Roger's Postings

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Isaiah 40:21-31.                 The Triune God is still God.                                          04/2/2018

21 Do you not know?    Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?  Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?  Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Here this morning we have another important message for our society and in fact the whole world. And it is a message that we here need to consider as well. Do you not know?  Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? That God is for real. That he is the only great and eternal God who controls all of history. No one and nothing can compare with him.

With that in mind consider this very carefully; for our future depends on it. We only need to think about what is happening around us in our own country. People left, right and centre have thrown belief in God out of the window. Others, though the say they believe in him, they make no effort to worship him or take him and what he says seriously. Only a very small percentage attend Church on a regular basis.

It would seem that we want to make God in our own image. In other words, to be a God who fits into our own way of thinking or caste him aside completely. Even in the churches there is the temptation to make him and what he says, fit into our way of thinking. In this way we are making ourselves the centre of the universe instead of God Almighty himself.

At the same time many of these people will read their horoscopes, tarot cards, clairvoyants and the like. They dabble in yoga, mysticism and semi spiritual endeavours, thinking nothing of it. They treat the dollar and technology as though it is where life is really at. And above all else, the me, myself and I is what is so important today. So, what I think, do, feel and say is where life is really at.

Yet what is happening to our society as a result. Very quickly we are seeing a growing breakdown in community. Selfishness, greed and corruption are becoming more and more prevalent: more and more people are hurting, lonely and depressed: drug abuse, suicides, road rage, deviant behaviour, and the like are on the increase: and we could go on.

Sure, you don't need me to tell you the way things are, and that they are getting worse. But here let us remember that there is a direct connection between our attitude toward God and the health of our society. Again, that comes right down into the church as well.

Here I would like to remind you that this is a very similar situation to that of the people of Israel, years before this was message given. They had turned their backs on God. Yes, they still claimed to be God's people – they felt safe and secure with the temple and God’s presence with them.  But they no longer took him seriously.

There was no thought to seeking to live as he required. They chose to ignore much of what he had to say to them and how they should live. In fact, they thought that they could live and do as they please, and it would all be okay. As a result, things started going all wrong for them, and they began to face the kind things we are in our society. But instead of changing, they kept going further and further. So, things went from bad to worse, till they lost their country and were sent into exile.

There they faced the harsh reality of what they had done. But even there they blame God for letting them down and for bringing this disaster on them. It is everyone else’s fault but their own.

But here God through Isaiah tells them: come on, don't you know? Haven't you heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Look all the along the line you had been told that God is for real. You know that you are dealing with a great, all-powerful God. A God who is way beyond this world and yet has control of history. He is a God who cannot be taken for granted. Who is far greater than any human being, who is here today and gone tomorrow. So, he cannot be compared with what we have and see around us.

This true God is almighty and all-powerful. So instead of sitting there and complaining against God and blaming him, and saying that he doesn't care and has forgotten them. He reminds them that Lord is the everlasting creator, who never gets tired. He doesn't fall asleep on the job. He is not to blame. He wants what is best for them, even if that means their having to suffer for their rebellion, so that they wake up and turn back to him.

He also tells them that if only they would look again to him there is hope for the future. He can again make them strong. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. So    just lift your eyes and take the Lord seriously again. He will save them and restore them. And we know from history that is just what happened.

Now we here today, need to listen to this important message. Our church needs to take heed. Our country needs us to help it to see this message also. Our future depends on it.

History has reminded us again and again that God is in control. Nations have arisen; but when they have lost sense of the things that are important, they either have destroyed themselves from within or where taken over by others. They and their great rulers were reduced to nothing. Let us be sure that the same thing will happen again if we are not careful.

The almighty dollar will not sustain us and give us all that we need. Technology does not have all the answers and their time will come. Pandering to our ego alone will not give us the happiness that we long for. They do not compare with the Lord and what he can and does give. They are nowhere near his equal.

We need to continually remind ourselves that our Lord is the everlasting God – the creator of all things. He gives power to the weak; strength to the weary – and he lifts up the broken- hearted. He gives forgiveness for our failures and rebellion against him. In him there is salvation. He gives life here and in eternity. So, he is our only real hope, now and forever.

And how do we know? Surely, we too have heard time and again of God's love for us. We have been told about Jesus Christ and his life, death and resurrection. Through our baptisms he has connected us to everything that he did for us through the cross and empty tomb. In Holy Communion Jesus gives us himself - his very body and blood which he shed on the cross. He has given us this so that we can be sure that he loves us, forgives us and has won eternal life for us with himself.

The Bible is God’s Word and can be relied on. Archaeological science clearly indicates that it is reliable and that it has been handed down for thousands of years without change. Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection from the dead is also clearly attributed to in history. The beauty and intricacies of nature attest to how wonderfully our world is created: way beyond what could ever happen by chance and evolution.

So, yes, God is the Almighty Lord over all; and we know that he loves and cares for us all, and has done what is necessary for our salvation. We also know that his ways for living in relation to him and each other is God and right. But we also know that sin – our selfishness and desire to live by and for ourselves, has created all the troubles, heartaches and tragedies that we experience in this world.

So, the call here this morning is not to take the Lord for granted any more - leaving him in church merely for when might need him. But that he truly is over all and truly the only one who is God who is to be taken seriously. Let us turn back and look up to him as the Lord of life: as the eternal, all-powerful, all- loving and forgiving God that he is.

Then to him be all praise, honour and glory for ever and ever.   AMEN

Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish


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