St. Luke's Church Faribault
- Title SlidePlay Mission Impossible themeAfter Theme plays-Switch SlidesProphet Isaiah-Your Mission-(Since You have already accepted it) Is to go and make a group of people of people’s hearts calloused. You are to go and make them unable to hear the message and to close their eyes. Tell them to be hearing and and not understanding. Tell them to be seeing but not perceiving.Because if you don’t They might see and they might understand and then they will be healed.PauseSounds like an impossible mission doesn’t it? This is not something we would expect from God. It doesn’t fit what we are used to thinking or our picture of God. We may be puzzled by it. Hopefully I will be able to clear that up, as we look further into Isaiah chapter 6.Turn with me to Isaiah chapter as I read but first let me start with word of prayer.Pray1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 He said, “Go and tell this people: “ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. 13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”RecapIf you will recall last week, Isaiah saw God in this beautiful vision in the the Throne room of heaven, he realized he was sinful, and God cleansed Him of his unrighteousness.Then, God asks this open ended question. Whom shall I send, and who will go for us, in verse 8.Then Isaiah, having seen God, and having been purified, steps up to the plate and says! Here I am send me.Here is the mission that God gives to Isaiah.9 He said, “Go and tell this people: “ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’The MissionIsaiah is supposed to go and tell this people a message.First God says to go right? Isaiah is standing there in the the throne room of God, he is seeing this magnificent vision of God, it is out of this world, literally, and it would really nice to stay there and enjoy the presence of God, right? I mean who would want to leave the throne room of heaven, to go back to a people of unclean lips.It is easy to get caught up in the scene, and not want to leave. This worship is good -it is enjoyable- all the problems of the world go away, while we are in presence of the King. He can take care of everything, now that Isaiah has been purified and now that he has seen the grace of God, and experienced that, it would be great to just stay therePeople do that all the time-Churches do that all the time. Churches get caught up in the Church. They can create an atmosphere that is absolutely wonderful to be in. And they should. We Should love to come to Church and worship and it should be a place where we want to remain. But that is not it, that is not all there is, God says to GO. Go to a people of unclean lips, go .As unpleasant as that may be, we need to go. We have a message to deliver, and we need to go and deliver the message, how else will they hear with their ears and see with their eyes, if we do not spread the gospel?And Isaiah has a message to deliver, and that message is to tell this people the truth.9 He said, “Go and tell this people: “ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”This is a strange message isn’t it? -The mission Isaiah is given , is exactly the opposite of what we saw last week. Last week Isaiah was willing, because he saw the vision of God, and was like sign me up! Right! Who shall we send was the question and Isaiah was ME! I’ll god! Why not? once I tell them what I saw they will be thrilled, they will jump on board, God’s kingdom will come to earth, God will bless us, Sign me up! I even asked you to pray that God would open the eyes of your heart so that you could see Him, and we could have a willingness.But Isaiah’s mission is to preach to the unwilling. And not only that, but it seems that the message itself is going to cause further unwillingness.Let me read that again.9 He said, “Go and tell this people: “ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”Make the he heart calloused- make the ears dull -close their eyes. What is going here?God says Isaiah’s message will make the heart of the people calloused. Callouses are built up over time. right?I remember when I was in college, many years ago. I got a summer job construction staking for road construction with the Iowa Department of Transportation. I was given a sledge hammer, and I was supposed to pound stakes in. By lunch the first morning, my hands hurt sooo bad. I had blisters, filled with water, and the skin was straining against them. The first swing after lunch they popped, and they hurt so bad as I continued to rub the skin raw the rest of the day. The next they still hurt, but a little less. The next day a little less, and by the end of the week I had thick callouses on my hands and I could hammer all day and it didn’t bother me a bit.That is how it is with God’s word, and our sin. The first time you hear it it stings right? Wow, you mean to tell me I am in danger of going tp hell, for my sins? Wait what? Even if I dislike someone in my heart, that is a sin? Even if I am jealous of someone that is a sin? Sex outside of marriage? God looks down on that? Surely, lust in my heart isn’t a sin it can’t be right? God is love He wants us to love one another right?Well I’m here to tell you today that is sin. Sex outside of Biblical marriage is a sin. Being angry with someone is sinful, jealousy is sin, in fact putting any of your own desires above God is sin. And we don’t want to hear about that do we?Now the first time you hear that? It stings, It hurts-- it causes pain in your heart. The second time, it still hurts, but a little less, then after a time, and quite quickly a callous is built up on the heart, and the talk of sin no longer causes pain.The reading of the plain word of God, suddenly does not mean what the plain reading says anymore right? You lack understanding, who can understand this?People seem to not see or hear those passages anymore They become ever seeing, but not perceiving.Go to which people?Look this message that Isaiah was to deliver, where was he to go? Is he supposed to go the pagans? To the people who have never heard of the God of the Bible. No-God says Isaiah was to go to this people. Go and tell this people God says. That is Israel. That is God’s people. God’s chosen people.The People who lived in a THEOCRATIC government, that means a government with religion at is center, with in THEORY God as the king.This message is going to those people. Those people included the religious leaders, and the everyday people.Think about this for a minute. The Israelite society revolved around the Bible. They knew all the stories, they recieved their land as an inheritance from God. Their ancestors were enslaved in Egypt. The temple, was the biggest structure in the biggest city. They travelled miles for festivals and sacrifices, they worshipped, they tithed, they learned and memorized Torah. Their children went to Hebrew school. They prayed. Yahweh was woven into the very fabric of society. Yet God said, in Chapter 1 of Isaiah, that even though you do theses things, your hearts are not dedicated to me.15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! 