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January 11, 2022 3:00 am
It's easy for any of us to turn to God's of gods that allow us to believe and behave however we choose today on Truth for Life will learn how easy it can be to follow false gods and yet how futile and dangerous. It is hears Alastair back with part three of a four-part message titled, behold, your God with our Bibles before us. We pray that the spirit of God will guide and Jane my lips guard them, that we might in pondering this have vast panoramic display of your faithfulness in light see ourselves as we really are and all of our finitude and that we might've a fresh glimpse of you at least in all of your might and majesty and strength and power and all of your availability to us when we are prepared to acknowledge just how fainting and weak we so readily are we ask for your help. In Jesus name, amen.
We considered what we have here in verse 12 of the creator God as he is revealed in all of his power and majesty in verses 13 and 14 of how this creator God is in no need of the Council of others and then we considered this great guard within the framework of the nations of the world and how before him all of the might and majesty that is represented in nationality and in the power of that which is they are to be displayed is essentially diminished. It is dwarfed in the presence of God not of course the God of our world God with a small Jeep where people just imagine whatever they want when they say the word orders we said this morning brought us a kind of principle of energy a cosmic idea. Those notions are prevalent but they are not biblical and they need to be rejected wholeheartedly.
We left it off. At that point and so we pick it up with this question of the incompatibility of God and considering that fact in itself, to whom then will you liken God to whom will you liken God note what we've noted is that God is giving us if you like a picture of himself through his own eyes, insofar as he is revealing himself to us through his word, and so the view of eyes through the eyes of God makes our minds eye view of God just doubly absurd so that when we imagine God, or we attempt to diminish God in any way, then it is absolutely ridiculous and all that Isaiah does here is simply point this out and just in relatively short order.
Verse 19 an idol, a craftsman casted Goldsmith overlaid with gold and so on. In in chapter 44, which we read from it is borne out in a fuller record but the thing that I want us to notice is at the very end of the chapter of the section that we read in 44 is just that statement. There can this individual who is embraced this it is he unable to say is they are not a lie in my right hand. Note we don't want to camp on this, but let's be absolutely clear here that God as he is revealed in himself is the only true and living God.
Everything else is a lie and the father of lies is none other than the evil one himself. If we are going to take this to heart and believe it. And if we're going to be prepared to proclaim it, then we're going to have to be prepared to stand up to the implications of a not in some form of false bravado or making a fuss or being rude or unkind to anybody but just being prepared to say the idolatry that is revealed here BC, and the idolatry that is prevalent today. ADE is just a nonstarter, and you will notice that whether the idol is crafted by somebody who's rich. I take it that that's verse 19.
The rich man can get a certain kind of idol I whereas the poor man he is not unreal to do that he can get a wooden one and he's going to try and have it fashioned in such a way to set up so that it will not move. It is an amazing picture of futility is not as in going to somebody's act, I'd like you to make an idol form you have. Could you make it this size and could you please make sure that the bottom is very, very flat, because I'm going to put it up on a bureau in my office and will be horribly embarrassing if you know when I have my business colleagues commit to keep falling over on the floor so please I wanted to be as good as you can possibly make it well. Whether that serve rich man's idol Laura poor man's idol.
All of us are tempted actually all of us have a compulsive desire to create a God of our own fashioning so that we might have one who is manageable and that we might have a God who is if you like containable in the rewrite of one who is able to go along with our views of morality is either the real reason people don't want to have no God didn't want to have no worship is want to have someone or something that is companionable and allows them to believe what they want and live anyway they choose. This is the spirituality of our day, and it is challenged all these years before Jesus comes. Note what lies behind the blindness of people to this. You tell yourself, it is virtually impossible to understand is that that somebody, as we read in 44 could go through that process cut down a tree, take it is splitted and have used part of it for making a fire and and and and having some some meal and then send himself and I think I'll take the other half and I'll make it into a Megan induce God that I can worship it's it's it's almost inconceivable is not against exactly what happens and why is that while you need Ashley to go to the book of Romans for the best of answers to that and the answer in a sentence is that there is a willfulness behind the blindness of humanity, a willfulness and it is there for you in Romans chapter 1, and is what it says. For although men and women knew God. Romans 121. Although they knew God as he is made himself known the creator they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchange the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Well of course we see not seen it. When we traveled and we have seen it increasingly on the high streets of American towns and cities, and if Paul were to show up in chagrin Falls or in Solon or in Cleveland Heights.
