St. Luke's Church Faribault
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        Bible Study

        October 15, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
      • Download

        Bible Study

        October 15, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
      • Download

        Tuesday 10:

        July 28, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
      • Revelation 1:10–19ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 2:1ESV

  • Information Overload
    Mornings at my house went like this. My parents would come down the stairs and go straight out the front door to retrieve the paper. My Father would drink coffee, and eat breakfast with his head in the paper. My mom would read different sections of the newspaper, and I would read the cereal box
    After work, while dinner was being prepared, the 6:00 evening news was on. Before Johnny Carson, by parents, would watch the 10:00 local news. To be sure to get the weather forecast. I am guessing most households were like this. Although that seemed like a lot of news, it is nothing like today.
    Now, we wake up, and some people go right to their phones to check messages and perhaps the news headlines. We ask Alexa for the weather. We check the scores on the sports app, and we review the news on the news app and the stocks on the stock app.
    There is a whole world of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Update, and review.
    We need to check our 30-60 e-mails, send e-mails, facetime, zoom, direct message, and make phone calls. We need our phones for directions, to shop, make reservations, and schedule appointments.
    We have more information at our fingertips than ever before as we look things up, read books, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and informational videos.
    We as Americans, do all that for an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes a day. The top 20% of users spend 4 1/2 hours. Teens have an average of 7 hours, 20 minutes, of screen time daily. And kids from 8-12 spend on average about 4 hours and 45 minutes on their phones.
    This is a new phenomenon. Twenty years ago, we did not have smartphones. We had flip phones or brick phones. Right now, if you have a smartphone, you have millions of times more computing power I than NASA had on Apollo 11, less than a generation ago.
    This explosion in information is not without its consequences.
    Before, we assumed the news the truth. That was what reporters did. They reported the truth. Now we don't really know what is true and what is not. Before we had people's opinions we could trust, now we don't know which opinions to listen to.
    With this added information, we add anxiety and depression. There are serious psychological studies that have measured a link between cell phone use and anxiety and depression, especially among the younger generation.
    The world can be an overwhelming place. It is face-paced, it can be confusing. It can be dangerous, and it is filled with sin. There are wars and rumors of wars, and there are natural disasters and injustice. There is widespread violence, and there are illnesses. If we are not experiencing these things directly, we are hearing about them.
    We are bombarded with an overload of information regarding the world. It is enough to cause anyone worries, anxiety, depression, fear. It can seem like there is no escape. Some people try to cure these problems by escaping the world. But that does not work.
    We cannot lock ourselves up in a room to hide. We cannot try and numb our minds with drugs or alcohol. It does not work to escape into a make-believe world in video games, or movies, or sex. The world is still out there. There is no escape.
    In Isaiah's day, of course, people did not have access to all this information. However, the world around them was also not good either. They could see that foreign invasions were near, they heard people talking about their opinions of what was going on. I am sure to some degree there was some collective anxiety and worry over the world. Then as they receive news that king Uzziah, their good king, was dead it would have only added to their fears.
    As they struggled with this uncertainty, God reveals Himself to Isaiah. Isaiah preserved that encounter in scripture. God thought it was necessary for the people to focus on Him, rather than the world around them. God wanted the people to see Him instead of the trouble around them.
    Imagine how important it is for us to focus on God. For us to see who He is and for us to listen to His word. If we see Him and hear Him, then we understand what kind of a God He is. Or to say it another way, we have to fill our minds with good things in order to process the world around us.
    To overcome our worry or anxiety or fear or hopelessness of the world arold around us, we need to think about or focus on who God has revealed himself to be. We need to focus on God's traits or characteristics to not be crushed by the overwhelming difficulties around us.
