Isaiah02 Hear the Word of God
Hear the Word of God
Doxology Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Call to worship and Greeting
For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me— the breath of man that I have created. (Isaiah 57:15-16)
Hymn no 148: “You Servants of God”
Bible Reading: New Testament: Hebrews 4:6-13
Prayer of adoration and Confession of sins
Dear God and Father,
In our prayer we worship and praise You as the Most High who is sovereign over the kingdoms of men You give them to whomever You wish and set over them the lowliest of men. Our prayers bless You, the Most High, and praise and honor You who live forever. Your dominion is an eternal dominion, and Your kingdom endures from generation to generation. You regard all the inhabitants of the earth as nothing, and do as You pleas with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. No one can hold back your hand or say to You: “What have You done?”
We praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all your works are true, and all your ways are just, and because You are able to humble those who walk in pride. (Daniel 4:17, 34–35, 37)
Out of the depths we call to You, O Lord. O Lord, hear our voice, and let your ears be attentive to the voice of our supplications. If You, Lord, should mark our iniquities and sins, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. (Psalm 130:1–4) Lord we acknowledge that You have been just in all that has happened to us; You have acted faithfully, while we did wrong. (Nehemiah 9:33) Please forgive us. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Declaration of pardoning
We have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb 4:14-16)
Offering and Dedication
Prayer of Intercession
Hymn no 52: “Not unto us O Lord of Heaven” “
Old Testament: Isaiah 1:1-4
Sermon: “Hear the Word of God”
Dear Brother and Sister in the Lord,
The Word of God is authoritative. The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and is as such, the rule of faith and life. The authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend upon the proof of any man or Church, but entirely upon God (who is truth Himself), the Author of the Bible; and therefore we need to take it as such, because it is the Word of God.
When Isaiah says he had a vision from God, he says what he has to proclaim to God’s people, is not the result of his own insight or intuition. His vision was what God had put into his mind, by way of God’s own revelation. It is not human opinions or reasonings.
Such are the Scriptures. The apostle Peter declared:
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:20-21
And in this way we proclaim the Scriptures today. Not as human wisdom or understanding, but as a proclamation of God’s infallible and perfect Word. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
John Calvin says it is possible that Isaiah did as was a practice in the early days: he first preached the Word of God orally in public, but later penned it down on paper to then nailed it to the temple doors so that everyone could here the message of God to his people. And because Isaiah addressed the same topic many times, we see the same theme recurring more than once in the book. For more than 50 years this faithful prophet of God warned and comforted God’s people with his prophetic word.
The faithful Creator God
God’s Word is as firm as the heavens and the earth. God created the universe and everything in it; He created the heavens and the earth. They were there when He called his holy nation, Israel, into existence. Moses, in his last series of sermons before his death (recorded in Deuteronomy), called the heavens and the earth to be witnesses in God’s case against his people. And as Moses pointed forward to the Prophet who would be raised by God, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who would fulfil the Law by his righteousness, Isaiah now calls the heavens and the earth as witnesses against God’s unfaithful people. And now, he too would point to the Messiah, the Immanuel of Chapter 7, the Prince of Peace of Chapter 9, the Root of Jesse in Chapter 11, who would become the Suffering Servant of Chapter 53.
And when Isaiah calls the heavens and the earth to witness, he stresses the fact that the origin of his message was from the Creator God, not just any other god. He, the God of the covenant with Israel, is the One who in the beginning commanded the attention of all creation. Now He is calling his creation, and more specifically the people called by his Name, to order.
The God of the covenant
We should not miss the message of Deuteronomy 4:32-40 here.
1. Verses 33-34 reads: God, by his mercy and grace called his people. They did not deserve it, and He had no obligation to do it. He just did it. He is sovereign. He rescued them by wonders and signs. He showed Himself to be the only God.
“Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? “Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Deuteronomy 4:33-34
2. Israel belongs to God; they are his own. And so is the church. Verse 35 reads:
“To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him. Deuteronomy 4:35
We belong to God, bought in the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no other Mediator, no other Saviour between God and man. Consequently, God has a right to determine how his people should live. They have his covenant rules – a pattern of holiness.
3. God called heaven and earth to be witness to his grace towards Israel. Verse 36 reads:
“Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. Deuteronomy 4:36
God is in control of his universe. He is Lord of what He has made.
4. What moved God do all these things? Lets read verse 37-38:
“Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today. Deuteronomy 4:37-38
5. For what purpose did God do it? Let’s hear verse 40:
“When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. Deuteronomy 4:30
6. Who are God’s witnesses that He did these mighty things for his people? Turn to Deut 30:19:
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, Deuteronomy 30:19
Listen to the God of the covenant
Now, many years after Moses, God had business to discuss with his people. There was some reasoning to do. Something is wrong.
Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the Lord speaks, “Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. Isaiah 1:2
God has spoken! No, actually, God is speaking! God gave the revelation to Isaiah, but the exact words of God, now directed at his people are heard.
Dear brother and sister, this speaking of God is what brings a church to life. The Bible says of itself in Heb 4:12:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:12-13
How I pray that God will speak in such a way to his church that we will halt in our tracks, stop, listen and fall prostrate before the living, speaking creator God.
How wonderful will it be when God’s people will stop to hear the voice, and listen to the commands of the shepherd? Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He entered by the door
“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:2-4
How I pray that pulpits will once again become the throne of the living God where He reigns through and by his living Word. Where we here Him speak, where we are called into the presence of the God who called us to be his children, we have no choice but to surrender in total submission of our sinfulness.
But in our day we hear a message only good enough to satisfy the itching of some ears. People don’t want to hear sound doctrine anymore. Like the apostle warned in 2Tim 4:3-5:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:3-5
But may we hear God speak. It is not the words of a man; it is God, the Creator, the Saviour, the Covenant God, and the holy One. He speaks to you, and He speaks to me.
It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it “Today”, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:6-7)
May He find in us a spirit of a young Samuel: “Speak, for your servant is listening.”