Sermon #1781 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “Give him no rest.”
Text: Isaiah 62:6-7
Subject: The Purpose of God
And the Work of His Servants
Date: Sunday Evening — January 4, 2009
Tape # Z-61b
Readings: Merle Hart and James Jordan
In Isaiah 62, verses 6 and 7, the Lord God declares…
“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence. — And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
In the opening verse of this chapter, our God assures us that he will not rest until every chosen, ransomed sinner has been saved by his grace.
(Isaiah 62:1) “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”
Here, in verse seven, the Holy Spirit commands his watchmen, those whom he has set upon the walls of Jerusalem, to “give him no rest,” until his church and kingdom is complete, until all his elect have been saved. What an astounding command! — Learn what it means.
1. God commands us to exercise importunity with him. He would have us to be as passionate, zealous and consecrated to the salvation of his people as he is.
2. Importunity prevails with God (Luke 11:1-13; 18:5-7). — All true, fervent prayer is effectual.
(Luke 11:1-13) “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (2) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. (3) Give us day by day our daily bread. (4) And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. (5) And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; (6) For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? (7) And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. (8) I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. (9) And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (10) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (11) If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? (12) Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? (13) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
(Luke 18:5-7) “Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. (6) And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. (7) And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”
3. Importunity on our part is a sure sign of coming action on God’s part. When God intends to do something among us, with us, or for us, he causes us to cry unto him for it. — “As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8).
4. Indifference on our part is a sign of uselessness at best and coming judgment at worst.
There is an urgency about the things of God that makes half-heartedness, apathy and indifference intolerable. Our Savior said, “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). That simply means — Spiritual business is urgent business. Eternal matters are urgent matters. No one has ever been saved who was not urgent about his soul’s welfare. God Almighty is urgent in the accomplishment of his purposes; and sinners under the conviction of sin are urgent in the pursuit of his grace. Isaiah 62 displays this holy urgency. — Let’s read the chapter together.
(Isaiah 62) “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. (2) And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. (3) Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. (4) Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
(5) For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. (6) I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence. (7) And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. (8) The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: (9) But they that have gathered it shall eat it and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.
(10) Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. (11) Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. (12) And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”
This chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy has immediate reference to the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylonian captivity; but that deliverance was designed and brought to pass by our God to portray and typify the great redemption of our souls wrought out by the Lord Jesus Christ and our deliverance from sin and death by the power and grace of his Spirit. The Lord God is urgent about this matter; and he would have us to be urgent about it. The title of my message is found in Isaiah 62:7 — “Give Him No Rest.”
Proposition: God’s determination is the everlasting salvation of his people for the glory of his name; and that should be our determination as well.
1. God’s Purpose (vv. 1-5).
2. Zion’s Watchmen (vv. 6-9).
3. Our Work (vv. 10-12).
First, in verses 1-5 the Holy Spirit reveals the work God has purposed to do from eternity to perform.
(Isaiah 62:1-5) “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. (2) And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. (3) Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. (4) Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. (5) For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.”
The One speaking here is God our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He felt such an ardent a concern for Zion that he his zeal for his Father’s ate him up (Psalm 69:9). What must his prayers have been? What ardent, passionate love was it that caused him to spend whole nights in prayer for our souls?
(Luke 6:12) “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
God’s purpose in this world is the full, glorious salvation of his elect and the everlasting, public display of our salvation for the glory of his name. Our God is a God of purpose; and his purpose is our salvation (Isaiah 14:24-27; Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 2:7; Revelation 19:1-6).
If we read our Lord’s words in verse 1 and compare what the Spirit of God declares in Hebrews 4:10, it becomes clear that these are, without question, the words of our Savior.
(Isaiah 62:1) “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”
(Hebrews 4:9-10) “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.”
Our dear Savior rested not, until he had finished his work as our Representative and Substitute. But once he had brought in righteousness for us by his obedience unto death, once he had accomplished the salvation of our souls, having obtained eternal redemption for us by his blood, entering into his rest, he sat down in heaven.
Yet, there is a since in which this great work purposed by our God from eternity will not be accomplished until the resurrection day; but it shall be accomplished!
(Isaiah 14:24-27) “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: (25) That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. (26) This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. (27) For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”
(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
(Ephesians 2:7) “That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
(Revelation 19:1-6) “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: (2) For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (3) And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. (4) And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. (5) And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. (6) And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
Š God purposed from eternity to publish righteousness throughout all the earth. – The Preaching of the Gospel is the publication of Zion’s righteousness, the publishing of the righteousness of God in Christ that is made the righteousness of his people in justification and sanctification, imputed to chosen sinners in free justification and imparted to them in the new creation of grace.
Š He will show all the people and kings of the earth the glory of his people (Ephesians 2:7).
