The Mountain of the LORD – Isaiah 2
Having described the sin of Judah in chapter 1, Isaiah prophecies about the future Jerusalem to come, when the mountain of the LORD will be lifted high above all other mountains and hills in the perfect new heavens and new earth.Â That prophecy and future vision inspires us to live in God’s light today and not to put our pride and trust in man’s power.
The Transcript – Isaiah 2
5 May 2019 â€“ Duncan Sills
Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are from The ESVÂ® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard VersionÂ®), copyright Â©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your word to us in the Bible. We thank you that you have spoken and that we can read it here this morning. And Lord, I just pray as we read from the book of Isaiah, would you speak to us in power. Holy Spirit, move in this room. Speak to our hearts and speak to our minds. I pray that we may understand your word and are able to apply it to our life. Lord God, I pray this is a moment where we meet with you in your word in a powerful way. Come speak through me, I pray, in Jesus name. Amen.
So last week, we read Isaiah chapter 1. We launched our Isaiah series and we were introduced to the nation of Judah during Isaiahâ€™s term as a prophet. And we saw very clearly that the nation of Judah was a very, very sinful nation, deserving of Gods wrath and judgment. Although they thought of themselves as God’s children, God said to them, their deeds were so evil, it was as if they were the offspring of evildoers; though they were very religious and observed ceremonies and sacrifice, God criticised them because they did not seek justice or care for needy people in their midst.
You might remember that last week I only read from the first 18 verses of chapter 1. But actually the rest of the chapter continues in a similar vein and, in fact, the language in the second half is even stronger. God compares the nation of Israel to a whore; essentially God says: â€œYou’ve been so unfaithful to me, youâ€™re like a whore. That’s what your deeds are likeâ€.
So we’ve seen in Isaiah 1, that Judah is a very sinful, unfaithful, wicked people. But there was a glimmer of hope last week, which I preached on very briefly. Verse 18 says that: â€œThough your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snowâ€. Judah is this wicked nation, but God says: â€œI will give you forgiveness. Believe in Me and I will forgive you your sins. Though they are like scarlet, they will be white as snowâ€.
And that’s the hope we cling to as Christians, isn’t it? We know we’re all sinners, we know we’ve all done things wrong. And yet God is merciful, and offers us the free gift of forgiveness, that all who would believe in Jesus Christ, would have their sins forgiven and would enter into eternal life. That’s amazing! We don’t deserve that forgiveness. And yet that is what God offers us in Jesus Christ.
As we come now to Isaiah 2, I want you to imagine that Isaiah the prophet is looking down upon the city of Jerusalem, upon the nation of Judah whom he has just prophesied about in chapter 1. And all he sees is the wickedness that he’s just declared. The lack of justice. The lack of love. All the evil that’s going on in the city of Jerusalem. And then, at the beginning of chapter 2 it is almost like Isaiah the prophet turns and sees a different vision of the city of Jerusalem. He sees the reality of Jerusalem – wicked and evil and unfaithful to God; and then God gives him a new vision for the New Jerusalem. He sees in his vision in chapter 2 the Jerusalem that never was; the Jerusalem that should have been. This is what Jerusalem should have been like; the Jerusalem that will one day come to exist.
Let me read to you from Isaiah 2. And I’m just going to start off by reading the first five verses. Isaiah 2: 1-5.
â€œThe word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
It shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it.
and many people shall come and say: â€˜Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.â€™
For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.â€
So Isaiah starts that chapter, by saying it shall come to pass in the latter day. So what Isaiah was doing in chapter 2 is prophesying about the new heaven and the new earth. It says in the Bible, that Jesus came and died on the cross, and then rose from the grave, and then he ascended into heaven. One day, Jesus is returning and when He comes, when He returns, He will establish His Kingdom upon the earth. There’ll be a new heaven and a new earth. Everything will be made new. And what Isaiah prophesied in chapter 2 here is about the new heaven and the new earth. This will be what Jerusalem will be like, at the end of time once evil has been defeated and all has been set right.
And so consequently, these verses are also amazing. The Jerusalem described in Isaiah 2 is beautiful. And part of what I want to do this morning is just to unpick what the New Jerusalem will be like and I hope as I do so that our hearts will be warmed and we will yearn for that day when God recreates all the universe and creates this new Jerusalem for us.
