Isaiah15 Man's Trust_Money
Money – man’s desire to secure his own future
Approach Hymn 304:1-6 “I joyed when to the house of God” (Tune 31)
Call to worship and Greeting
Call to worship
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” (Romans 9:33)
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)
Invocation and the Lord’s Prayer
Hymn no 51: “Holy, holy, holy” (verse 1: all; verse 2: ladies; verse 3: men; verse 4: all)
8 Children’s address
8 An Arab was lost in the desert. He was in danger of dying from hunger.
8 At last he found one of the containers out of which the camels drink and a little leather bag near it.
"God be thanked!" exclaimed he. "There must be some dates or nuts; let me refresh myself."
He opened the bag, but only to turn away in disappointment.
8 In these bags and containers were only jewellery.
What good were they to a man who was dying of hunger?
Was this man rich or poor? He was rich yet poor.
8 Treasure in heaven.
Hymn 468: “Little children let us not love with word or with tongue”
Scripture Reading Matthew 6:19-34
Prayer of adoration and Confession of sins
Declaration of pardoning
Offering and Dedication : all sing 471 (round)
Hymn no 471 “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God”
Prayer of Intercession
Bible Reading Old Testament: Isaiah 2:6-12, 22
Hymn: “Jesus stand among us” (screen)
Sermon: “Money – man’s desire to secure his future”
Dear Brother and Sister in the Lord,
I think all parents know the frustration of the young child who always wants to do whatever you are busy with, but then their own way. You feed them, and then, all of a sudden, they get it in their heads to feed themselves. It usually happens when you can’t afford it because you are always in a hurry on that moment. That’s when they want to tie their own shoelaces. We can do it better, but they know better. And as parents, we have to allow them to take control of their own lives as they grow up to learn the skills of life.
It is typical of the human nature. We want control. We want to have the ability to exercise control. We want our way.
It was the problem with Adam and Eve. At the root of all rebellion against God lie nothing less but the desire and hunger for control. We want be in command of our destiny.
Sum up last week. The paragraph of Isa 2:6-11.
• 8 In his arrogance man wants to cut himself loose from God. He substitutes God with something else in an effort to become his own god.
• 8 But God will rise up against arrogant man and destroy him and what he put his trust into.
• 8 Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:22)
We saw that four sentences begin with the words “the land is full of…” The things mentioned in these verse help us to understand that Israel’s 8 rebellion against God was aimed at claiming his authority over them. They wanted to be in control, they wanted to be 8 autonomous. This manifested itself in the following: Man has a desire to:
· 8 A desire to know his own future
· A desire to secure his own future
· A desire to protect his own future
· A desire to control his own future
We dealt with the first aspect of this characteristic of the fallen human being. Man in rebellion against God, wants to know about his destiny. Apart from God who controls our destiny, man, as his own god, now wants to know what his future holds. He looks for security. And what can be more enticing than to know the future. We have own palms read, or the teacup, or the stars, or whatever the means. If we can know what the future holds, we think we can cut ourselves lose from God and be in control, by this ability, of our destiny. Some then take their refuge in superstition, as we saw last week.
Money as a means of control, ability and security
The same children, who tested our patiens with their shoelaces, grow up. They are dependent from us and for as long that is the case, parents exercise control over their children. But then, when they become financially independent, they flow the nest and begin their own life. Parents lose the control, and the only thing you can provide, apart from love, is advice.
Man, in his rebellion against God, is his search for control over his destiny, finds in 8 money and possessions a means of control, ability and security.
Israel in the time of Isaiah and under the blessing of the Lord was engaged in a 8 thriving trade with the nations surrounding it. Israel was geographically strategically located between the rich Babylon, Assyria in the north, and Egypt in the south. Israel did not have gold that could be mined. But through trade, gold poured into the country. They accumulated wealth, and as they became richer, they found their security in their wealth. 8 Money gave them control. And with control, they slipped away from God and dependence upon Him; they became gods unto themselves.
Whilst wandering through the wilderness on their way out the Promised Land, Israel experienced the closeness of God as they were so dependent upon Him. 8
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. (Deuteronomy 8:3-4)
But Moses warned them to be careful in times of abundance. He said: 8
Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.( Deuteronomy 8:11-14)
8 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.( Deuteronomy 8:17-18)
That is exactly what happened to Israel. And in the process they forgot the verse in the Bible that teaches:
8 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. Psalm 19:9-10
Or what David says in Ps 119:72:
The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Psalm 119:72
Job, the rich man of Uz who eventually lost every possession he had accumulated, said in chapter 31:24-28:
8 “If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’ if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained… so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high. (Job 31:24-28)
How many people are trapped by the deception of Satan that possessions or money can buy you joy and happiness; or can buy you security! Listen to what Solomon in Eccl 5 says:8
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?
I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him. Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, 13-15)
8 It is possible in a materialistic society to become dependent on money. We do not need to be rich to be dependent on money. The question is: are we willing to part from it? The young rich man of Mark 10 had many possessions. He was searching for meaning in life, 8 something of value that will carry him into life eternal. Yes, he obeyed God’s commands. Yes, he did everything right: he had position and was as leader recognized by his peers. But he missed something, something money could not buy. Jesus tested him: “Go and sell your possessions, give it to the poor, and then, come and follow Me.” He walked away with a fallen face – and we never heard of him in the Bible again. Lost, into all eternity!
How many people even in our day cling to their possessions and money? 8 To part from your money for good of the work of the church is called tithing. Churches today struggle hopelessly because it members fail to serve God and their fellow believers with their money. How can we pray for God’s blessings upon our church if we cling to our wallets and purses, not giving to God what rightfully belongs to Him?
Then there was the other bloke, who had a bumper crop. The Bible calls him a fool, because he thought more barns and bigger sheds as the crops were brought in, would secure his future. He said he had plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.
“8 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ (Luke 12:20)
And what about the rich man and Lazarus? This rich man living in luxury could not see the basic needs of those around him, as he clung to his possessions. Where did he end up?
Colossians 3:5 says greed is idolatry.
8 The apostle Paul in Philippians 4:12 says:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12)
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Timothy 6:17-18)
8 Jesus, in our NT reading this morning, teaches:
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matthew 6:24)
We live in a materialistic society. The enticement to become part of it, is great. People loose faith in God and in an attempt to be masters of their own destiny, they get ensnared in the desire to have money as a tool to become their own god. Many, and let’s included church people, are trapped in the idolatry of lotteries in an attempt to be independent and to be in control. 8 “This will change your life forever!” No, thousand times no, not trusting God will change your life forever. Facing an eternity with your hopes on earthly hopes will change your life forever. Trying to control your future by attempting to exclude God as the Master of your future will change your life forever! An eternity in hell – that’s forever!
Let’s heed the words of the apostle Paul:
8 Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:3-10)
It’s no sin to be rich. That in itself is a blessing of God. The problem lies with the love of money. 8 It’s either God or money. You can’t have two gods. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all the other things will be added unto you.”