Sermon for Aug 27, 2023
Isaiah 51:1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.
Listen to God all of you who are tired of your sin and seek the Lord, for the Lord is the only way you will acquire salvation. We have heard and we have read, salvation belongs to the Lord. And it is through His grace that we will receive His salvation for us who seek the Lord, who tire of sin, and who will do what they can to conform to God’s law and gospel.
The rock, from which we were hewn is to remember our personal past and the history of the worlds past. We learn the history of the Jews, and the history of the Christians. We should remember all that was done in both good and evil so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past as well as the mistakes of our personal past.
In some Bible translations they call the quarry the pit. This might seem harsh as you have read the pit is spoken of as the place of sheol, the bottomless pit, or even hell. That God has taken us from where were hewn could be expressed as being taken from a sinful world. This is where we came from, sin and this is what all who seek the Lord should remember, we come from sin and are delivered into grace.
Isaiah 51:2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him.
We as Christians might not always look at Abraham as a father figure. God called this single person out of His grace and promised him to be the father of many generations. God extended this promise to Isaac.
We don’t look so much at Sarah as a mother figure as she gave birth to Isaac who fathered Jacob who fathered the twelve tribes of Israel.
Through one man sin came, through one man a people were gathered, through one man, Moses, delivered the twelve tribes to their promised land, and through one man, Jesus, all might be saved by grace.
Might be? All who seek the Lord will be saved through faith given to them by the Holy Spirit through the grace of God. Not that we deserve God’s grace, but that Jesus Christ clothed us in His righteousness to justify us for God’s saving grace. And this has assured us our salvation as the Holy Spirit sanctifies us by making us holy to the Father of heaven and earth.
Isaiah 51:3 For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.
My joy is not in myself. My joy is in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for us all, believers and unbelievers, and not that anyone is worthy but through the love of God who makes us worthy. To believe, have faith, to trust, and love God is to surrender to God’s choice to save us. To be an unbeliever, turn you back to God, and run from God is to refuse God’s gift of salvation.
You see in verse 51:3 of Isaiah God tells us that He takes the desolate desert, the sinful person and turns it from a wilderness into a beautiful garden of Eden. Joy and gladness are found in the Lord. Though we try our best to find joy in the world we must realize the world wants to steal joy from us. God wants to share with us His joy and His righteousness. This is why He sent us a savior who lives and is coming again. We are not in abandonment, but in patient waiting.
Isaiah 51:4 “Give attention to me, my people, and give ear to me, my nation; for a law will go out from me, and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
We might think that the Jews took this as God’s Ten Commandments, maybe, God says, His law. But God adds that He will set His justice for a LIGHT to the people. Man’s justice is the laws demands; God’s justice is Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. God’s justice is His grace and mercy earned for us by the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 51:5 My righteousness draws near, my salvation has gone out, and my arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands hope for me, and for my arm they wait.
We should always understand, Jesus Christ is God’s righteousness. Again, Jesus Christ is drawing nearer every day. We who seek the Lord, we who struggle every day, we who look to the Lord Jesus Christ for the day of salvation. We wait for the arm of God who when He returns will bring justice to all. For some it is to be delivered to eternal life and to the unbelievers they will be delivered to eternal death.
Isaiah 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.”
Though the heavens and the earth that we know will vanish, it won’t be missed. For a new heaven and a new earth will appear. And all who seek the Lord will be resurrected. And all who are resurrected will raise their song in praise and thanks to our God who loved us first. Amen.
Written by Pastor Curtis A. May