Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Book of Isaiah

The Life Project: Isaiah

Pastor Matt Roberts

Faith: The Belief in things unseen. We talk about faith so often in the church we take for

granted its reality. We do not often discuss or voice the fact that faith is not easy or that

it does not come naturally to us. I for one have a tendency to struggle with faith. To be

quite honest I love things that are seen, tangible things I can put my hands on, things I

can control. Belief in things unseen is hard for me. It means I am no longer calling the

shots and this is a very uncomfortable seat for me to sit in. Yet I know that this Christian

walk is a walk of faith. How can I struggle so mightily with something so basic? I wish

someone had taught me what it looks like to live in faith a long time ago!

In Isaiah we find a man who seems to embody the very idea of faith. When he speaks of

God he speaks with a conviction and clarity that is staggering. When reading Isaiah I

am left with little doubt that this is a man that took God fully at his word. When God

spoke it became reality in the heart, mind and soul of this prophet. In my eyes this is the

greatest gift of a great man of God. A gift that probably left him very frustrated in the

faithless world he lived in.

If Isaiah was anything like me he was probably absolutely appalled when people missed

things that seemed so obvious to him. Let me explain through my own life: I hate mess!

It really drives me crazy. When I walk into a messy house or a messy office it is all I can

see or focus on until it is cleaned up! This is why it never ceases to frustrate me to

watch my kids walk right OVER mess without recognizing it. Every time I will state the

obvious through a very sarcastic question (which my kid’s must LOVE!). “Did you not

SEE that mess you just trampled over?” Their answer is always the same, “No! I didn’t

see it Dad!” It is so hard for me to accept that answer, how can you miss something that

is so obvious to me?

Isaiah had the same struggles. Check out this awesome and somewhat sarcastic rant in

Isaiah 22:8-11:

"8 God has left Judah exposed and defenseless. 9 You found the weak places in the city

walls that needed repair. You secured the water supply at the Lower Pool.
10 You took

an inventory of the houses in Jerusalem and tore down some to get bricks to fortify the

city wall.
11 You built a large cistern to ensure plenty of water. You looked and looked

and looked, but you never looked to him who gave you this city
, never once

consulted the One who has long had plans for this city.”

War was on it’s way to Judah. The people and their leaders were desperately trying to

fill every weakness in their defense. The nation was running around like a chicken with

it’s head cut off and Isaiah sat back, appalled. How could they have missed something

so obvious?! You looked and looked and looked, but you never looked to God! Judah

had spent so much time dealing with the things they could see, building up their

confidence and security in things like walls and pools and houses that they missed the

ONLY thing that could really save them. A living God. If only this truth could be as

obvious to me as it was for Isaiah.

I am so envious of this man. When God spoke, it became undeniable truth for Isaiah.

Read his prophesies about Jesus in Isaiah 9:1-7, 35:5-6, 50:6, all of chapters 52 and

53. When it came to things of God there was no “what if” in Isaiah's vocabulary. Over

600 years before Jesus would be seen by shepherds in Bethlehem, we read the words

of a man who was confident in a truth he would never see, confident in a God that

everyone else in his world was stepping right over. If God said it, Isaiah lived it as

reality. There was no greater proof needed. Wow! Isaiah is a book written by a man of

great faith. A man who allowed the things unseen to guide and direct every word he

spoke and every move he made. Could there be a higher compliment paid to anyone?

Even as I type this tonight I am pretty sure the word guilty is appearing in black ink

across my forehead. It is so easy to lose FAITH in a world that is so preoccupied by

STUFF. My desire for you and I as we read through the book of Isaiah this week is that

our faith muscle will be reactivated! That we will find a renewed focus on the things

unseen. That the simple faith of a prophet of old will move us, make us and change us

this week. I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of missing out on the awesome

adventure that is a byproduct of a life of faith. I leave you with the introduction to one of

my favorite chapters in the Bible,

Hebrews 11:1. Now faith is confidence in what we

hope for and assurance about what we do not see

. I encourage you to read it this week

and allow faith to spring forth in your life!

Suggested Reading Of Isaiah
Monday: Isaiah 1-11

Tuesday: Isaiah 12-22

Wednesday: Isaiah 23-33

Thursday: Isaiah 34-44

Friday: Isaiah 45-55

Saturday: Isaiah 56-66

1 comment:

becca said...

i have a hard time with faith if i can't see it I have a hard time believing it