Š He gives his elect a new name – (Revelation 2:17; 3:12; Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16). — “My People!” — Hephzibah – “My Delights in Her” — Beulah – “Married.”
(Revelation 2:17) “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”
(Revelation 3:12) “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”
(Jeremiah 23:6) “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 33:16) “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.”
Š The Lord God makes saved sinners to be in his hand a crown of glory and a royal diadem. — Not a crown of glory and royal diadem upon his head, but in his hand. We add nothing to God’s glory and beauty; but he makes us both glorious and beautiful!
Realizing that theses are the words of God our Savior, how utterly amazed we ought to be!
Š The Lord God Almighty, the triune Jehovah, is urgent about the business of saving his People! — He says, “I will not hold my peace… I will not rest,” until my purpose is accomplished.
Š We must not fail to observe again in this place that everything God does is for the sake of his people. – “For Zion’s sake!” — “For Jerusalem’s sake!”
The Lord Jesus here gives us a clear, instructive example of what every preacher should be. – A faithful gospel preacher is a man utterly devoted to the purpose of God, the people of God, and the glory of God (1 Timothy 4:12-16). — Preaching is not a part-time job!
(1 Timothy 4:12-16) “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (13) Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (14) Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (15) Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (16) Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
Š “I will not hold my peace” until God’s chosen are saved.
Š “I will not rest” until God’s elect are glorified.
Second, in verses 6-9 the Lord God speaks to his people about his servants as the watchmen placed by him upon the walls of Jerusalem.
(Isaiah 62:6-9) “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence. (7) And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. (8) The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: (9) But they that have gathered it shall eat it and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.”
(Jeremiah 3:15) “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
God’s servants, gospel preachers are watchmen placed by him upon the walls of Zion (Ezekiel 33:7-9 For Unbelievers and Song 3:3; 5:7 For Believers).
(Ezekiel 33:7-9) “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (8) When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (9) Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”
(Song of Songs 3:3) “The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?”
(Song of Songs 5:7) “The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.”
It is the business of the watchmen to basically do three things incessantly.
1. Speak to the people for God.
2. Make mention of the Lord – Keep up his remembrance to the people.
3. Plead with God for his people – “Give him not rest!”
Robert Hawker rightly asked — “What can be more blessed, and what service so honorable, as to be always engaged in speaking from God to the people, and bearing the people, in the arms of faith and prayer, before God?” — Spirit of God, make me such a watchman, for Christ’s sake!
We are assured, by God’s own oath and promise that he will indeed save his people (vv. 8-9).
(Isaiah 62:8-9) “The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: (9) But they that have gathered it shall eat it and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.”
Though we have been robbed by Satan, stripped by sin, and condemned by God’s holy law, in Christ we have all and shall enjoy all the fulness of grace and glory in the courts of his holiness (Revelation 7:15-17; 22:1-2).
(Revelation 7:15-17) “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (16) They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (17) For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
(Revelation 22:1-2) “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
God’s servants are preachers. That’s their calling that is their duty; and that is their delight. Now, third, the message we are sent to preach, the work God’s servants are sent into this world to perform is not at all ambiguous, but perfectly clear. Verses 10-12 show us the our work.
We are to show sinners the Way (v. 10).
(Isaiah 62:10) “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.”
Illustration: “Take ye away the stone” (John 11).
Street Crews for the Cities of Refuge.
We are to preach up Christ (v. 11).
(Isaiah 62:11) “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”
Christ is the Banner of Truth God has given us to display (Psalm 60:4).
Š He is God’s salvation.
Š His reward is with him – Eternal Life!
Š His work is before him – Redemption and Grace.
We are to proclaim to sinners the certain results of Christ’s finished work. Oh, how very precious and sweet those promises are, sparkling like diamonds throughout the Book of God, which speak of God’s absolute determination to save and bless his people; and those diamond promises are all yea and amen in Christ!
(Isaiah 62:12) “And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”
As a result of Christ’s obedience to God as our Surety, God’s elect shall be saved with an everlasting salvation. And these are the names by which we shall be called.
Š “The Holy People.”
Š “The Redeemed of the Lord.”
Š “Sought Out.”
Š “A City Not Forsaken.”
(Hebrews 13:5) “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Oh, for a portion of that holy zeal that inflames the hearts of the Lord Jesus and inflames the hearts of the faithful, that zeal that prefers Zion and her interests above their chief joy! O Lord Jesus, take to yourself your glorious name, and come forth to your own glorious cause, conquering and to conquer, that these sweet promises of unparalleled grace might be fulfilled, that Zion’s walls might become salvation, and her gates praise!
Until then, inflame our cold, cold hearts and give us grace that we may give you no rest till you establish and make your Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com