Faithlife Sermons

Isaiah 30 Sensitive ears vs Itching Ears

Isaiah   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  53:34
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Hurry up and go to the pharmacist.
Sure what do you need?
I need strong pain medication now. My ankle is throbbing with pain.
Glad to do it. I am on my way. By the way what happened?
I just jumped off of the roof and broke my ankle, but don’t get a doctor. He’s the one who told me not to jump off of high structures because I just broke the same ankle 4 months ago when I jumped off the top of our van.
Well in that case I am not going to the pharmacist. I am taking you to the hospital. Drugs from the pharmacy is not what you need.
No I am not going! Fine friend you are! Here I am in pain and you won’t even drive a few minutes a way to get me some pain medication.
We all would agree that the friends decision to go to the hospital rather than the pharmacist would be a right decision. At the same time we all can relate to the situation (not just in the physical situations) in which we want relief and quick, easy help over the long-term, hard repair.
To use an expression which will reflect our passage tonight, we are prone to have itching ears rather than sensitive ears.
Because of our likeliness to such actions, we need to hear sound and healthy teaching. God is one who will masterfully carry out this work. As we observe His dealings with Judah’s desire for quick and seeminlgy logical solutions, we will see that God has clear insight into the foolishness of our way and the reason why we do such actions. This sets the stage for Him to reveal the skill of one who can heal such sickness in our lives.

God reveals the foolishness of our logical plans

Isaiah 30:1–7 NKJV
1 “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, That they may add sin to sin; 2 Who walk to go down to Egypt, And have not asked My advice, To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, And to trust in the shadow of Egypt! 3 Therefore the strength of Pharaoh Shall be your shame, And trust in the shadow of Egypt Shall be your humiliation. 4 For his princes were at Zoan, And his ambassadors came to Hanes. 5 They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them, Or be help or benefit, But a shame and also a reproach.” 6 The burden against the beasts of the South. Through a land of trouble and anguish, From which came the lioness and lion, The viper and fiery flying serpent, They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys, And their treasures on the humps of camels, To a people who shall not profit; 7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose. Therefore I have called her Rahab-Hem-Shebeth.
Israel’s thinking.
They viewed Egypt as a stronghold. Whatever lies ahead, they will be sufficient to take care of me (v.v. 2-3)
In verse 4 we are not sure whose messengers are being referred to (Judah or Egypt). They Judean messengers may have been well received by the Egyptians. This could be referring to the officers of Pharaoh and their strong control in their region.
The most logical way to gain the help is to send treasures to gain security (v. 6)
God’s revelation about their thinking
Your scheming and your plans did not star with me.
Your reasoning will continue on in unreasonable condition
Your end will be shame
Egypt will sit and do nothing. Their promises are empty.
How do we know if our thinking is logical or logically foolish?
Our thinking may be I need this job, money, relationship, toy, tool, or this health. We then predict the benefits that it would bring to us- security, happiness, and acceptance
What are its limits? What situations will wipe this resource out?
If this thing that I need is the caregiver of my soul, what end will it bring me?
Who is resourcing this need?

Transition: God reveals the foolishness of Judah’s ways, but is His way just a better plan than Judah’s or is there more going on?

God reveals the heart of our logical plans v.v. 8-17

Illustration: Picture someone with crocodile tears running down their face and you walk over to find out what is wrong. It is easy to get the answer of what is wrong in their world. It is rare to get the answer of their selfishness
Isaiah 30:8–17 NKJV
8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, And note it on a scroll, That it may be for time to come, Forever and ever: 9 That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the Lord; 10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. 11 Get out of the way, Turn aside from the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel To cease from before us.” 12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise this word, And trust in oppression and perversity, And rely on them, 13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you Like a breach ready to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant. 14 And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter’s vessel, Which is broken in pieces; He shall not spare. So there shall not be found among its fragments A shard to take fire from the hearth, Or to take water from the cistern.” 15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, 16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”— Therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses”— Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift! 17 One thousand shall flee at the threat of one, At the threat of five you shall flee, Till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain And as a banner on a hill.
Picture God writing the journal, instagram, facebook page that will live on forever. (v. 8)
They were meant to be a children flourishing under the care and teaching of their God. (Lying children v. 9)
Tell us what we want to hear. They probably did not say these thing but this is what their attitude conveyed.
God has ways that are right, but they are seen as restrictive.
The Holy Ones ways are unimpressive
Transition: So what does the dismissal of the Holy One look like?
You are putting your trust in something that will oppress
You may have apparent success, but the “wall is bulging.” Your destruction is sudden and complete.
Transition: So what is the proposed solution>
Deliverance and strength comes from dependence and and stillness rather than self-made solutions and impatience(v.v 15)
Reference Exodus 14
Conflicts and problems now chase and rule you rather than used of God as tools to shape you and reveal Him
How do I stand still and allow God to fight for me?
Possible illustration of worn down house
What are things that are threatening or fearful to me or good things that I want accomplished
Where do I run? - I run to people. I sit in pity. I get busy. Take on debt. People become a frustration.
How do I rest?- Rest is intentional. Active eagerness. I will keep loving a person (speak truth, stay engaged) with full hope in what God will do.
Transition: So that is part of the problem. I don’t see God doing anything. That is why I am so frustrated

God eagerly makes provision for you to be a part of His sure plans (v.v. 18-33)

Isaiah 30:18–22 NKJV
18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. 19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you. 20 And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers. 21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. 22 You will also defile the covering of your images of silver, And the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; You will say to them, “Get away!”
He feed with adversity to break us of that which is starving us
He eagerly and closely wants to guide us along the way. This is the sensistive ear we spoke of in the beginning.
Reference His provision in v. 23-26
Hone in on HIs healing at the end of v. 26
Isaiah 30:26
Isaiah 30:26 NKJV
26 Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, And the light of the sun will be sevenfold, As the light of seven days, In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people And heals the stroke of their wound.
God eagerly teaches, provides, and heals. Lastly watch how He fight on the behalf of His people in v. 27-33
Isaiah 30:27–33 NKJV
27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, Burning with His anger, And His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, And His tongue like a devouring fire. 28 His breath is like an overflowing stream, Which reaches up to the neck, To sift the nations with the sieve of futility; And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, Causing them to err. 29 You shall have a song As in the night when a holy festival is kept, And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, To come into the mountain of the Lord, To the Mighty One of Israel. 30 The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard, And show the descent of His arm, With the indignation of His anger And the flame of a devouring fire, With scattering, tempest, and hailstones. 31 For through the voice of the Lord Assyria will be beaten down, As He strikes with the rod. 32 And in every place where the staff of punishment passes, Which the Lord lays on him, It will be with tambourines and harps; And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it. 33 For Tophet was established of old, Yes, for the king it is prepared. He has made it deep and large; Its pyre is fire with much wood; The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, Kindles it.
2 Timothy 4:1–4 NKJV
1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
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