So, the first thing Isaiah says about this new Jerusalem is: â€œthe mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hillsâ€. Now when Isaiah says that, it’s possible he means physically. It’s possible that in the new heavens and the new earth, the city of Jerusalem, the nation of Judah, will be lifted up physically even higher, so that it is the highest city in all the world. Itâ€™s possible – but I think Isaiah is primarily speaking of the spiritual symbolism of being high and lifted up. When God recreates the new heavens and the new earth, the mountain of the Lord will be raised higher than any other mountain and will be lifted up above the hills.
To lift something – or someone – up biblically, is to say: â€˜This person is exalted. He is raised above me in authority. I want to submit to him, for he is of supreme importanceâ€™. If you lift someone up in the Bible, you’re saying this person has supreme importance in my life. He has authority over me, and I’m under him in terms of submission. And so Isaiah is saying that the mountain of the Lord shall be raised up higher than any other mountain. In other words, the importance of God throughout the land will be raised higher than anyone else in all of creation.
Often we sing to God, don’t we, â€˜I lift you up, I exhort youâ€™ – those kind of lyrics in some of the songs we sing? And what we’re saying is that in our lives, we’re making God the highest. We’re making him the greatest. Weâ€™re making him the most important. And so what Isaiah 2 is saying is that, in the latter days, it will come to pass that Godâ€™s mountain will be exalted, so that God is raised so high that all the world recognise that God himself has supreme importance. There’ll be no other mountain higher. There’ll be no other hill that raises above God. God will be seen in the eyes of all the world to have supreme importance. He will be lifted up above everybody else.
I don’t know if you remember from last week, when I was talking about Isaiah 1, this is what God said of Judah: â€œThe ox knows its owner and the donkey its masterâ€™s crib, but Israel does not knowâ€. In other words, Judah is so foolish, it doesn’t recognise its own master, their own God. An ox is smart enough to know who owns it. A donkey is smart enough to know where its master puts the food, but Israel is too foolish to even know that God is their master, that God is their ruler. And so you see this amazing contrast:
- in Isaiah 1, Judah is foolish and can’t recognise who God truly is;
- in Isaiah 2, God is lifted up in the highest mountain so all the world recognise God’s power and authority and mind.
In Isaiah 2, everything is put to right as God, the mountain of the Lord, the house of God, is raised up over all. God is lifted up. He is victorious. All the world recognise his authority, and ultimate importance.
Secondly, you’ll see in these verses, that all the nations flow to the mountain (that’s the end of v2) and many peoples come (v3). Now we know, don’t we, that rivers flow down from mountains. But in Isaiah 2, people flow up mountains (v2). So this is a supernatural move of God in the world. So Godâ€™s mountain is lifted high, and all the peoples flow up the mountain to meet with God.
This, for me, is one of the most glorious things about heaven. In the new heavens and the new earth, we can look forward to all the nations coming, and being represented there, and worshiping the Lord at the mountain of God. There’ll be Israelites there. There’ll be British people there – including hopefully a large contingent from Fareham. There’ll be Australians and Argentinians and Austrians; there’ll be Indians and Indonesians and Italians; there’ll be Nigerians and Namibians and North Koreans; there’ll be Zambians and Zimbabweans. All the nations will flow to the mountain of the Lord. (I may have made some of these words up and apologies if I’ve mispronounced what it means to exist in those countries). All the nations will come to the mountain of the Lord. O it will be glorious. To see such multicultural unity at the mountain of the Lord. Such is the wisdom and authority of God – that all the nations are pulled in. Like rivers flowing down mountains, people will flow up mountains, to gather together and worship the Lord God. I just think that’s an amazing picture of heaven. That’s going to be so good. Imagine how different nations will worship God. And yet we’ll be united together in some glorious cacophony or harmony of worshipping God together. I think that’s going to be so exciting – to be gathered that mountain, with all the nations of the world, worshipping God together.
Thirdly, it tells us why the nations have come. The nations come to the mountain of the Lord in v3: â€œthat He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His pathsâ€. It also says that the word of the Lord will go out from Jerusalem. So, all the nations gather to God in this new heaven and new earth, and they hear God’s teaching. And they don’t just hear it but ignore it. They walk in the paths of God’s teaching. So here we have all the nationsâ€™ many peoples gathered to the mountain of the Lord, and they hear God’s teaching, and they go out and live it. They go out and walk in the power of the Lord. Â They live out the instructions of this book.
