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Listen to the Lord!
by Pastor Alex Lindsay
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Reference: Isaiah 51:1-8
Isaiah had the two-fold task of warning Israel of future judgements of God and also of encouraging Israel that God would comfort and restore Israel again. See Isaiah 1:1-9; 40:1-11. God will use Babylon to discipline Israel. Then He will cause a remnant of Israel to return to the land and be built up again. He will also judge Babylon and all nations that have cruelly treated Israel. Three times, in our text, the Lord tells Israel to "hearken / listen / pay close attention." These three admonitions are useful to us also. As we serve the Lord today, our failures, our challenges, our sufferings at the hand of man all give us reason to "listen" to these words.

Listen to the Lord - Little is much when God is in it (Isaiah 51:1-3).
Israel started with only two old people - Abraham and Sarah. He developed them into a nation of people. God works well with small numbers (I Corinthians 1:26-29). He will take a remnant of Israel out of Babylon and raise them up into a prosperous nation again.

Consider how the world tries to make us look small, inferior, marginal - outnumbered and outdated! If God be for us, who can be against us? If God is with us, who can outnumber God? See Romans 8:28-39; Psalm 37:1-11; Luke 12:32; Matthew 13:31-32; John 16:33; I John 4:4; 5:5 cp. II Kings 6:11-17.

Listen to the Lord - God will keep all His Promises (Isaiah 51:4-6).
God will not only comfort Israel, but He will also judge the wicked of the world. In the final outcome, God's people will be vindicated for their faith and the unbelievers will be judged according to their works. Things do not always appear to be going God's way. But rest assured. God is always at work. God is always in control. Salvation is of the Lord. Note the word "My / Mine." It is used nine times in these three verses!

  • My people
  • My nation
  • My judgement / justice
  • My righteousness
  • My salvation
  • My arms
  • My arm
  • My salvation
  • My righteousness
Consider God never says anything that He does not mean. He never says anything that He cannot do. He never forgets His promises! See Isaiah 46:9-11; Romans 11:33-36; I Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:11; II Thessalonians 1:3-10.

Listen to the Lord - Don't fear man (Isaiah 51:7-8).
The insults and threats of man are nothing compared to the work of God and the Word of God. The righteousness that God gives His people is what really counts. The words of God are faithful. Take heed to the word of the Lord. As for man - Like the work of a moth or of a worm, slowly, quietly eating away at something, the power, glory, and plans of man are eaten away by the patient work of our sovereign God. Never lose sight of the eternal, everlasting power and worth of "My righteousness" and "My salvation."

Consider how the world tries to control us with threats and intimidation. The presence and promises of God give us every reason to be unashamed and courageous. See Isaiah 2:17-22; 45:21-25; Psalm 18:25-35; 27:1-6; 31:19-21; 46:1-11; 56:1-11; Proverbs 11:21; 16:25; 21:30-31; II Timothy I:7-12.

Originally delivered August 8, 2021
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