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January 10, 2022 3:00 am
Far too often we are guilty of overestimating our own significance in limiting of God today on Truth for Life will hear from Alastair big with part two of a message titled, behold, your God, as he helps us gain a proper perspective of ourselves and of God's greatness were in Isaiah chapter 40 verses 12 through 31. Those of you like me were alive and kicking in the 60s will perhaps have grown up with youth group singing a song which began in the stars his handiwork. I see on the wind. He speaks with Majesty the way Ruth Overland and see what is that to me and I will celebrate nativity for it has a place in history is sure he came to set his people free, but what is that to me and then I went into the chorus and then one day I met him face-to-face.
I find the wonder of his grace. So far so good. Really.
But it was at that point I really stumbled even.
I remember as a boy, thinking there's something wrong with the next two lines never really knew what it was.
You might not agree with me. I don't know that Monday I met him face-to-face and I learned the wonder of his grace. Then I knew that he was more than just a God who didn't care who lived away out there. I never like saying that because it didn't seem right to me and it isn't right because he never, ever was, is a God who lives up there and doesn't care. It should have read. Then I knew that he was not a God who lives out there and doesn't care to see what happens.
The inference from the transcendence of God that is wrong, says God is so great that he doesn't care. The inference from the transcendence of God that is right says God is so great he cannot fail and so you have this juxtaposition between God and all of his transcendent glory and mine down here in need of a shepherd and the shepherd comes but you see when it says that he is up there and and and his glory is above the heavens is not talking in spatial terms is not that that he is up there and and away from us is that he is beyond is in his greatness is beyond us in our great greatness and this is revealed to us in a number of ways throughout this this this point. First of all, in relationship to creation itself, who has measured the waters in all of his hat and what Isaiah is pointing out is that what is massive to us is manageable to God.
I was just looking at that we had yesterday in our elders meeting. We were think about the work that is being done down there wonderfully.
In Uruguay, and in order to help us with that we were. We were given a photograph of South America and is and as I looked at the scale of it and tried to imagine going up the scale. I realize I wasn't one of the vast distance. It is from way down the bottom here up to the talkative Cubans of the islands and so on. And that's only a tiny piece and then you go out and come in my cave and you'll find the map of the world's best not even talk about the solar system. Here are galaxies or just talk about their itself.
What is massive to us is manageable to God. What we have actually is. The universe that is dwarfed by the presence of God, the universe is dwarfed by the presence of God, look at the pictures. The pictures he he cups his hands and he also waters how much of the of the earth's water that I don't know is a significant amount.
I believe, and then he takes out a ruler and a compass and he plots out the heavens, and then he takes out the scales anyways.
The mountains and the hills and he assesses it all. What is Isaiah doing here. He's doing this he is allowing us as the readers of his prophecy to see God through God's eyes to see God as he reveals himself he reveals himself seemingly finally in Jesus. He reveals himself in creation. He reveals himself in his word and here in his word he says.
You want to know how I relate to creation. This is this is who I am. So it is there to consider in relationship to creation. Secondly, in verse 13 and 14 to consider how God has no need of counsel that he never need to go and ask anybody for advice that he was measured out the waters is himself in measurable see that who has measured the spirit of the Lord will know no one whom did he consult who made him understand, ever, of told God what to do. No one shows God how to understand things.
In fact, God is the way to understanding and absent an awareness of who God is. Even we make. You may be the brightest intellect in the Western world, and yet still you will be foolish. You'll be a foolish genius. Why, because God is the way to understand. Now let me assigned for homework, Job, chapter 28 and then just dip into it for a moment to wet your appetite or make you decide you're not going to even look at it. Job 28 is very similar. In fact, Job is very similar to this point in Isaiah 40 and enjoyed chapter 28 Job is asking the question, where is wisdom. And he runs to a number of things he says you know the natural resources that are in the air can be brought out by man. Man has the capacity to drill through rock man is the capacity to dam up streams and so on. He can do all of these things that teach you to verse 11 and then at 12 he says.
But where is where shall wisdom be found and where is the place of understanding becomes then to the same again in verse 20 from where then does wisdom come and where is the place of understanding. Of course, you need to go to the end of the end of the chapter there it is. And he said to man, behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom and to turn away from evil is understanding is quite a thought is you go to the universities of the Western world and ask them about was that we are bombarded on a daily basis.
I say this with great thankfulness for all of our scientists in all of our medics.