Now if that doesn’t sound wonderful to you, then I suggest you read more of this book. Letâ€™s just focus on the two greatest commandments in the Bible for a moment:
- â€œYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mindâ€. So, these people are coming to the mountain of the Lord. They hear that commandment and they walk in it. So the new heaven and the new earth are full of many peoples and many nations all loving God with all that they are.
- â€œAnd the second commandment is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourselfâ€. So the new heavens and the new earth are gonna be full of people loving God with their whole being -and loving others, as if they were themselves. They’re loving others as much as they love themselves.
That is going to create a truly wonderful, wonderful world. I think of my own life and the selfishness and the pride which sometimes is in my life. In reality, I know I don’t truly love others – like I love myself. I think of how different my life would be maybe, if I did really love others. Sometimes, by God’s grace, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I do live a little bit like that. But imagine an entire world of people loving God with their entire being, and loving each other, just as they love themselves. That’s going to be a wonderful community – full of life and energy and care. I can imagine us growing food and serving food to one another; coming together for massive meals; and just loving caring for one another. That is the way this world should be like now. That is what this world will be like when Jesus returns in glory and recreates the heavens and the earth. People coming to hear God’s teaching and living it out truly and perfectly.
Fourthly, in those verses, it tells us there’ll be peace. Have a look at v4: â€œHe (God) shall judge between the nations and shall decide disputes for many peoplesâ€. I don’t think Isaiah is anticipating lots of disputes in heaven. Rather, he’s describing a world in which everyone submits to God as Judge. They recognise his authority and so submit to Him. And so instead of political argument; and complete disarray; and conflicts of interest; we will know all disputes are settled by God, and we’ll live without such arguments. Brexit won’t be an issue in heaven! Hallelujah! Praise God!
And then v4 says: â€œthey shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooksâ€. In other words, these people are taking their weapons, their swords and their spears and turning them into farming equipment. The weapons are no longer needed. There is no war; no two nations are going against each other in war, no two people are going to fight. There will be complete and utter peace. And so, we won’t need swords and we won’t need spears, we’ll just need farming equipment to grow food and to live and eat and enjoy life together.
That’s the new heaven and the new earth as described by Isaiah 2. It’s a wonderful place. The mountain of the Lord is lifted up and all come and worship Him. All recognise God’s true authority. There are many nations each coming with different cultural ideas. All coming and worshipping together in a wonderful way, All worshipping the Lord God, Jesus Christ, the king of this kingdom. And God brings his teaching. All hear the teaching, respond to the teaching and live it out, walking in the paths of God. And therefore there is peace. No more war, no more conflict, just peace and farming. If you don’t want to be a farmer, then hard luck! I think we’ll all love being farmers in the new heaven and the new earth.
Doesn’t that just sound wonderful? That is the world I want to live in. I love life – I do love life. But there’s a very large part of me which longs for the day when Jesus will return and establish this kind of world, on earth in the new earth. If you’re a Christian here this morning, you should have that very same longing. That doesn’t mean you hate life, but it means you do long for this amazing future, when Jesus returns and is worshipped and all things are put right. It will be an amazing, amazing time.
Having seen that vision, Isaiah ends this little section with a command. V5: â€œO house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORDâ€. Christ Church Fareham, in view of Isaiahâ€™s vision that we see in Isaiah 2, in view of this new Jerusalem that shall come to pass in the latter days, I say to us as a church and I say to you individually, â€œCome church, let us walk in the light of the Lordâ€.
Come church, let us walk in the light of the Lord. What does that mean? What does that look like? When Isaiah wrote those words, he had some idea what it meant to work in the light of the Lord. But now, as Christians, we have a more complete picture of what it means, because we have Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Jesus Christ was God in human flesh, come into the world. God describes the world as darkness and describes Jesus Christ as light. He comes as the light of the world. Everything he does was perfect and right and righteous â€“ and so that’s like light shining in the darkness. He’s the one who brings truth – and that’s like light shining in the darkness. Everything about Jesus Christ is light and bright and glorious. Jesus says in John 8: 12: â€œI am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of lifeâ€. And so, to follow Jesus is to not walk in darkness, but to walk in light.
