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Don't Mistake the Mercy of God for His Approval

Isaiah 9:8-23  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Isaiah 9:8–21 NKJV
8 The Lord sent a word against Jacob, And it has fallen on Israel. 9 All the people will know— Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria— Who say in pride and arrogance of heart: 10 “The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars.” 11 Therefore the Lord shall set up The adversaries of Rezin against him, And spur his enemies on, 12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind; And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still. 13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts. 14 Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel, Palm branch and bulrush in one day. 15 The elder and honorable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail. 16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed. 17 Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men, Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows; For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, And every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still. 18 For wickedness burns as the fire; It shall devour the briers and thorns, And kindle in the thickets of the forest; They shall mount up like rising smoke. 19 Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts The land is burned up, And the people shall be as fuel for the fire; No man shall spare his brother. 20 And he shall snatch on the right hand And be hungry; He shall devour on the left hand And not be satisfied; Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm. 21 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; Together they shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.

Let me quickly set the scene for us tonight.
Isaiah speaks of Jacob was the Patriarch , one of the founding fathers of the Israelite people,
God had renamed him Israel.
And the twelve tribes of Israel descended from Jacob’s sons.
In these verses; Isaiah is telling the “people of Judah” which was the “southern kingdom”, of whom Isaiah primarily ministered to; of the arrogance and continued lack of regret or sorrow that Israel had over their sins.
The people had come to a point where even in times of severe trouble they would not humble themselves and turn from their rebellious ways.
as a result, God’s anger and judgement would be released against them.
Isaiah tells what will happen to them (the Northern kingdom) which is Israel, when the Assyrians would invade.
Isaiah used This invasion as a warning to the people of Judah
To warn them that God does not take sin lightly.
Israel had sinned greatly against the Lord and because of their sin God removed His mercy from them and the Assyrians attack them.
I want us to look at this; the judgment of God against Israel because of their sin.
I want to preach to you on the subject:

Don’t Mistake the Mercy of God for His Approval.

12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind; And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.
Some people interpret this to be the mercy of God,
But make no mistake about it;
This is the outstretched hand of Gods judgement upon them.
Remember Isaiah is speaking to his people, the people of Judah, about the people of Israel.
as a warning,
The people of Israel were facing the judgement of God because of their sin
and Isaiah was telling them this is how you don’t want to be.
God’s judged them for two specific reasons and I want use to look at this closely.
God judged them for their pride.
God judged them for their hardness of heart.
God Judged them for their pride
vs9 All the people will know— Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria— Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
They said that they would replace the broken brick of their ruins with stone
and that they would replant to fig trees with cedars.
In other words
Instead of humbling themselves before God and repenting, they were going to continue to do what they wanted to do and relay on their own strength, abilities, and resources to do it.
as a matter of fact; they even said that they would do it even better than before
Let me tell you what the bible says about pride.

One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”

Before destruction a man's heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
Friend;
Pride has been fall of many of good men.
But I don’t want us to misunderstood tonight.
The pride we are talking about is not the pride:
That you can do something good
Not that you are better at something than someone else
not the pride that you are gifted in a certain area of your life
I’m talking about pride that make you think that because your sin has not been exposed; that it’s ok for you to continue in it.
11 But the Lord will bring Rezin’s enemies against Israel and stir up all their foes. 12 The Syrians[f] from the east and the Philistines from the west will bare their fangs and devour Israel.
I’m talking about pride that makes you think: because your sin is not as bad as someone else’s sin in the eyes of culture.
that you are more holy than they are.
friend you got to understand that the playing field at calvary is all the same level.
Pride is pride
sin is sin
What separates is the one who humbles themselves before them and repents.
- If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
- And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
pride kept them from repenting
pride kept them from turning to God for help[
pride kept them from trusting God,
God brought judgement on them because of their pride.
The bricks fell; meaning destructions came because of the judgement of God
but pride rose up within them and they said we don’t need God
We will rebuild on our own.
I could preach a sermon about those who though they could do it without God.
and the conclusion of that sermon would be that failed every time.
You and I nothing without the Lord.
vessels of clay.
vapors, here today and gone tomorrow.
But through Christ and in Christ we are more than conquerors.
Pride does not make you a man
pride makes you an enemy of God.
Pride separates you from an intimate relationship with God./
Oh God; remove this pride from our hearts.
2. God judged them for their hardness of heart.
God judged them for their hardness of heart.
vs 13-14
For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.
14 Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel,
They refused to turn to God and repent.
and because of their refusal; their hearts had become hard.
Let me tell you why most people that walk away from the Lord do so.
When a new convert or new believer
someone who has recently been saved sins.
The Holy Spirit of God will convict them of their sin.
Meaning that He will tug at their heart to let them know what they did was wrong and that they need to repent.
But for whatever reason
some people do not repent.
I think for many; it is that they get away with that sin and because they get away with it they think that it is ok for them to continue in it.
And when they continue in that sin and that sin does not become exposed
over a period of time their hearts become hard.
and eventually they move on to bigger sin because they got away with the little sin
oh come on somebody.
eventually they become numb to the things of God and they get to the place they not longer trust in God
They no longer feel His presence
And then on top of that the devil throws guilt and shame and eventually they say what is the use;
and they walk away.
friend God is a patient God
He is longsuffering, meaning that He will wait on you
but don’t mistake that patients
=don’t mistake His mercy for His approval
Just because you ain’t got caught
Just because your sin hasn’t been exposed doesn’t mean that God approves of it.
vs 12
For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.
meaning that God is a righteous God and that He will judge our actions according to His word.
God Chastises those He love
But if we are not careful and we continue in our sin that chastisement become His judgement.
You and I must understand that if His chastisement does not bring us to repentance;
then His chastisement will bring on us His judgement
Hebrews 10:31 NKJV
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
He used the
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
His fist is still poised to strike.
13 For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent.
They will not seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
14 Therefore, in a single day the Lord will destroy both the head and the tail,
the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.
15 The leaders of Israel are the head, and the lying prophets are the tail.
16 For the leaders of the people have misled them.
They have led them down the path of destruction.
17 That is why the Lord takes no pleasure in the young men
and shows no mercy even to the widows and orphans.
For they are all wicked hypocrites, and they all speak foolishness.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
His fist is still poised to strike.
18 This wickedness is like a brushfire. It burns not only briers and thorns but also sets the forests ablaze. Its burning sends up clouds of smoke. 19 The land will be blackened by the fury of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The people will be fuel for the fire, and no one will spare even his own brother. 20 They will attack their neighbor on the right but will still be hungry. They will devour their neighbor on the left but will not be satisfied. In the end they will even eat their own children.[g] 21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, Ephraim will feed on Manasseh, and both will devour Judah. But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
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