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Sermon #2248[i] — Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Listen to the Savior
Text: Isaiah 50:1-11
Subject: Christ Description of Himself
I want you to open your Bibles to Isaiah 50, and just hold them open on your laps, as we listen to the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, speak to us. The title of my message is — Listen to the Savior — Listen to the Savior (Isaiah 50:1-11).
Proposition: In these eleven verses of Holy Scripture the Son of God describes everybody in this building and he describes himself and his salvation, teaching eternity bound sinners the way of life and salvation in and by him.
1st — Listen to the Son of God as he tells you why you are lost in verse 1.
“Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?”
“Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.”
2nd — Hear the Savior as he describes Himself in verses 2-9.
Verse 2 — “Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there none to answer?”
“Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver?”
“Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.”
Verse 3 — “I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.”
Verse 4 — “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.”
“He wakeneth morning by morning. He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
Verse 5 — “The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.”
Verse 6 — “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.”
“I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”
Verse 7 — “For the Lord GOD will help me.”
“Therefore shall I not be confounded.”
“Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”
Verse 8 — “He is near that justifieth me.”
“Who will contend with me? Let us stand together: who is mine adversary?”
“Let him come near to me.”
Verse 9 — “Behold, the Lord GOD will help me”
“Who is he that shall condemn me?”
“Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.”
3rd — Hear the Son of God as he describes his people (v. 10). — Here our blessed Savior describes his people as children of light walking in darkness
“Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.”
I want you to understand that our Savior is here telling us that this the character of every true child of God.
1. The believer is a person who fears the Lord.
· Not a Slavish, Legal Fear
· Not a Fear of Judgment, Wrath, or Punishment
· A Loving Reverence and Believing Fear — A desire to please and honor him.
The prophet is hear talking about that reverence and godly fear that is the fruit of grace, “whereby we may serve God acceptably” (Hebrews 12:28; Psalm 2:11; 5:7).
(Psalms 2:11) “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
(Psalms 5:7) “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.”
This fear of God is always the fruit of grace. It always accompanies saving faith. It is the very beginning of wisdom, the very beginning of the knowledge of God in Christ, and only increases as the believer grows in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As John Gill put it, — This fear of the Lord, the Triune Jehovah, is “an internal principle in the heart, a reverential affection for God, a godly fear of him; is attended with faith in him, and joy of him; which makes holy, and keeps humble, and takes in the whole worship of God.”
All who are born of God fear the Lord; and all who are born of God fear the Lord; and…
2. All who are born of God obey the voice of his servant.
Without question, the Lord’s Servant in this passage is our Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 4-9; 42:1-4)
(Isaiah 50:4-9) “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? Let us stand together: who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.”
(Isaiah 42:1-4) “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”
Jehovah’s Servant is Christ the Lord, by whom our redemption was accomplished, by whom justice was satisfied, by whom our sins were put away. But the Lord’s Servant, whose voice his people obey is also God the Holy Spirit, our Divine Comforter, Teacher and Guide (Romans 8: 8-17).
(Romans 8:8-17) “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 ¶ And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 ¶ And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Christ is Jehovah’s Servant, by whom and in whom the Lord God reveals himself. God the Holy Spirit is Jehovah’s Servant, who takes the things of Christ and shows them to chosen sinners. All who are born of God obey the doctrine of Christ and the direction of the Holy Spirit, as it is given in Holy Scripture. And that instruction and direction is given to God’s elect by faithful Gospel preachers, who are also Jehovah’s servant (Hebrews 13:7, 17).
(Hebrews 13:7) “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”
(Hebrews 13:17) “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
Yes, God’s people obey their pastors, those men who teach them the Gospel, who teach them the Word of God.
· In matters of Faith
· In matters of Doctrine
· In Matters of Worship
· In matters of Duty
· In matters of Conduct
Walking in Darkness
3. Next, the prophet describes the condition in which believers often find themselves: — Walking in darkness and having no light! This is not the condition God’s children are in all the time; but it is the condition many of God’s elect are in much of the time.
When Isaiah says that God’s dear saints walk in darkness and have no light, he does not mean for us to understand that in an absolute sense (1 John 1:7; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5).
(1 John 1:7) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
(Ephesians 5:8) “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:5) “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
Yes, all who are born of God walk in the light of life. Yet, our text speaks of God’s saints, children of light, walking in darkness. The word “light” in Isaiah 50:10 is a very distinct word for light. It means “brilliance,” or “clear-shining light.” The fact is, though we always have the light of God’s truth, we do not always enjoy the light, the brilliance and clear shining light of his countenance – (Psalms 4:6; 80:3; Song of Solomon 5:2).
(Psalms 4:6) “There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.”
(Psalms 80:3) “Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”
(Song of Solomon 5:2) “I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.”
Though I never have any difficulty knowing the light of my duty, I often find myself without the brilliant, clear shining light of God’s favor (Psalm 88:1-6; Lamentations 3:1-18).
(Psalms 88:1-6) “O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: 2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; 3 For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. 4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: 5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. 6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.”
(Lamentations 3:1-6) “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. 2 He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. 3 Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day. 4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. 5 He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. 6 He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old.”
We always have the light of God’s goodness and grace in Christ; but we may not always have the brilliant shining light of confident faith. We always have the light of God’s promises; but we do not of always have the brilliant shining light of his presence. The fact is, true believers often walk in darkness.
· Concerning the State and Condition of Our Souls — “For my own part, since first my unbelief was felt, I have been praying for years for faith, and praying with some earnestness, and am not yet possessed of half a grain” (John Berridge).
