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
"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
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 IsaiahMonday: Isaiah 1-11
Tuesday: Isaiah 12-22
Wednesday: Isaiah 23-33
Thursday: Isaiah 34-44
Friday: Isaiah 45-55
Saturday: Isaiah 56-66