But if there is one thing that is pretty obvious to me as a as a mere sojourner and error on their if I hear anything else told me again about the scientists have concluded the scientists know the scientists have the answer. This is simply an expression of the extent to which a culture has lost any notion of the darkness of God. The fact is that once you have dispensed with the source of wisdom, you are left to come up with all of your own answers to your own questions and the Bible comes to us and says the Lord by wisdom founded the error by understanding he established the heavens.
What is this mean what it means this that ultimately, only God understands God ultimately because the finite cannot understand the infinite. Our understanding and we thank God for the for the great progress that we been able to make in the history of man and for the geniuses and for those who have helped us and I hope you will misunderstand my comments about scientists, but having failed physics dreadfully as far as I am a better teacher but anyway that's by the way, no, our understanding is the understanding of the creature of a creature is finite and therefore can understand the infinite, at least not by way of investigation only by way of revelation and that's why you see when Paul goes in amongst the Corinthians who were very very interested in wisdom and understandably as people are today.
Lay great store by it very wise person. A very intelligent person and and what what what you have for me. You you believer in God while Paul says I I want to tell you my message and I should just let you know right at the outset that what I'm going to tell you, you will regard as absolute folly. I'm going to tell you that I Jesus Christ was is the incarnate God, who bore our sins in his body on the tree and he is the resurrected Lord and he is the coming King.
Also, the people, so we brought you here because we thought you were a sensible soul you know going to get is that bunk are you in any system.
All I want to tell you that the Bible says that God will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the discernment of the discerning he will thwart what is he doing squirting Isaiah chapter 29 verse 14 we think about that thing about how human wisdom is supplanted generationally. We used to think it was fantastic that this now, this and this and so the idea is that the further you go the later you were born, you are inevitably smarter, but not in terms of God's revelation of himself. Where is the one who is wise.
Where is the scribe. Where is the debater. Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of the world for sins in the wisdom of God the world did not know God through wisdom in the wisdom of God the world does not know God through wisdom so it please God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe now come back to the passage and you realize how this absolutely knocks on the head as superficial notions about God.
I mean, God has become a catchall for whatever men and women wanted to be whatever they feel it to be so. I believe in God but I have my own God. Years ago there was a there was a book there was call habits of the heart and it was the result chapter into their gold. Sheila is him. Sheila is him it was all about a lady called Sheila who had decided that you know she had a God of her own making my first day on the other side of the coin. Of course you get the rationalists who are prepared to say well if there is a God in any sense. He's just an energizing aspect of life is a cosmic principle sounds very smart doesn't it.
Well of course I believe God is a cosmic principle, exactly what is that means are.
I think what you're saying is you're unprepared to consider the possibility that God is a sovereign person and that it is far more manageable for you to regard him just as a principal smaller the better we get time just for one more, perhaps consider this and in relationship to creation.
Consider it in terms of the fact that God is in need of nobody's counsel and considerate. Thirdly, in terms of God's view of the nations. But in verse 15. If proud man is feeling uncomfortable on an individual basis. Now what are you going to feel like in the land of the free and the home of the brave or the like me coming from the rule Britannia world Britannia rules waves Britons never, never, never shall be slaves, we used to sing that school bus while was God's view on the nations while behold the nations are like a drop from a bucket. Very nice is say we need a bucket of water something up here I go back and I get it I bring nice billable is good like that on the floor so did you see that was so we get it back where we can get it back is gone it's infinitesimal list drop in a bucket.
What is it is in the G8 leaders of the G7 now is the G7 was a G8 but one of the drops fell out of the book Russia. I think drop weird drop in the bucket as well so you really look at what is the nations are like a drop from a bucket there counted as the dust on the scales. I'm old enough to have gone for potatoes at the grocery store and had them wait out for me used to weigh them out and put them in a bag and then put them in my shelving back when I was tiny I hang them on this handlebars of my bicycle goal.
I never said Hager some dust left there good either dust please. I like to tinker with me because the dust didn't even register on the scale. It was just there, the nations do not even register. And if you want to consider the coastlands where is the Mediterranean coastlands or where is the islands of the world. The picture that were given of God is that he's able to sweep them up. The way he would sweep dust up on a carriage floor. Jacob rushed to smooth it out is a metaphor.
Of course it is what CC is saying here is God a voices cry, what shall I cry, cry, behold, your God, people need to know who God is not there conjectured of God, not the concept of the created for themselves but who God is. Everything about the educational system in Western culture. It largely exists to completely collapse. Such a notion that begins with God, who is the source, the sustainer and the end of all things. This is who God is not a construct is not a cosmic principle is not whatever you wanted to be. Isaiah says no.
This is what you need to know and thank God for Christian teachers in those systems who went in the context of interpersonal relationships are able as opportunity allows to say you know I actually believe this. In fact, on a religious basis. Verse 16 God is not dependent upon man either is not dependent why why is Lebanon introduced the nations are like a drop.