If you’re not a Christian here this morning, I’d encourage you to follow Jesus Christ, because to follow Him is to walk not in darkness, but in the light of life. 1John 1:7 says: â€œIf we walk in the light, as He (God) is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sinâ€. So to follow Jesus, to believe in Him, to believe in his life and death and resurrection from the dead, to see Him as God Himself come into the world, is to walk in light. And when we walk in light, we are cleansed of our sin. To walk in life is to know forgiveness, to know we are blameless in the sight of God. And to walk in light is also to have fellowship with one another. So, if you want to walk in the light, this morning, follow Jesus, believe in Him. Receive forgiveness for your sins and have fellowship with other believers in the church. Maybe your challenge here this morning is you’re thinking â€˜I don’t know whether I’m walking in the light, am I doing a good job of walking in the light?â€™ I would encourage you to read your gospels. Open up the gospel of Matthew or Mark or Luke and John, this afternoon maybe, and read it and see the light of Christ in the gospels – and say â€˜I’m going to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. The path that he walked before me, I will followâ€™. That’s what it is to walk in light.
But when Isaiah wrote those words, Isaiah was anticipating a Messiah to come. He was seeing a future king of Israel because, as we read the book we’ll discover what Isaiah says about this amazing King to come in the future. But he didn’t know he didn’t know the name Jesus Christ, because Jesus had not yet come into the world. Isaiah was written 700 years before Jesus was even born. So I want to focus a little bit more keenly on what Isaiah meant when he wrote Isaiah 2: 5. What did Isaiah mean when he said: â€˜O House of Jacob, walk in the light of the Lordâ€™?
I believe his instruction there is linked to the vision he’s just seeing. To walk in the light of the Lord for Isaiah in chapter 2 is to believe the vision for Jerusalem that Isaiah has just described through the prophecy of God. To walk in the light of the Lord is to live in such a way as to create, by your lifestyle the perfect Jerusalem that Isaiah described. He’s speaking to the nation of Judah. Heâ€™s speaking to the city of Jerusalem. And he’s saying, â€˜This is what it could be like, this is what it will be like. So why don’t you start living like that now here on the earth?â€™ What I don’t mean is that we can create that perfect Jerusalem in our own strength, by living the right way. No, Jesus Christ returns and creates that perfect Jerusalem. But what I am saying is that we can, in a sense, live like a new Jerusalem, already here on Earth, by the power of God.
Let me explain what I mean!
- Given that the mountain of the Lord will be the highest mountain in all the earth in the New Jerusalem, let me ask you this morning: Are you lifting God up as the highest authority in your life today?
- Given that all the nations and many peoples will gather, are you a people-gatherer today? Are you gathering up the people around you, the many nations around you, even not scared of cultural boundaries, in order to share the gospel and bring people into the kingdom of God.
- Given that we will gather to hear God’s teaching and to live it out in the new heaven and the new earth, are you focused and are you practising and prioritising hearing God’s teaching in the word and living out today?
- And given that there will be peace on earth, are you a peacemaker today? Are you the sort of person in your workplace or where you live or with your family who causes conflict and troubles and difficulties; or are you the sort of person who creates peace and who reconciles people together and has good relationships with those around you. Are you a peacemaker, here on earth today?
This is what Isaiah means to walk in the light of the Lord, It is to be inspired and challenged by Isaiahâ€™s vision. I want to challenge you this morning. Are you lifting God up as your highest authority? Are you gathering people in your life? Are you prioritising God’s teaching and living it out? Are you a peacemaker in your life? Are you living like you’re already in the new heaven and the new earth, because if you get lots of practice here on Earth, you’re going to be really good at it when you get to heaven!
So Isaiah sees this vision of Jerusalem and calls the whole nation of Judah, the whole city of Jerusalem, to walk in the Lord’s light. But as he does so, it’s almost as if he catches again a glimpse of Isaiah 1. Imagine, as I was saying at the start Isaiah – he’s got the old Jerusalem there, the reality of what Jerusalem is, on his left hand side; and then on his right hand side, he’s got this wonderful, perfect vision of what Jerusalem truly could be; what it surely should have been; what it will be in the future.
And as he comes to the end of verse five, it’s almost as if Isaiah just catches the current reality of Jerusalem back in the corner of his eye. And as he does so, he realises there is one very important barrier, a wall that must come down. If Jerusalem is to be this perfect city, there’s one thing that definitely needs to change in the current city of Jerusalem. That thing – that wall that must be pulled down â€“ is the pride of man.
And so I’m going to read to you verses 6 to 22. I’m not going to go through all these verses in as much detail but I want you to see as I read these verses, how critical God is, and how critical Isaiah is, of pride. If you don’t if you don’t get this from these verses, then I haven’t read it very well – because it is blindingly obvious when you get to the end of this passage that God hates pride. Isaiah 2: 6-24:
â€œFor you have rejected your people, the house of Jacob,
because they’re full of things from the east, and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines,
and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.
Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures;
their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their own fingers have made.
So man is humbled, and each one is brought low – do not forgive them!
Enter into the rock and hide in the dust
from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendour of His majesty.
The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty,
against all that is lifted up – and it shall be brought low;
against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan;
against all the lofty mountains, and against all the uplifted hills;
against every tower, and against every fortified wall;
against all the ships of Tarshish and against all the beautiful craft.
And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
And the idols shall utterly pass away.
And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes in the ground,
from before the terror of the LORD, and from the splendour of His majesty,
when he rises to terrify the earth.
In that day, mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats,
to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs,
from before the terror of the LORD, and from the splendour of His majesty,
when he rises to terrify the earth.
Stop regarding man in whose nostril is breath, for of what account is he?â€
What Isaiah describes in those verses is the great and terrible day of the Lord. In order to establish a perfect world in the new heaven and the new earth, Jesus Christ must come in judgement against the sin of the world, he must oppose and defeat evil in the world. And so there is a day of Judgement – it’s called the day of the Lord in the Old Testament – there is a day of Judgement coming in the future. And that’s why we seek to warn as many people as possible about this truth in the Bible. We want to warn people of the day of the Lord that is coming, so that they can take refuge in Christ. By believing in Jesus Christ, they can find safety and security. But what I want to highlight from that passage, is that when Jesus Christ comes again in judgement, when God comes in the day of the Lord, He comes particularly in judgement against pride – against the pride of man.
Verse 11: â€œthe haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbledâ€.
Verse 12: â€œthe LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and loftyâ€.
In the next verses, the Lord is against the cedars of Lebanon; against the lofty mountains; against the uplifted hills; against the high towers; against the fortified walls; against the ships of Tarshish.
And then in verse 17: â€œthe haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought lowâ€.
If you haven’t worked this out, yet, God opposes the proud. God hates pride. In the new heaven and the new earth, the mountain of the Lord will be lifted up. But right now, what men and women do in their lives is they lift themselves up. And they lift other men and women up. They build up mountains on earth, that are raising up people in pride. When we boast to other people, that’s exactly what we’re doing. When we boast amongst others, we’re saying, â€˜Oh I’m fantastic at this. I’m brilliant at thisâ€™. What we’re doing is we’re essentially building ourselves a little mountain; a little mountain of Duncan over here, when I boast, to raise myself up over and above other people in my life.
Christianity begins with humility. Christianity begins with humility because God opposes the proud. And if you’re a Christian, you’ll know this humility that Christianity starts with, because Christianity starts with not: â€˜I’m so fantastic, God’s gonna save meâ€™. True Christianity starts with the humility that says: â€˜I’m a sinner. I have done wrong things. I am not worthy to stand in the presence of God, I am not worthy to know God; Iâ€™m not! I’ve done too many things that are evil and I know that God is good and holy and perfect. How could a good perfect God possibly meet with little wretched me?â€™ Christianity begins with that humility of realising that we are people who have done things wrong. And so we confess our sins, we pray and say: â€˜Lord, I’m not worthy for your forgiveness. But I read in Scripture, that Jesus Christ died on the cross, that I might be forgiven. I’m unworthy of that. And yet this is what you’re telling me Lord. So I’m going to believe in Christ. I’m going to receive your forgiveness. If that’s true, Lord, I want forgiveness because I desperately, desperately need it.â€™
Christianity starts with humility. If you’re not Christian, here this morning and you think the new heaven and the new earth sound pretty good. This is what God would ask of you – that you show humility; that you confess that you have done things wrong. Ask for God’s forgiveness and believe in Jesus Christ, and you will be forgiven.
But Christians know this. The Christian life does not just start with humility. It goes on and continues in humility, through all things. If you’re a Christian, you should be a very, very humble person. My prayer and hope this morning is that the Holy Spirit would come in our midst and break pride in our lives. I pray that, even now, the Holy Spirit will just be poking you in different areas and saying: â€˜This is an area in which you have shown pride. This is an area in which you have not been humble. This is an area where you think you’re fantastic. And actually, I want you to know that that area where you’re fantastic is a gift that I’ve given to you. So you shouldn’t be proud, you should be giving me thanks and praise for that gift I’ve given.â€™
I pray as a church that we would be full of humility. I pray for myself, that I’d be full of humility. I pray for each of us, that we would be full of humility. In fact I want to invite you to pray a dangerous prayer this morning. The dangerous prayer is this: â€˜Lord, humble meâ€™.