· Spiritual Trials and Conflicts
· Satan’s Temptations
“Was the Lord Jesus tempted like I am? How can that be? —— He was pure, spotless, and holy; but I am full of corruption from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. —— The Lord of life and glory had a perfect, unfallen nature, a holy human body, and a holy human soul, taken into union with Deity; but I have a fallen nature, defiled in body and polluted in soul. —— Can there be a resemblance in our temptations? I would ask, ‘What is it in you that feels the burden of temptation when Satan injects his blasphemies into your mind? Is there not a something in you which is grieved, I was going to say tortured, by these fiery darts?’ Is it not the new nature? And is not that nature spotless and holy? Is it not born of God, and therefore as holy as God is holy, and pure as God is pure? Thus just in the same way as your pure and holy nature that is born of God is grieved and distressed by the fiery darts of Satan, so was the holy soul of the Lord Jesus ten thousand times more grieved and tortured by the temptations of Satan presented before his pure and spotless mind.”
J. C. Philpot
· Worldly Trouble, Care, and Sorrow — Domestic Trouble — Sickness — Bereavement
· Slander and Reproach
· Depression, Mental and Emotional Agony
Illustration: My Horrid Darkness — Spurgeon’s Reading for May 2. —— “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).
Why does the Lord our God, ever wise and good and gracious, direct the paths of his children through darkness? What good purpose can such trials serve? I do not pretend to know any full, complete answer; but I can assure you of this: —
· The darkness is our teacher. — The best of text books are printed with black letters.
· Times of darkness tend to humble us.
· Times of darkness shut us up to him.
(Psalms 107:10-15) “Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; (11) Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: (12) Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. (13) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. (14) He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. (15) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
(Psalms 107:42-43) “The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. (43) Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.”
“If today He deigns to bless us
With a sense of pardoned sin,
He tomorrow may distress us,
Make us feel the plague within,
All to make us
Sick of self, and fond of Him.”
· Trials of darkness make us more sympathetic with one another.
· These times of darkness make us more useful to each other and in the cause of Christ. —— God uses broken pieces (Acts 27:44).
(Acts 27:37-44) "And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. (38) And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. (39) And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. (40) And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. (41) And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. (42) And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. (43) But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: (44) And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land."
Though we are broken and often walk in darkness, we are not excused or absolved from daily duty. — Our text speaks of those who walk in darkness! — True believers never quit, even when they cannot see for the darkness!
May God give us grace to hear and heed the gracious counsel he gives us by his prophet Isaiah. The prophet says to God’s children walking in darkness, — “Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.”
Trust the name of the Lord — Jehovah.
· God’s Revealed Character!
· The Son of God!
· The God of Past Deliverances!
· Your Personal, Covenant Experience of Your God!
“Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.”
When the valley is deep, when the darkness is thick, trust in the Name of the Lord. — Stay yourself upon your God!
· JEHOVAH-JIREH — “The Lord will provide.” — “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen” (Genesis 22:14).
· JEHOVAH-M’KADDESH — “The Lord which doth sanctify you.” — “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you” (Exodus 31:13). — “And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you” (Leviticus 20:8).
· JEHOVAH-TSIDKEENU — “The Lord our Righteousness.” — “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:6). — “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16).
This is both a gracious invitation and a direct command. — “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.” — If we cannot trust God in the darkness, we do not trust him at all.
Illustrations: A Husband — A Father.
If I trust God only in the light, my trust is not in God but in myself, my feelings, my experience.
“Feelings come, and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
I trust the living Word of God,
Naught else is worth believing!”
God’s promises were made for the dark times, not for the light! Spirit of God, teach me to trust God my Savior the darkness.
· Without any Evidences of Grace!
· Without anything to Confirm His Word!
· Faith without support is God honoring faith.
“And when thine eye of faith is dim,
Still hold on Jesus, sink or swim:
Still at his footstool bow the knee;
And Israel’s God thy strength shall be.”
4th — Listen to the Savior as he tells you why you will go to hell (v. 11). — Verse 10 speaks of God’s children, children of light walking in darkness. Now, look just briefly at verse 11. Here the prophet speaks of children of darkness walking in light.
(Isaiah 50:10-11) “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. —— (11) Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: — walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.”
These children of darkness kindle a fire to enlighten and warm themselves in their unbelief. Rejecting Christ the Light of the world, and despising the glorious light of his Gospel, and loving darkness rather than light, they set up the light of nature and reason as the rule of faith and practice. They choose the traditions and doctrines of men as their guide. They choose their own righteousness for their justification before God and acceptance with him:
Unbelieving, self-righteous rebels, are described as people “that compass yourselves about with sparks.” — You compass yourself with the sparks that fly out of the fire you have kindled, little sparks of light have neither warmth nor light, sparks that quickly die and constantly have to be replaced. The sparks of self-righteousness are short living sparks of useless religion. Self-righteousness is a bed too short to stretch yourself upon it. It is a covering too narrow to wrap yourself in it.
If you insist own having our own righteousness, if you refuse to trust the Lord Jesus…
· If you will not have his blood to cleanse you,
· If you will not have his righteousness to justify you,
· If you will not have his grace to save you,
The Lord God will leave you to walk in the light of your own fire, and to do so with great confidence and peace, until you are in hell! — “This shall ye have of mine hand!” Then, in the end God will give you everlasting sorrow. — “This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” — To find rest and peace apart from faith in Christ is man’s highest folly!
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteous;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and story gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all supports are washed away,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When he shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in him be found,
Robed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand!”
[i] Danville — Sunday Evening — October 18, 2015
College Grove Grace Church, College Grove, TN — (SAT 10/17/15)
Readings: Rex Bartley and Mark Henson