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No Match For God | Isaiah 51:9-23 | Sept. 18th Church Gathering.

Read Isaiah 51:9-23

To Get started tonight let’s talk about something that most of us our nervous or scared to talk about. Let us talk about our mistakes, our foibles, what we have done in the past in which we are not proud of.

Every person has made a mistake. Every community has made a mistake. Every system has made a mistake. You have made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes.

This is the context of Isaiah 51:9-23. God’s chosen people have come out of a period of judgement from God because of their past mistakes.

“Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away [c]from Him.” – Isaiah 1:4

This is the context in which Isaiah is delivering this message to God’s people. God begins Isaiah 51 with a message to listen to Him, Pay Attention to Him (God) and look at up to your Father in Heaven. Now, He continues to deliver a message of consequence from sinful actions and intentions—the consequence of living in a sinful nature.

But that isn’t where the story ends.

1. Nothing Oppresses God. Nothing Destroys God. There is not sin, no evil, no terrible deed that will defeat God—not even Death. God has the victory so be patient and Rest in God.

Isaiah 51:9-13 reminds the reader that God has the victory over everything that has come against His people (including themselves). Rahab literally means “pride” God is commanding and celebrating His victory over the serpent that is Satan. Verse 11 also points directly towards Revelation in how God is going to bring the New Jerusalem and save the righteous into eternal life with Him—God has the victory. This points directly to Jesus—

“The [i]seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” – Luke 10:17-20

This is found in the gospel of Luke where Jesus is reminding the Seventy Seven people of the power He (God) has over the demonic forces, nothing oppresses God, nothing stands a chance against God even if the circumstances we find ourselves in are terrifying.

2. God brings Judgement Upon His People to make them Righteous, to cleanse them of their sin and bring them closer in Relationship with Him.

The exile in this passage is that of God’s people (Jerusalem) The shattered Jersualem (Judah, Ephraim who are at war). God is speaking directly at Jerusalem who has just went through terrible judgement by the Babylonian empire.

You who have drunk at the hand of the LORD, the cup of His fury: A common picture of judgment in the Old Testament is the cup of God’s wrath or fury. The idea is that God gives a cup “full” of His wrath to those who are under judgment, and they must drink it. Here, God calls Jerusalem to remember that they have drunk at the hand of the LORD, the cup of His fury when they experienced God’s judgment through the Babylonians.

i. If possible, the image is even strengthened: You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, and drained it out. Not only did Jerusalem drink the cup, but they also drained itdrinking down to the dregs at the bottom of the cup. They had experienced desolation and destruction, famine and sword, and this was God’s cup for them.

ii. This powerful image was in the mind of Jesus when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion. When He prayed, Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done (Luke 22:42), He had in mind the cup of God’s wrath He was about to drink – to the dregs – at the cross.

–Enduring Word Commentary.

This also points to when Jesus finally completed the act of sacrifice by dying on the cross for our sins.

Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians about how Jesus (God) continually makes those who believe in Him more righteous like Him.

“7 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [h]he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and [i]He has [j]committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

--2nd Corinthians 5:17-21

This directly compares to Isaiah 51:16

I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to [g]establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’”

God has put words in the exile’s (Jerusalem’s mouth) and have covered them with the shadow of His hand, God has established the heavens in order to make the earth…God is doing the work! He has already defeated sin! He has already defeated death by rising back from the grave three days after Jesus was crucified! Stop trying to do it all on your own. Run back to Jesus, rest in Him, repent to Him, AWAKE to this truth.

3. The greatest temptation is to become complacent, to fall asleep, to not learn from our times of sin and consequence. We must never forget about God’s love / truth for us.

There is very clear language used in Verse 17, and Verse 9. “Awake, awake, put on strength O arm of the Lord”—the writer is telling God to Awaken, then

“Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the Lord’s hand the cup of His anger.”—Isaiah 51:17

The Lord has brought His people through this time of trial and judgement and now they must wake up as the Lord is bringing them out of Exile—Learn from what they have went through and never forget what sin and mistakes brought them into judgement in the first place.

c. See, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the cup of My fury; you shall no longer drink it: The LORD knows when to give the cup, and when to take it from His people. Now is time for their redemption and for the shame of their enemies, so the LORD promises, I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you. We should always be awake to God’s timing and loving promises.

--Enduring Word Commentary

“When faith is weak men are in a dreadful hurry, but strong faith does not judge the Lord to be slack concerning his promise. As God achieves his purpose with infinite leisure, he loves a faith that is patient and looks not for its reward this day or the next. ‘He that believeth shall not make haste’: that is to say, he shall not be ashamed or confounded by present trials so as to rush upon unbelieving actions. Faith leaves times and seasons with God to whom they belong.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Your sin. Your mistakes. Your past. Your anger. Your impatience. Your sinful, human temptations is no match for God’s victory, for God’s love, for God’s redeeming power. God loves you, give all of that stuff to God, He will forgive you, He loves you. Wake up and follow the one true God.

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