What about Lebanon. What is an illustration, Lebanon will not suffice for fuel. All those trees all the creatures that rolled around in the forests. If you were to put them all together and present them as a sacrifice of praise to God.
Isaiah says it wouldn't be enough, it wouldn't be sufficient. There is no worship service you can put together that is worthy of God. I don't care if you're in a cathedral.
I will give you the mass choirs and trombones and everything else that goes along with it. You couldn't, we could never do. We can, we could never give to God the glory that he that he alone deserves. We could never offer a burnt offering, we could never offer sacrifice could know if users only one sacrifice that is acceptable to notice when Christ appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Until we understand that then we will find ourselves at great pains either to run from God because we know we cannot face him or to come up with our own sacrificial offerings.
Somehow or another to make ourselves acceptable. No damages concluded. In this way. Let's not make this say something that it doesn't see God does not despise the nations. God loves the nations. God has sent his gospel out into the world to the nations of the world.
One day when the community of Jesus is assembled there will be those from all the tribes and nations and languages and so on. The nations of the world are not worthless, but the nations of the world, derive their worth from God, who remember when Paul preaches in Athens.
He says that God is establish the very bounds of their habitation that God has made the world to be inhabited and he is establish these things, so we must make it say something it doesn't say they are nothing before him. You see that they are as nothing before and then awards it is in comparison to them. We are this, we are that look at our history where is where Stalin's wares was a you where the USSR where's the might of Greece. Where's the Roman Empire that you think is going to stop that now know and God says you should know this not in order that you would not take seriously the privileges that are yours within the nation might say, but by means of this God is putting the nations in their place your schoolteacher you use that line Avenue bag which is to sit down in your place. Please take without enough from you today. I know that you think you have a lot to share but would you just sit down in your place. See Isaiah 14 is just putting us in our place so small, so frail and God so fast so powerful coming to seek us all, gives the likely idea. I think I'll do God a favor and go to church gives the lie to the idea that somehow or another we go to protect God from the bizarre notions of our culture is not in need of our protection. He is altogether sufficient in himself. He needs no counselors. He never asked anybody's advice about making the universe and he has promised that all who come to him through Christ may find their wisdom, the righteousness and their acceptance and that that's why it's so silly to think about making idols and it is to the idols that we will come. Perhaps this evening we been listening to Alister bag as he reminds us that God is mighty and infinite but he's not too great to care about us. In fact, he's too great to fail us your listing to Truth for Life. Please stay with us.
Alister will be back in just a minute to close with prayer. Our current study is called, behold, your God, if you're enjoying this teaching from Isaiah 40 you want to request today's book. It's titled the all sufficient God.
The book contains nine sermons preached on Isaiah 40 by Pastor Martin Lloyd Jones if you're familiar with Lloyd Jones.
You know he was a very thorough expositor of Scripture during the 20th century and the all sufficient God Lloyd Jones unpacks the purpose of the prophecy in Isaiah 40 he considers its original audience and how it foreshadows the gospel will benefit greatly from the depth of his exploration. Each chapter in the book includes thought-provoking questions for you to consider on your own. In the book is a great supplement to our current series. It comes highly recommended by our team to help you learn more about the greatness of God.
Request your copy when you donate today your giving cures for the cost of producing and distributing this daily program and for making all of Alister's teaching available for free. So on behalf of so many people. Thanks for your support.
You'll find the book the all sufficient God online at truthforlife.org/donate or you can request it when you call 888-588-7884. Now here's Alister with a closing prayer father we are in need of what Spurgeon said to his congregation, 166 years ago. We are definitely in need of a real encounter with your immensity.
Some of our friends haven't rejected our offers of considering faith because they don't regard it is true they just rejected it because it seems so trivial. We got a civic copy watch Christianity where it's if you get a hold of the wart.
You know it's not the right watch consists cannot wait to it's empty it's it's useless God.
We want you to common and we want to have when we get in here with one another. We want to have a sense of your heaviness. We want to have a sense take that this immense God to whom we are introduced in Isaiah 40, who has stepped down comes to our worship gatherings. With this leads us in our praise who preaches to us from the Bible we want to have a greater sense of that father. We what we want to we want to rediscover all we want to be able to say put it in our place. Lord put us in our place and then uses where you put us, for we ask it humbly in Jesus name, amen and Bob Lapine. Thanks for listing today.
Join us tomorrow as will find out how easy it is for us to turn gifts from God into objects of worship instead of worshiping the giver of those gifts God himself. The Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living