in history.

 

God tells the reason for doing these things for them.

Verse 20: “So that the people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

 

The neighboring countries that do not believe in God will see the hand of the LORD restoring the Israelites and then realize the power of the name of the LORD. The Almighty God makes plans and fulfills them. Just as God has called, helped and saved Israel, our salvation is also completely in God’s hand.

 

In 15thcentury, a sculptor in Florence got hold of a huge piece of marble and began to work on it but failed. This unsightly piece of marble was left alone for 40 years.

 

Then, one day Michelangelo became interested in the same marble piece and envisioned a masterpiece. That was how David, one of the greatest sculptures in history, came to life. Michelangelo had in his mind the story of David and Goliath from chapter 17 of ‘1 Samuel’ and wanted to portray the victory of David.

 

Seeing that he was chiseling a marble piece, a child asked him what he was doing. He answered, “There is an angel inside of this marble piece and I am trying to give him wings by chiseling.”

 

Michelangelo described that his work was mostly getting rid of unnecessary parts.

One day he noticed a crucial flaw inside of the marble piece and was tempted to smash the whole thing, when he heard a voice saying, “Don’t you have any scars? Didn’t you experience any pain and suffering in your life?” Then, he realized that the flaw in the marble was just like his own scar and continued the work. Afterwards, the flaw shaped like a blood vessel made the finished statue look more realistic and more dynamic. This is David, the most well-known statue in Florence, Italy.

 

What did the marble do? It didn’t do anything, but let the sculptor do the job of sculpting. Depending on the hand of the sculptor, the marble could be thrown away as useless or sculpted into a masterpiece like Michelangelo did with David.

 

God is the creator of us. Even if we are broken or scarred, God can still sculpt us into His masterpieces.

No matter what circumstances you are under, do not be afraid or dismayed, and trust God only. God never loses any child of His own, so He will take care of you.

 

Let us read Isaiah 41:10 again.

“So, do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

 

 

 


   

총 게시물 481건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
481 2018.07.22  Go forward together as one body Ephesians 4:1-16 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
480 2018.07.22  앞으로 나란히 에베소서 4장 1~16절 신경림 목사
479 2018.07.15  The Grace of Restoration Acts 4:5-12 Rev. Sei Hwan Kim
478 2018.07.08  The Lord's Supper 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
477 2018.07.08  주님의 만찬 고린도전서 11장 23~26절 신경림 목사
476 2018.07.01  여호와의 손 이사야 41장 17~20절 신태규 목사
475 2018.07.01  'The hand of the LORD' Isaiah 41:17-20 Rev. Taegyu Shin
474 2018.07.01  여호와의 손 이사야 41:17-20 신태규 목사
473 2018.06.24  은과 금보다 귀한 믿음 사도행전 3장 1~10절 권병훈 목사
472 2018.06.24  More precious than silver or gold is our faith Acts 3:1-10 Rev. Byunghoon Kwon
471 2018.06.24  은과 금보다 귀한 믿음 사도행전 3:1-10 권병훈 목사
470 2018.06.17  The Clumsy Love 1 John 4:7-12 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
469 2018.06.17  서투른 사랑 요한1서 4장 7~12절 신경림 목사
468 2018.06.10  눈물의 다짐 열왕기하 18장1~6절 권태홍 목사
467 2018.06.10  Our Tearful Pledges 2 Kings 18:1-6 Rev. Kwon
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : Go forward together as one body
설교일 : 2018.07.22
본문말씀 : Ephesians 4:1-16
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
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