I think he would have good reason to repeat his Areopagus talk in acts chapter 70 and have reason to point out, as he did, then to the people are listening. We ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
That's it right there an image formed by the art and imagination of man conceiving of God as we choose for him to be and Isaiah says, you know to these people who are about to be shipped off into exile amongst the Babylonians.
He is a he he is bringing a word of comfort to them long before the comfort is applied to them is about 100 years between the end of chapter 39 in the beginning of chapter 40 answer the prophecy of Isaiah is is actually way ahead, and it is an amazing testimony to the veracity of God's word is able to tell them of what is going to happen when they are they are oppressed by the Babylonians and he's alerting them to the fight. But the God who will bring judgment on them and that way is the same God who speaks comfort to them and yet at the same time, they will be set up on all the way through by the temptation to succumb to the surrounding culture and so he says it's absolutely ridiculous to manufacture idols because there is nothing in there is no one to whom God may be compared. He is the creator and everything else is the creation, everything else is the work of his hands, which of course is another matter. Advertisement because God is spirit. Therefore, we has no hands. And so when we read the Bible and we take it literally don't go off telling people you know I was looking for God's hands. We understand what is there. He is infinite and eternal and unchangeable. Whereas his creation is limited and finite and temporal and mortal so you'll notice that he comes back to this in verse 25. If you just jump ahead. Actually there to verse 25. The question is asked again, virtually the same question as an 18 tomb then will you liken God. Notice it is not to to what but to whom, because even these people understood that there were powers behind these idols.
What is the power behind these idols. While satanic power courses. Who was your who would you compare me to verse 25 tomb then will you compare me that I should be like him, says the holy one, and you'll notice that this questionnaire in verse 25 is posed by God himself said now there's nothing that we are to do is let's go outside is a lovely clear evening. Let's go out for little while. We could do this if this was school you go. I love it when the teacher said now let's go out at any any excuse to get out of the place. I was thrilled with, and especially if you do something like that we could keep that going for a very long time. All I think I haven't seen it yet Maasai things you stay a little longer. Anyway, if we were to go out. I don't how well we would do with the naked eye, but we could look up and see contemplate the heavens man is made by God to contemplate the heavens. Think about it all the way through everything we read about in this review I was looking up the fascination with space in the 20th century.
The great concerns the fellow that shows up and she windfalls every so often with a big telescope which allowed me to look through and I am sure I never saw what it was I was forced to see but may I be forgiven. I said oh yes I said that is quite remarkable. It was quite remarkable. I can see a single thing but anyway there he was an EE comes every so often and we all go and have a little peek in, what are we doing or looking up into the night sky and would recognize what is happening up there. Incidentally, that's why God made man erect.
You can say to your golden retriever look up look up to the sky, every synagogue raises eyes that doesn't, it is going to really get a good view not to lie on his back or something.
But God has fashioned us in such a way that we can lift up our eyes. He wants us to. When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon, stars, retriever dating is what we teach our children or grandchildren is not going down the driveway.
Some months ago was a beautiful moon. I said to the little one isolate that. He said it's the moon. I said yes I said who put it there. He said I don't know. I saw God. There zero said yes so we made it all the way back up. We turn around and isolate that he said is the moon as a loop. Litter said God. There is a plus. Let's go in would not, but if somebody doesn't tell them the God put it there so many also telling the change. There are something else. There no you see the Babylonians were fascinated by the constellations. If you read of the Babylonian empire, you realize that they were so struck by the heavenly bodies that they were tempted not only to consider them but actually in the end, to worship them and so God is warning his people and finding themselves in that circumstance, and of course the warning had come from his servant Moses long time before that. I didn't realize that it said they said read it but it never flashing on it until this week in in Moses forbidding of idolatry. In Deuteronomy chapter 4, he is saying to the people. He says therefore watch yourselves very carefully watch yourselves very carefully and you never saw form on the date of the Lord spoke to you in or about in the midst of the fire. Beware lest you act correctly by making a carved image for yourself in the form of anything of the likeness of male or female, and so on. And then he says in verse 19 and beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars and all the host of heaven you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the people under the heavens.
The warning was there is reiterated because of the propensity of the human heart as I read that again this week. I said, I wonder. I wonder if that was the pursuit of one of the triggers for Daniel and his friends for Shadrach me shack and Abednego we often wondered what was it that Those boys in that context.
Why is it that they stand out answer because they stand out because they're not normal their abnormal if you think about it when you read Daniel and you read that story and of course will focus on it.
Most of us think all yeah I'm Shadrach. You know more on me.