    In Isaiah chapter 6 God reveals, or displays Himself to Isaiah and for that matter to us, SO THAT we can go through this life, with all of the ugliness without being overwhelmed, or fearful or depressed or confused.
    Let me walk you through some of God's characteristics in Isaiah 6, and you will see what I mean. If you take notes, you can write right next to the verses the characteristics of God. You can go back as uncertainty creeps in and see oh yeah God is faithful.
    Israel might have worried. The powerful, good King Uzziah is dead. What will happen? Where is God in all that? But even though Israel is unfaithful, God is faithful, and He shows up.
    In verse 1 God is faithful, and sovereign.
    Isaiah 6:1 NIV
    1 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.
    For us, this is an election year, and people are worried about the next election. No matter what news program you watching, or whose opinion you listen to, either this one will win, and it will be awful or that one will win and will be even worse. So we worry.
    Instead, make it your story. Instead of filling your eyes and ears with information overload, fill your eyes with the sight of God, and listen to His voice.
    Instead, let this be your story- In the year of the election, I see God the Father, and He is High and lifted up, and the train of His robe Fills the temple-- Know that it is God who lifts up rulers and tears down rulers. Know that God, the Lord Almighty is on His throne.
    In Isaiah 6:2 we see that all creatures are subject to God.
    Isaiah 6:2 NIV
    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.
    These weird and frightening creatures are made to serve God. They are subject to Him and even they have to shield their faces and feet. They are under the authority of the Lord Almighty. All creatures are under the authority of the Lord Almighty.
    Maybe illness, like the CORNA virus, or maybe cancer or any other illness concerns you. Know this, just as the seraphim, serve Him, so do all things. Even viruses are subject to the Lord Almighty. Living things are not out of His control. And as awful as illnesses can be they are subject to God. And for those who love God, and are called according to His purpose, God works even those things for good.
    Romans 8:28 NIV
    28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    In Isaiah 6:3 we see two traits of God, His holiness, and His control over nature.
    Isaiah 6:3 NIV
    3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
    When we see the world spiral farther into sin, and our phones become a way into the darkness we may be tempted to think that that God is ok with sin, everyone does it right? But as we see God, we can know this about Him He is Holy, Holy, Holy. He is without sin, He is apart from sin. Do not let the world tell you that God looks the other way, or that that there is a relative sinfulness. Do you know what that is? That is when I am good with God because I am not as bad as the other guy. But God is Holy Holy Holy.
    As we talk about any of these characteristics of God, these are called the attributes of God. In God these attributes or traits are present totally and completely. SO what that means is God is not sometimes Holy or partially Holy. He is Holy Holy Holy completely totally, all the time.
    The other trait is found in the phrase the whole earth is full of His glory. All of creation is subject to God, not just the creatures. In our story we may read of earthquakes, or super volcanoes, or tidal waves or storms, or global warming. But for God the whole earth is full of His glory. The volcanoes of Yellowstone and the pacific ocean are all subject to His authority. In Matthew 8 we read this.
    Matthew 8:27 NIV
    27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
    You can do Isaiah 6, verse 4. What attribute of God do you see here?
    Isaiah 6:4 NIV
    4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
    Maybe powerful-our God is powerful-How do you need a powerful God in this world today?
    In verses 5, and 6 we see that God is personal, full of grace and mercy, and forgiving, to those who confess.
    Isaiah 6:5 NIV
    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.”
    As Isaiah sees God as Holy he is ruined, so he confesses
    Isaiah 6:6–7 NIV
    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.”
    And one of the seraphim comes to him and purifies Him. God grants Him grace and mercy and forgives Him. Make this your story. Are you living in aworld of people of unclean lips? Are you yourself caught up in sin of the world? Have you seen the holiness of God, do you need to confess? Make this your story.
    1 John 1.9 says
    1 John 1:9 NIV
    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
    See that? God is faithful, and just another attribute.
    Next verse our God is relational. In Isaiah 6.8
    Isaiah 6:8 NIV
    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!”
    God has us participate in His divine plan to bring His good news to the world. This is also true repentance. Repentance is more than just saying your sorry. It is turning from going one way, toward sin, and to go toward God’s ways. Your actions have to demonstrate that your confession is valid. If a child is hitting his sister, he cannot just say he is sorry and keep hitting her. No, we need him to apologize and stop hitting her. Isaiah, confesses his sin-God purifies Him, then He goes as God requests.