That’s a dangerous prayer is because often the way God humbles us is to break down the things we’ve built up for ourselves. And that can be painful. Often, when people pray that prayer – I know in my own life when I’ve prayed that prayer â€˜Lord humble meâ€™, that God has taken areas in which I’ve been successful and turned them into failure. And Iâ€™ve thought: â€˜God, what’s going on?â€™ But Iâ€™ve I realised it’s been answering that prayer for humility. So, if you’re bold enough this morning, I invite you to pray that prayer: â€˜Lord humble meâ€™. Because God opposes the proud and God lifts up the humble.
Have a look at verse 22 – the end of the chapter. This is this is the command of Isaiah 2: â€œStop regarding man, in whose nostrils is breathâ€.
If the pride of man will be brought low, and if the mountain of the Lord will be lifted up on this earth here now, we need to stop regarding man. We need to stop giving mankind, other human beings or ourselves, the praise and the glory and the trust and the authority. We need to stop making men and women the ultimate authority in our lives. And we need to start lifting God up instead. When Isaiah mentioned the breath in the nostrils, it is a reference to Genesis 2. In Genesis 2 it says that when God created man, he gave them breath in their nostrils. And so what Isaiah is saying is: â€˜Why are you regarding man? Why are you praising man? Why are you giving man the authority in your life? He’s just someone God created. He’s got breath in his nostrils like every other human being on the earth. God created him, so if you think that person is fantastic then give God the regard. Give God the praise. Lift God up, for he is the one who created that person. He is the one who created you. Stop worshipping men and women. Stop lifting them up. Stop in pride lifting ourselves up. Instead, know that their breath and our breath is a gift from God.â€™
So, on the basis of Isaiah 2, as I draw to a close this morning: In the latter days it shall come to pass that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and the mountain of the Lord will be raised up higher than any other mountain. And the nations will come, and hear teaching, and go out living in the commands of the Lord. And there shall be peace on earth. And, in light of that amazing future which Jesus Christ has won for us by His death on the cross, we must walk in the light of the Lord. Let’s leave here walking in the light of the Lord this morning. And we must (verse 22) stop regarding man, stop lifting up man, stop paying regard to man, stop giving the word to man. But instead, we must give all worship and praise and glory to God, lifting him up in our lives.
I’m going to pray for us for that. I’m going to thank God for this new Jerusalem that is coming; a wonderful new heaven and earth that I cannot wait for. And Iâ€™m going to pray, in the meantime, that we would live in the light of the Lord and stop regarding man. So, let’s stand and I’m gonna invite the guy in the band to come up as well.
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your forgiveness that we do not deserve. Thank you so much for this amazing future that you’ve laid out in Isaiah 2.
Thank you that Jesus Christ has won this future for us. That all who believe in Jesus shall not perish but have eternal life; will enter into the new heaven and the new earth; will know the mountain of the Lord lifted high over all the earth. That all people in the world will worship the Lord and know that he is the ultimate authority on the earth; that all the nations would gather to hear the teaching of the Lord and would leave living out those amazing instructions; that there would be peace on earth – no more tears, no more depth – just perfect peace across the entire world.
Lord we thank you, and we look to that future with great anticipation. We cannot wait to be there. We long for it – is going to be so so good.
But Lord, we pray by the power of the Holy Spirit that before we get there, before that time comes â€“ and you, in your ultimate Wisdom know when the right time is – in the meantime, we pray that we would walk in the light of the Lord. We pray that we would follow in the footsteps of Jesus – living righteously in all that we would do.
Come Holy Spirit. Empower us to do that – to live in your light. And I pray we would stop regarding man and start giving you all the glory and the praise. Lord, I pray that you would break pride in our hearts this morning. If we’ve been lifting ourselves up, would you alert us to that and change us Heavenly Father. If we’ve been regarding other men and women and thinking they’re the most powerful, they’re the most important or they’re the ones who rule over our lives, then I pray that you would break that, Lord God, and remind us that you are the king; you are the Lord of heaven and earth; you are the ultimate authority; you will rule; you will reign from Jerusalem on the earth.
And Lord, I pray we would start living like it right now. For your glory, I pray this in Jesus name. Amen
We would love to hear your feedback – so please get in touch by emailing email@example.com
And if you’re in the area, please do visit us on a Sunday – details on our homepage.