Dear Church Family and Friends,
You may have noticed that most of the Sunday morning sermons this year have been from Isaiah. As I mentioned when we first started, Isaiah contains many phrases, verses, and prophecies with which we are generally familiar. However, it is a very large book, and God said a lot through Isaiah that we might find difficult to understand. Because we lack familiarity with much of this book of the Bible, and because some of it is – frankly – difficult to understand, I thought I would share some of my reasons for choosing this book of the Bible for our worship time.
First, I hope I always preach what God leads me to preach. The Lord knows what we all need far better than I do, and it is my constant prayer that He would give me what I am supposed to preach. Even then I am always amazed to see how He works – sometimes I think the message fell short, and it reaches someone; sometimes I think it was right on, and people seem unaffected; and sometimes everyone’s judgment is off, and the Lord goes right on changing us through his slow, silent, sanctifying work by the ordinary means of the preached Word. In this case, I believe that the Lord has led me to preach in Isaiah.
Next, I believe that preaching through books of the Bible is one of the best ways to feed the Lord’s flock. I don’t always do it because I don’t believe I am required to. As just mentioned, the Lord is free to lead otherwise. But He did write His Word a certain way for a certain reason. In His wisdom, Isaiah 15 comes right after Isaiah 14 and not before. (He didn’t put the chapter numbers there, but you know what I mean.) Micah, not Hosea gave the Bethlehem prophecy, and so on. When we go through books of the Bible expositionally, we submit to God’s Word and allow Him the final say on what we need and how He wishes to address us. Oh, there are different words for different seasons, but preaching the Word means letting the Scripture determine the sermon and not the other way around. And when we begin a book of the Bible it behooves us to continue in it and, as God leads, finish it.
Finally, like no other book of the Bible, Isaiah shows us God as the Lord of the world and its history, with His Messiah as its Coming King. He is sovereign, mighty, and glorious. We have a big God, but we need to see Him as He is. He is so much more than we often think Him to be, and Isaiah reminds us. So as we pass through unfamiliar territory with Isaiah as our guide, let us always have our eyes open to the brilliance of God’s glory revealed through his infinite, eternal, and unchangeable being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.
For His glory and your joy,