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The Rage Against God. Is. 37:21-29

23/09/2016

THE RAGE AGAINST GOD

Isaiah 37:21-29.
In Isaiah 26-27. There is a rebellion. It’s not just the rebellion of some minor King against the king of Assyria, the rebellion that took his main focus off Jerusalem long enough for the Rabshekah to abandon his post and go back to Assyria and get himself killed. There is a greater rebellion. It is the rebellion of the King of Assyria against the King of the Universe. Isaiah calls it ‘raging against God’. The Psalmist recognises it too in Psalm 2
It is just one short episode, one tiny skirmish in the most serious ongoing rebellion of all, the seemingly endless rebellion of sinful man against the One Holy God who is his creator, sustainer and redeemer. The source of this rebellion is Satan himself. Isaiah 14:12-15 In this passage God answers Hezekiah’s prayer. He speaks about the King of Assyria, and describes the rebellious nature of man:- by nature and practice, mankind is:

1) Blasphemous. 22-23a.
Their sin is against God! All sin is against God. When we ridicule, and lie and slander, when we steal and cheat and defraud, when we hate and despise others, when we dishonour our parents, when we are jealous and covetous, when we seek our own way, when we scheme and plot in our hearts, when we speak evilly of others…. All of these sins are primarily against God.
Their sin is to replace God with SELF. In fact they have ‘lifted their eyes to the heights’. It’s an expression that speaks of deity. They are their own god. It’s the very same lie that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:1 It’s the lie that has defined humanity from that day to this. I will be my own god. I will determine my future, and I will make my own fate. It’s the first symptom of the rebellion.

2. Boastful. 23b – 25.
The Assyrians were proud of their achievements and military prowess and they loved to boast of the many nations they had overcome and conquered. 37:11 The third symptom of the rebellion is self pride, boastfulness.
o We boast in our egos. ‘I have…’.
o We boast in our destructive power. Look at the havoc they had wrecked upon the forests of Lebanon.
o We boast in our own supposed self provision. The have dug wells, and drank the waters, and they have done so at the expense of their enemy, Egypt.
o We boast in our own authority. Look how they are claiming authority over creation. 25b.

3. Deluded. 26-27.
The Assyrians seriously think that they are in control of their own lives and their own destiny. They are not! Even though they plan and scheme and war and murder and sin against the Lord, they are simply deepening their own destruction and bringing more judgement and condemnation against themselves. In the end, they will fulfil God’s sovereign purpose and plan. God has everything worked out. Everything works according to his purpose. Rom 8:28

4. Damned. 28-29. 28
God sees us and knows us. We cannot hide from him. He even knows when we sit down and when we get up.
Raging against God is futile. God knows the anger that there is in this world against Him. It’s God’s fault that there is war, death, sickness, rape, earthquakes, natural disasters.. This is an angry world, and the object of their ire is often the very God who can comfort them. to reach a conclusion that there is indeed a God, who orders the universe and who makes demands upon those he has created. Such rage is utterly futile, as the Psalmist reminds us, again in Psalm 2.
Complacency is foolish. Some just don’t care, They don’t care about others, about the poor and needy, about the unborn, the sick, the dying, and especially they don’t care about God, and about eternity. Apathy. Good knows all about that complacency.
God will turn us… consider the direction. They will be returned in the direction they came… And how they will be turned! Note the language here, for the practice of the Assyrians was cruel; they would place a hook through the nose of their captives, and they would lead them, dozens of them, being trailed along behind a horse, being pulled by the nose. The stern message is that in the providence of God, we always reap what we sow.!
What an accurate description of the true nature of man, in rebellion against the God who created him. “For there is no one so great or mighty that he can avoid the misery that will rise up against him when he resists and strives against God.” John Calvin

So, how can this rebellion be ended? Our only hope is to surrender to tHe undefeated King of the Universe! Remember the context! Hezekiah has responded to the Word of God by fully trusting in the Lord alone. He has laid aside his pride, and his self sufficiency, and he has confessed his sin before the Lord! Now he is trusting God alone, praying that God Himself will be glorified in this time of national emergency. Look at how this chapter begins…. 21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him: “‘She despises you, she scorns you— the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you— the daughter of Jerusalem.
© Bob McEvoy

From → Bible Study, Isaiah

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