3/14/99 Hvl. THE GLORY OF THE LORD RISES UPON YOU Is. 60:1
Growing up in rural Kansas, I often worked for my Uncle during wheat harvest. Temperatures almost always in the 90’s,, sometimes over 100 and after my cousin and I drove a load of wheat to town, the swimming hole on the way back to the farm was absolutely irresistible. It was especially good if recent rains had swollen the creek to near flood stage. We would dive into the torrent on one side of the bridge and come up on the other gasping for breath and climb out to do it all over again.
During my years in the ministry I have frequently thought of that boyhood experience in terms of the great truth taught in this passage. We struggle through the heat of the day to accomplish the tasks assigned to us but find refreshment in the Word of God – like the water of that stream – surging power of the Holy Spirit speaking to us from the Word of God, the Bible. “For He will come like a pent-up flood…” Glorious refreshment in the midst of the desert drought.” We must plunge into this flood.
God commands us to be light in the world – a very difficult job. But we are not commanded to do this job in our own strength. God carries us along, He who who comes like a pent-up flood, His Word is like a refreshing torrent of water picking us up carrying us along. God’s commands always accompanied by God’s grace.
GOD GRACIOUSLY COMMANDS US TO BE LIGHT IN THIS DARK WORLD
Not a legalistic command, (command unaccompanied by grace). Such a command given to us is always accompanied by His grace, a veritable flood of His grace – even from Sinai.
Notice:The Command – “Arise, shine” characteristic of Isa., Bible. How utterly crushing if this were only a command, without grace.
Then: Grace – “For your light has come – and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”
His Grace (promise) in Bible like light getting brighter and brighter, until it bursts like flood in person of Christ.
– Messianic Prophecy: Christ is called “light” first in Is. 9:2, figure expands to 53
– John 1:9 “true light”, Jesus in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world.”
“We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten…
Acts: Glory of His gracious salvation lifted apostles on flood of God’s/Word-Spirit.
Awesome Command – Giving direction, definition to life, like map – no hiway numbers in Ukraine.
Equally Awesome Grace – He is the Light who works light in us – light of salvation, flood
Illus: Our ministry together in Hvl.,Odessa under Command of God, enabled by the Grace of God.
Moving in 1980, building 1986, financial difficulties, seemed overwhelming, dark building late one night, overwhelmed but lifted by memory of this promise in Isaiah.
– Our situation: Clay and sem funds, scaffolding, bldg See 3 features God’s gracious commandment COMMAND comes in context: 1. PREDICAMENT, 2. PROMISE, 3 PROPHECY.
I. PREDICAMENT v. 2: See darkness… thick darkness, apostles between Cross/Resurrection/Ascension
From ch. 59, we read before confession: 9 So justice is far from us… 19 Truth is nowhere…
– Sounds like description of scandals in Wash. Or Mafia-ridden Ukraine
– Darkness is world wide
– And Heart deep: 12 Our sins (matter of the heart”
Devastating Impact of Humanism, Modern Skepticism, personal unbelief, rebellion:
Skepticism has gone through the Bible and said there is no truth there.
It has gone through Heaven and said there is no gold there.
It has gone through Hell and said there is no fire there.
Most critically, it has gone through God Himself and said there is no reality there. Nobody there
Nobody at home in the universe.
Carl Sagan, Cosmos pp. 243 “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. If we must worship a power greater than ourselves, does it not make sense to revere the sun and stars.” Back to Pharaoh
Isaac Azimov, 1973, Today, Tomorrow And…, page 255 “If we want to escape world destruction, our beliefs, our ideals our aspirations, must all be centered upon this world exclusively and we must all be very sure that, just as it is man alone that is destroying the world, so it must be man alone – ALONE – who must save the World.”
WE have erased all the lines on the playing field of life. We have destroyed all the ancient landmarks, burned all the maps. The world is filled with shouts of rebellion and the agonizing cries of the lost.
II. PROMISE v 21 “As for me, this is my covenant…” Lk. 24:49 Ascended Christ with Holy Spirit
This promise is the way God comes “like a pent-up flood” v 19 two persons of Godhead both in promise
– Isaiah 44: 3-4, Ezekiel 36:24-28, ch.37 predicting Pentecost, Joel 2:28-32
– All the creative power of God concentrated in this promise – fulfilled in person of Jesus Chrsit
– Jesus who died to pay the penalty for our Sins
– Jesus who rose to give eternal life
– Jesus who ascended to reign as Lord of Creation, of History, of providence
- Pouring Holy Spirit upon us as His first magisterial act from the throne
– Jesus who has dealt Satan a fatal blow, and will crush all who follow him.
– Jesus who empowers us BY HIS SPIRIT to live for His glory by these glorious truths
All of this promise in our mouths: Read 21 and explain >>>>”…from this time forth and forever”
Joshua 1:8. 8Да не отходит сия книга закона от уст твоих;
Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth.
Why mouth and not heart? Because the mouth is the organ of the heart. It is proof that the Word is in your heart when it comes out of your mouth. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. KJV – For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. NIV”. Biblical religion is a “mouth” religion. It is spoken by the mouth of God so that it gets into the heart of man and then it comes out of the mouth to train all who hear it in its holy precepts, its glorious life.
Illus: Daniel Cone, founder of Haddam Connecticut, 1662, had to be Puritan, possessing the nations.
– This Promise will overcome our Predicament
– Deut. 6:4 Note from text how word moves from heart of parent to heart and mouth of child.
Illus: Deciding to stay here in 1978 in spite of invitation to be director of WPM
Right place to raise my children, members help bring them to maturity, this word in their mouths.
III. PROPHECY v 3 “Nations will come to your light…”
Amazing Prosperity of material wealth, product of Spiritual wealth, LIGHT.
Great Question: Who will win the contest between good and evil?
What will be the outcome of the war between Christ and His enemies?
Answer: This Prophecy built upon an amazing platform, launch platform:
v 1. Glory of the Lord rises upon you…
v 2. The Lord rises upon you…His glory appears over you.
Illus: SHEKINAH GLORY – Pillar of Cloud by day, of Fire by night.
– Christ taking possession of your heart, your life
– Making you a radiant witness to His glory, example of His glory
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
– God fills our hearts and mouths with His glory
– We fill the mouths of generations of His children with His glory.
Isaiah 6:3 The whole earth is full of His glory
11:9 “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Hab. 2:14 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Romans 16:19
Conclusion: Max Belz (Joel’s Father) and His dedication to family, education.
Rich Memories of Being involved with you in this task: Andrew Belz, Jim Ward
– Church, School, Camp Agape, Bingham Mountain
– Three original grads here today: Valerie Muilenberg, Paul Ivey, SteveThornton.
– Dragging tall lanky teenager across a field on Bingham Mountain – name Tom
Adams. Live in fear of reprisal – not only taller than I am, bigger too.
– Preachers and missionaries all over the world Billy Acker, David Bacon, Peaces
It was fun to jump into that raging torrent on a hot day – scary but fun.
Jump into the torrent of God’s Spirit, Word Commandments for more years of usefulness in His kingdom.
By the power of God’s Grace – like a great flood
– we have succeeded we will succeed,
Though hardest times right ahead
– Until all the world is filled with the knowledge of the
glory of the Lord as The waters cover the sea