3/17/2015

Is God Your Sanctuary or Your Judge? (Isaiah 8)

Isaiah 8:1-22; 13

"The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread" (Isa 8:13, NIV). "And he will become a sanctuary..." (Isa 8:14, ESV).
Coram deo, not coram hominibus. Christians are called to live their lives coram deo (before God), rather than coram hominibus (before man). To do so, we must always recognize that our ultimate audience is God. The Bible thus calls us to fear God and not man (Prov 1:7; 9:10; 29:25). But this is a great challenge when our circumstances and what we see and feel make us fear what others think and do. Thus, we must regain Isaiah's perspective: "do not fear" what the world fears (Isa 8:12), but "The Lord Almighty is ... the one you are to fear" (Isa 8:13).
Darkness will give way to light. Isaiah 8 is part of the whole unit that runs through Isa 9:7, for the end of Isaiah 8 is a transition into Isaiah 9—the gloom and despair of those walking in darkness in the north of Israel who will see a great light, the Messianic age (Isa 8:22-9:1). Isaiah 8 is the judgment part, the judgment leading up to the coming of the deliverer. The focus is on the destruction of Samaria in 722 B.C., but includes the invasion of even Judah at that time. However, the message centers on the positive note that God will be with them if they trust in His word and fear God instead of man. So even in a passage about judgment there is positive application.
  1. Trusting in Man (1-10): Judgment.
  2. Fearing God (11-15): Sanctuary.
  3. The Difference (16-22): Light (16-18) and Darkness (19-22).
References:
  1. [Isaiah - 25 sermons.] The Announcement of Judgment (Isaiah 8:1-22).
    1. Although judgment for infidelity is certain, there is protection through Immanuel (1-10).
      1. God's judgment will be swift (1-4).
      2. Judgment will be irresistible (5-8).
      3. Judgment will only be averted by God (9-10).
    2. Comfort is only for those who fear the Lord (11-18).
      1. God is a stumbling stone to those who don't fear God (11-15).
      2. Those who fear God will hope in him (16-18).
    3. Great despair and devastation comes to idolaters (19-22).
  2. Webb, Barry. The Message of Isaiah. From darkness to light (8:1-9:7):
    1. A name and it's meaning (8:1-4).
    2. The rising river (8:5-10).
    3. The stumbling stone (8:11-15).
    4. The gathering darkness (8:16-22).
    5. The coming of the dawn (9:1).
    6. A great light shines (9:2-7).
  3. Motyer, J Alec. Isaiah.
    1. Divine judgment (7:18-8:8).
    2. The believing obeying remnant (8:9-22).
  4. ESV Study Bible:
    1. The coming Assyrian invasion (8:1-10).
    2. Fear God, wait for the Lord (8:11-22).
  5. God is the One to Fear (Isaiah 8). My daily bread from Nov 2010.
    1. What happens when we trust in man (1-10): Judgment.
    2. What happens when we fear God (11-15): Sanctuary.
    3. The difference between fearing God and fearing man (16-22): Light (16-18) and darkness (19-22).