Yeah, I'm one of those boys not all we probably wouldn't have the Wii be the rest who presumably were prepared to bow down to whatever he sees very very easy. I find it easy to take what God has given us as a light on the pathway to himself, and for that to become the end in itself, or to take what God has given us to enjoy in life and instead of that, becoming the occasion of our gratitude to God and our enjoyment of his gifts. The gifts become an end in themselves the gift of sex the gift of food and drink. The gift of family life. Many gifts that God gives us richly to enjoy the danger is that we end up making them the very object that they are and the end that they are as opposed to a means to an end. Look up into the night sky. Look up there. He who brings out the host by number. Now I Isaiah you know that I I know scientists and I you know my report cards made that very clear and so I build a long long time ago on any of that stuff. So I never use any scientific attempts at illustration because I know you be going.
He got keyed in a dozen that are tall and so I'm not going to try and even do anything with the galaxies or the solar system or the Milky Way or anything else.
I'm not even going to try and hazard a guess at how big the sun is, I'm not even going to attempt to wonder whether the sun is the biggest star in our place are not going to wonder about how many times you can fit the air into the size of the sun. You are the folks that we want to do all that you can agree with me, though, that it is impossible to number the stars in the sky. The very scientists who probe these things keep going farther and farther and farther and there is no possibility of people saying you know, and we've got an accurate count of them now we can count on God names them again. This is an amazing pictures number is so vast there's no way to get your arms around it and God says all you that's him that's that's that's one you see this to you and other places of you been with Shepherdson and Angier you to see this great company of sheep and suddenly the shepherdess is picking one out and another one argues how did you do that when Sue and I were in the other free state and in in South Africa with her family whose father of one of our ladies here and and and at one point all of these columns were there is usually a big as they say in veteran manuals a big glob of cows and the northerly was there. He called them by name. He knew them. They were in just a vast host to him. Now he calls him by his name by their names by the greatness of his might.
Because he is strong in power and there is no possibility of losing one down that way to call those same black holes as I gathering know that means but I'm not worried about because this is helping me by the greatness of his might and because he that is God is strong in power were not only losing any of so God the creator without any outside help God. The counselor in no need of advice and then God created the universe and keeps the universe under his control loop back up adverse 21 as we skip this little section by going from 18 to 25 and hear the questions come to you not know. Do you not hear has it not been told you from the beginning. What is Isaiah doing here what is essentially saying listen you know this. You know this. You've heard it, you've seen it on display.
You know that this is the case so you know better he speaking to the people of God, the ones who are complaining under saying my way is hidden from God and so on. He said you know better than that to despair of the power of God to doubt the care of God to deny or despise the wisdom of God.
I just allow that to settle for a moment for us. God says to his people, you know better than that to get in your car and said I don't know if we're going to build to make this to find yourself saying I'm not sure that God really is, as he has revealed himself to be that he is as wise as the Bible says he is. Or perhaps, I can't believe that my prayer has gone unanswered for so jolly long does God really hear me does he care about me. The people of God were saying this for the people of God always say if we're honest now. How does he address this is evokes you know these things you you know you Herod. You know it's been true from the beginning. You've understood this. If you like from the foundations of the earth. This is foundational truth to you and you know that it is he that is the living and true God who sits above the circle of the earth, here's another amazing picture. I don't know what the circle, the layer of really means, but I get the picture clear enough in my mind is a picture of the fight that God is so transcendent and he is above and beyond everything is eternally is not trapped by time he's not trapped by space.
He sits above beyond around if you like the circle of the earth. What is he doing what he's upholding and maintaining that which he has made us what he's doing. Member said this morning you know big thoughts of God, and small thoughts of ourselves first time you fly it. That's what someone says or if only for know you look down through the small everything is sits above the circle of the earth. How small. What's he doing well. Colossians tells us that in Jesus is all things are holding together in this you see is the basis of our security that is Alistair Begg with the powerful warning about the dangers of idolatry, reminding us that nothing compares to the only true and living God. Your listing to Truth for Life. If you're a regular listener to our program, you know, we are passionate about teaching the Bible in a way that is clear and relevant. We do this, believing that God will use his word convert unbelievers to establish believers more deeply in their faith and to strengthen local churches and so along with Alister's messages. We recommend books designed to help you and your family. Study the Bible together to grow in your faith and today were recommending the book by Martin Lloyd Jones titled the all sufficient God. This book explains how God has already provided the answers to our deepest problems. Doubts quester copy of the all sufficient God make a donation today. The image on the app visit our website Truth for Life.org/donate Bob Lapine one point or another. We probably all ask ourselves questions like who am I really is gone really care about sure to join us tomorrow.
Alistair Begg Texas to the Bible to find the answers, Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life for the Learning is for Living