16 Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. 17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.When God Almighty can look at this people and say that that…What do you think he would say to us today?.......What would God say to the Churches, and the religious leaders and the people of United States? Would He look as us and say the same things? Would he say Church you are relentlessly pursuing me with a heart dedicated to me? Would he say Church-you seek to do good, you love God, you pursue holiness, and you love one another, or would he say ....Take your evil deeds out of my sight. Would he say I am not listening to your prayers, because your hands are full of the blood of the unborn babies. Could it be God wants the church to seek justice, and to defend the oppressed, the widows and the orphans?pauseI think if we look hard inside ourselves, we don’t like the sting of sin. SO we justify our actions. We ignore the word of God, we soften it, and as a result our hearts grow callouses.We immerse ourselves in the world. The world around is blind to God, they do not hear the word of God, nor they understand it, and as we immerse ourselves in this world, our hearts too are in danger of growing callouses, Our eyes see less and less of God’s holiness, and our own sinfulness, and we hide behind our religious practices, all the while our hearts are far from God.Brothers and sisters we must strip away the callouses of our hearts, in a relentless pursuit of God. Or, to put it another way, we must cultivate in our hearts a place for God’s word to be planted, a place for God’s word to grow, and a place for God’s word to bear fruit.See this message was just not in the Old Testament, to be put aside, and closed, and say ahh but that is the God of the Old Testament God. The mean God of the Old testament I don’t much care for Him, I like the the New testament God better, God is love, and we do our thing.Wee if that were true, why is this passage quoted in the New Testament. Jesus himself quotes, this passage from Isaiah. Linda read it to us, and I want you notice something about that passage.In that passage Jesus tells the parable of the sower, right? Remember that story? Seed falls on the the path and bids eat it, Others fall on rocky ground, and dies, some the weeds choke off, and some grow really well, and bear fruit.That is the parable he tells all the people. For the crowds he ends it right there, he doesn’t explain it to them. He just throws it out there, then after the sermon, His disciples come up and ask Him,10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”We think we know the answer to this question right? Well you silly disciples, Jesus teaches them in parables so that everyone can understand right? That is the easy answer, but that is not what Jesus says, is it, in fact it is the opposite.11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.This message, the the knowledge about the kingdom of heaven is for the disciples, not the world. This message is for the Christ followers.Why would that be? Because..14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’Their hearts, the hearts of those around them have become calloused. Again this is Israel, the one who are supposed to follow God. They have heard the message of Jesus so many times, and it is going nowhere. They are doing the same things over and over, and ignoring God’s word. They need to open their eyes, and open their ears.People with calloused hearts, closed eyes, and closed ears, are at risk of dying in their sin and facing the judgement, of a holy and mighty God. Just like the people in Isaiah’s day, and just like the people in our day.That sounds harsh, but is it? They heard the word of God preached to them By the word made flesh and they didn’t listen. grew callous, No thanks Jesus great message but I will take my chances at judgement. Imagine people today.God’s holiness is perfect, we are not. God cannot even look upon sin, and we sin daily. God commands us to love Him with our mind with all our souls and with all our heart, and we do not.For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. The wages of sin is death, not only physical death, but spiritual death as well. All of us are facing the holy and mighty and just God, and are guilty as charged, and will be thrown into eternal torment.unless...Unless…the grace of God steps in. In the Bible the judgement of the God, is often laid alongside the grace of God.Now, to His followers Jesus says this.16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.God’s judgement awaits all, but God’s grace awaits the few who turn to Him, and repent.18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.Open your eyes, hear with your ears, turn to Jesus and settle the matter today. Turn and be healed of all your unrighteousness.Turn to the cross of Christ where the Judgement of God, meets the grace of God. Turn to the cross of Christ and have your sins covered with the grace of God offered for those who repent.Turn to the cross of Christ and receive everlasting life, instead of eternal death.Repent and turn to Jesus.And for those that already have eyes to see, and ears to hear, relentlessly pursue Christ, relentlessly pursue the Holiness of God, rid your life of ongoing sin, cultivate God’s word in your heart and throw off the burdens of this world, oOr Christ has bought for you an eternal inheritance , and wonders beyond your imagination await you when step into his glorious presence.In Jesus Name.Let us pray.In contrast to Isaiah response-Key again is seeing God.?????The mission is God’s mission independent of the results-Ez 3.11, 1 cor 3.7, Acts 24.7????
Let us get to know you!
Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
How did you hear about us?