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You Are Doing It All Wrong

Isaiah   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:49
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Chapters 28-33 deal with a series of 5 “woes.” This is a funeral term. Last Sunday Night we started into these woes in chapter 28 dealing with bad, drunken leaders in opposition to Isaiah’s godly preaching and teaching and leadership.
In a sense chapter 29 continues that theme, but it weaves together Jerusalem’s faltering stability, and God’s promise to restore them, along with a promise to crush the Nations that have stood against them.
I believe this deals to some extent with the Assyrian armies that almost choked out Jerusalem, but it also seems to deal with a future time when at the end of the Tribulation period God wipes out the nations that seek to destroy Jerusalem.
The phrase “Ariel” is talking about Jerusalem as a place of an altar.
you could look at this way
Judgment will come from God’s hand on Jerusalem 1-4
Deliverance will come from God’s hand for Jerusalem 5-8
Like most of Isaiah there is a constant back and forth between hope and judgment.
What I want to focus on is how Isaiah’s words to Jerusalem speak to our own Worship “habits”
When it comes to God we must!

Avoid the Blindness Cycle

Isaiah 29:9–12 HCSB
9 Stop and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with beer. 10 For the Lord has poured out on you an overwhelming urge to sleep; He has shut your eyes—the prophets, and covered your heads—the seers. 11 For you the entire vision will be like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to one who can read and he is asked to read it, he will say, “I can’t read it, because it is sealed.” 12 And if the document is given to one who cannot read and he is asked to read it, he will say, “I can’t read.”
Starting in verse 9 he returns to the theme of bad leaders. (verses 9-12)
It’s almost like God gives folks what they think they want. They don’t listen to what they heard, didn’t heed what Isaiah told them at any step along the way, and so now their eyes are shut.
And make no mistake verse 10 says it began with the leaders… the prophets and the seers.
They blinded themselves and were blind, but God poured on them an urge to shut their eyes.
Its a cycle
Principle: If you don’t obey what God has clearly said, it seems He shrouds further truth.
It is so important to heed the Word God gives us. To ignore what we know God’s Word says starts us down a further and further slippery slope of spiritual blindness.
Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep your longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.
Sin will keep you from God’s Word, God’s People, and God’s Will, and God’s Word and God’s Will and the influence of God’s people will keep you from sin.

Avoid Empty Tradition and Legalism

Isaiah 29:13–14 HCSB
13 The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service — yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship consists of man-made rules learned by rote— 14 therefore I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. The wisdom of their wise men will vanish, and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden.
I think there are two things here we need to remember
Empty Routine (Doing the external things to look and feel spiritual.)
Legalism (Believing that doing those things makes you spiritual)
“You can go through the motions for so long that you think you are spiritual because of it”

Avoid Thinking You can Hide From God

Isaiah 29:15–16 HCSB
15 Woe to those who go to great lengths to hide their plans from the Lord. They do their works in darkness, and say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” 16 You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker, “He didn’t make me”? How can what is formed say about the one who formed it, “He doesn’t understand what he’s doing”?
Can you imagine, thinking you could hide your plans from God?
Question: Why would you want to hide them from God, unless they were not God honoring...
Hiding… from God… seems unlikely doesn’t it.
Adam and Eve tried it. God never missed a beat.
Cain tried to hide what he did with Abel…Didn’t work.
The list goes on and on.
These leaders and followers that Isaiah is speaking about and to are idolaters, deal makers with godless nations, thinking they can hide from God by doing what they do under the cover of night.
Sounds crazy, but I believe this happens over and over again in modern days.
Illustration: our photographer this week telling me that their second pastor in a few years, plus their youth minister have been uncovered in crazy, twisted stuff.
What about you… are there plans you have that you can’t bring to the light of God’s Word because He would redirect you. Are there things in your life… things on your smart phone… etc. that you are trying to hide from God.. and others?
By the way notice verse 16.
Isaiah says you have things turned around. the over all lesson of this chapter is that God is the one who hides things and reveals things.
He is the potter and gets to determine what happens with the clay. We as the clay don’t get to tell God what we want to be and do.
This moves things beyond just hiding the sin issue … its a bigger picture.
God is the one who should set the agenda, and the plan, and the purpose for your life, and you should yield to the potters hand, instead of thinking you as the clay should get to tell God what to do.

God does and will turn hearts to Himself

Isaiah 29:17–24 HCSB
17 Isn’t it true that in just a little while Lebanon will become an orchard, and the orchard will seem like a forest? 18 On that day the deaf will hear the words of a document, and out of a deep darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19 The humble will have joy after joy in the Lord, and the poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the ruthless one will vanish, the scorner will disappear, and all those who lie in wait with evil intent will be killed— 21 those who, with their speech, accuse a person of wrongdoing, who set a trap at the gate for the mediator, and without cause deprive the righteous of justice. 22 Therefore, the Lord who redeemed Abraham says this about the house of Jacob: Jacob will no longer be ashamed and his face will no longer be pale. 23 For when he sees his children, the work of My hands within his nation, they will honor My name, they will honor the Holy One of Jacob and stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 Those who are confused will gain understanding, and those who grumble will accept instruction.
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