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Isaiah 51-52

Isaiah   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:26
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A story has been told of a time when the Lord told a man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of the man’s cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day after day. For many months he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night, the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out. Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s mind such as: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. You are never going to be able to move it.” These thoughts began to discourage and dishearten the man even more. In the midst of battling discouragement, the man decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which You have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a centimeter. I am failing You.” To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me, with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and sturdy, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But, son, I did not ask you to move the rock. I simply asked you to push. It is my job to move the rock.”

In participating with God in His work you will face the antsy feeling to awaken God. Your God is antsy (in its purest form) to awaken you.

To what then does God want you to wake up? What does the journey from the antsy condition look like?

God provides orientation not always explanation

Note the characteristic of those who choose to follow God in this way.
50:10 They fear God, obey him, rely on Hims
51:1- Pursue Righteousness and seek the Lord
51:7 They is a personal close union with God.

He orients you to your beginning, your future, and your opposition

Bleak, small conditions will be turned into abundant blessing and joy (51:1-3)
God’s established reign of truth will be brought to its perfect end through its perfect means (51:4-6) Nail on the head!
* "The saving work satisfies every standard of the Lord's righteous nature, meets every legal claim, and discharges every debt before the eternal law. " Moyter Through Gods righteous work people are moved from a condition of wrath to the restored condition of submission to God, joy in God, and strength from God.
Opposition is momentary. Salvation is forever. (51:7-19)
Illustration of GPS guiding us in Tampa Bay in the uncharted water.

God provides enough orientation to give expectation, agitation, and comfort

Expectation: He has a historical record of showing strength. He is not quiet about a bright future. (51:9-12)
Agitation: The prayer of faith with express confidence and dissapointment
Psalm 44:23, 26
Psalm 44:23 NKJV
Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever.
Psalm 44:26 NKJV
Arise for our help, And redeem us for Your mercies’ sake.

God provides enough orientation to give expectation, agitation, and comfort

The comfort of God
You are different from a people who die and pass away (v. 12)
Your creator and ruler swallows up the short- lived oppression (v. 15)
Illustration of Disciples in the boat. Container big enough to hold something that seems large.
He gives insight into the unfolding drama that the Servant of the Lord is unfolding. (v. 16)
Illustration of listening to Aunt Vickie tell story in VBS and ending with : “And you will have to come back tomorrow.”
Transition: We may think that God wants to orient us to a general picture of what He doing. However, we find that He wants to awaken us to realities that are real right now

God is wakening you to live in the position of favor and strength that He has given you

While you were sleeping (Emphasize: Awake! Awake!
He alone removed His wrath between you and Him and became your defender (51:17-22)
He has given you the priestly, royal resources (52:1-2) (Mentioned how he did it without price)
He calls you to a hope-filled pilgrimage. (52:11-12)
The antsy one misses what the awakening God is doing all around Him
How much noise does the river make as it flows swiftly and deeply to the sea, bearing the burden which it is to lay down in the river's mouth and thus sow the dust of continents to be? We look and fear and tremble at the boisterous works of nature, and foolishly think that then the world is doing its work. But the boisterous works of nature are just as unimportant as the boisterous works of man. It is not the storm of a century, tearing down beach and cliff, but the soft and gentle, almost imperceptible, lapping of the waves from hour to hour, and week to week, and year to year, that is building a new continent and submerging an old one. Whoever heard the flow of the subterranean waters that keep the world's heart fresh? How silently the snow falls, and how silent is the fierce griping of the frost. Whoever heard the soft procession of the early morn? The sun goes forth to run his race, but we never hear his panting or catch the sound of his footsteps; and night comes down to "blind with her hair the eyes of day," but no one hears her coming
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