    For those that fail to repent there are consequences.
    Isaiah 6:11 NIV
    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,
    For those that unwilling their heart becomes calloused. And they are subject to the judgement of the justice of God. This bothers Isaiah. How long will these people not listen, or see He asks.
    It sounds like
    Psalm 79:5 NIV
    5 How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
    God allows people to choose their path. They chose to be unwilling, and not follow Him so He allowed their heart to grow callous. If that sounds unfair, remeber they had the Bible, they did not listen. They had prophets preach to them, then had priests sacrifice and teach them. They had warnings over and over again, and they dod not listen. Do the people hear today? We have had the Bible for over 200 years now. There are countless scholars that teach it. At our fingertips are video teachings and Pastors and teachers and , and the world still does hear, their hearts are growing callous. The judgement of God awaits.
    Isaiah 6:11 NIV
    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,
    For the people in Isaiah’s day this meant that the beloved Holy Land would be wrecked, houses abandoned, fields ruined. Imagine your city filled with empty run down buildings, and farm field covered in weeds. Buildings burnt out. The justice of God seems harsh and awful.
    Isaiah 6:12 NIV
    12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.
    God will even send away the people. The believers that are left will moved out of the land as the judgement of God comes.
    Isaiah 6:13 NIV
    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.”
    Until the whole land remains a ghost town. God’s judgement will come. And that is frightening and a bleak hopeless picture for those that do not know the Lord. Imagine walking in a land with deserted buildings and ruined fields, and no inhabitants, like a scene out of a post apocalyptic movie. Even the tress are stumps, But in this wasteland among the stumps you notice something. A sprout. A tiny green sprout. See for those that know the Lord, there is another attribute in this verse.
    Our God is a God of hope, and even though the world is plunging into judgement our God is a God of hope. the “Holy Seed” will be left in the land, this seed perhaps reminds us of Genesis. This whole scene is very reminiscent of the curse, that god pronounced after Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. The ground not producing, but God promises a seed.
    Genesis 3:15 NASB95
    15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
    5 chapters later in In Isiaah 11.1 we read this.
    Isaiah 11:1 NIV
    1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
    A branch. ANd in the book of Jeremiah
    Jeremiah 33:15 NIV
    15 “ ‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.
    Zechariah 3:8 NIV
    8 “ ‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.
    In the middle of sin’s ruin, our God the God of hope prepares a further revelation of Himself. He provided Jesus Christ who is the branch the living hope. He provides in the darkest of times hope.
    In the ruin of sin, as His own people rejected Him, and sin seemed to win at the cross, the hope of God was revealed in the resurrection of Jesus. The hope of God was demonstrated to be real and future hope becasue the grave could not hold Jesus, becasue he was without sin.
    See when the peole of Isiah’s day were being told how the judgement of God would play out on the physical land, it looked awful, But God being rich in mercy and faithful to His covenant gave them Hope. Tis was not the end, They could look forward to a time when God would restore them, and that timne came with Christ.
    In Christ we have the forgiveness of sins, Christ has recieved the judgement of God meant for sinners so that we when we trust in Christ step out of that and into God’s grace and mercy. Make this your story, as you see the world being ravaged around you, being plunged into sin Confess your sins to Christ, and say to Him here I am send me. Go and tell the world of the hope in CHrist. Tell them how God is good and how he is faitful and just. Go knowiung that in Christ the Hope of new creation is for those who trust in to become a new cration born again into a new and living hope. Our story does not have to be one of darkness and sin, Look to Christ
      • Isaiah 6:1ESV

      • Isaiah 6:2ESV

      • Romans 8:28ESV

      • Isaiah 6:3ESV

      • Matthew 8:27ESV

      • Isaiah 6:4ESV

      • Isaiah 6:5ESV

      • Isaiah 6:6–7ESV

      • 1 John 1:9ESV

      • Isaiah 6:11ESV

      • Psalm 79:5ESV

      • Isaiah 6:11ESV

      • Isaiah 6:12ESV

      • Isaiah 6:13ESV

      • Genesis 3:15ESV

      • Isaiah 11:1ESV

      • Jeremiah 33:15ESV

      • Zechariah 3:8ESV

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