slide1 n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Studies In Isaiah PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Studies In Isaiah

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 23
Download Presentation

Studies In Isaiah - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Download Presentation

Studies In Isaiah

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. Studies In Isaiah Presentation 04

  2. The New Jerusalem Chapter 4v1-6 Presentation 04

  3. Introduction Look at photos of cities levelled during the bombing raids of WWII and also photos taken after the post-war reconstruction. When comparing the ‘before and after’ photos you will think, ‘What a contrast!’ Isaiah, working as God’s photographer is doing something quite unique in this passage. He provides a picture of the New Jerusalem, a secure and well provisioned city. It is so different from the picture found in 2v5 - 4v1 which reveals Jerusalem as a city under judgement, its people in panic. Their man-made policies for security are in ruins. Nebuchadnezzar’s armies have flattened the city and its survivors are running around in circles of despair. Presentation 04

  4. Introduction Despair and insecurity is characteristic of those from whom God has withdrawn his presence. Do we see this in contemporary society? “The family should be a closely-knit group. The home should be a self-contained shelter of security: a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught, a kind of church where God is honoured; a place where wholesome recreation and simple pleasures are enjoyed”. Today, the fabric of family life is unravelling! Successive governments have been unable to address the problem. Ours is an increasingly insecure world and many families fail as ‘havens’ of security. Presentation 04

  5. Introduction Alvin Toffler in his book ‘Future Shock’ writes: “We are moving toward a world not merely of throwaway products but throwaway friends and marriages”. The inhabitants of Jerusalem looked for security in the wrong place cf. Ch.3. Contemporary society is no different. Richard Foster writes; “Inwardly modern man is fractured and fragmented. He is trapped in a maze of competing attachments. He has no unity of focus … we lack a Divine centre our need of security has led us to an insane attachment to things. The lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic…because it has completely lost touch with reality.”. Presentation 04

  6. The First Picture Wound Up The last in the series of snapshots recording Jerusalem’s quest for security is found in 4v1. In desperation, single women, after the fall of Jerusalem, throw themselves at any available man and offer financial incentives in exchange for marriage. A sign of the folly that views security as something that this world can provide! “If only I had a husband, … a strong leader, if only the economy would pick up, I’d be safe.” Incidentally, these women say singleness and not sinfulness is their source of shame. The spiritual heart of a nation is measured by asking what is the source of its greatest shame? Is it lack of wealth, influence, and power or is it our sin and waywardness that really grieves us? Presentation 04

  7. The First Picture Wound Up Jerusalem’s failure to deal with her sin and to trust in God for her security brought about her downfall. The behaviour of the women in v1 provides, in microcosm, an insight into the desperate folly of the whole nation. They had pursued human solutions and trusted in them for their security. They did so despite God’s word to them in 2v22‘stop trusting in man.’ Words which sharpen in focus in ch. 7 when King Ahaz refuses to trust God to be the Deliverer and source of security for the city. He thought that an alliance with Pharaoh in Egypt was a safer option! Presentation 04

  8. The New Jerusalem It is against the backdrop of a desolate Jerusalem and the failure of its people that another picture is set, that of a glorious New Jerusalem and its inhabitants. Those who trust in God as Deliverer rest secure. What is so distinctive about this city? Its construction is founded on God’s initiative v5. The Hebrew verb ‘bara’ translated ‘create’ is used exclusively in the O.T. for God’s activity. The city is described in symbolical language associated with the presence of God during Israel’s wilderness wanderings when led by a pillar of cloud by day and a flaming fire by night. These emblems spoke of the wonder of God’s presence to guide and protect. Presentation 04

  9. The New Jerusalem God’s presence was his people’s security. Moses writes; ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Ex 33.13 Place the significance of this alongside the Ezekiel’s vision in Ezek.10 of the withdrawal of the Shekinah glory first from the temple, then the city and finally from the land. By removing his presence, God indicated that his people’s stubborn sinfulness placed them outside of the security he provided. The banner of God’s presence could not coexist with the evil assemblies mentioned in Isa. 1v13. Presentation 04

  10. The New Jerusalem The New Jerusalem was to be characterised by God’s indwelling. It is not only the place where God is at home but where he has made his home! The longing of God’s heart is seen to be realised and expressed with triumphal emotion in Rev. 21:3 “ And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God”. You may have read plaques on the walls of buildings that proudly state, “Queen Victoria slept here...” But think of it, the Lord of Eternity has chosen to make his permanent dwelling place in man! Our appreciation of that wonder may be limited now, but in glory our grasp will be clearer and more intense! Presentation 04

  11. The New Jerusalem In v5 Isaiah uses the Hebrew word ‘huppa’, to describe a canopy over the city. The word is used for a canopy used in wedding celebrations, cf. Joel 2v16. The picture in Isaiah is of the Messiah lovingly united to his bride with all of the loving intimacy, commitment and protection which that suggests! Isaiah describes God as an accessible ‘shelter’v6. In the wilderness God camped among his people but was not accessible to them. On one occasion, Moses couldn’t enter the tent of meeting for God’s glory was too overwhelming, Ex. 40v34. But in Christ we find an accessible glory! Jesus provides access. We are faced not with a closed door, or a revolving door but with an open door. Presentation 04

  12. The New Jerusalem Paul writes, “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household”. Eph.2: 17ff Isaiah’s emphasis is upon the quality of provision which this shelter affords. Whether we face discomfort or dangers from heat and rain to storm, the language used shows that the hiding place which God has fashioned for his people is all sufficient. There is no safer place than the shelter of God’s presence in the New Jerusalem in. But how does one enter this place of safety? Verses 2-4 provide the answer. Presentation 04

  13. Equipped To Be Citizens The description of God’s provision begins with the ‘branch of the Lord’ because all of God’s gracious provision springs from it. It is a Messianic title. The force of the Hebrew describes a growing thing and carries with it the idea of ‘abundant vitality and newness of life’. This title is best understood in connection with God’s great work of salvation. Often God’s work appears to lie hidden and forgotten, apparently submerged in the great movements of history. The destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar’s forces and the enforced exile of his people demonstrate that. Presentation 04

  14. Equipped To Be Citizens God’s work may have appeared to Isaiah’s contemporaries to be hidden but one a future day, the Saviour would appear in distinctive beauty unmistakable and glory. The context of v2 requires us to see the ‘fruit of the land’ as a continued reference to Christ himself. In this connection the qualities attributed to the Messiah are nouns of adornment, ‘glory’, ‘pride’ and ‘beauty’. This list of qualities are literally ‘for the survivors’. The beauty of Christ is being held in trust for his people and will be something that he imparts to them. Presentation 04

  15. Equipped To Be Citizens The world panics, men and women strive to keep their good looks, with facial creams, chin tucks, and hair transplants. Physical beauty is transient but the beauty Jesus provides is permanent. It restores a dignity to our fallen humanity. Man was made in God’s image in order to reflect his glory but that image was vandalised by the fall. Man’s sinful nature made him ugly. God no longer saw a reflection of himself in man. The work of Christ in man is designed to give God his picture back. Believers are being changed from one degree of glory to another. This is a beauty of which we can legitimately be proud. But how is this beauty developed? Presentation 04

  16. Holiness And Life The beauty in view is the beauty of holiness v3. The word ‘holy’ introduces us to the theological reality behind the survival from God’s judgement. The language is emphatic, ‘Holy shall be said to each’. To be described as holy is the greatest honour that can be conferred on a man. Holiness carries the idea of being set apart by and for God. Therefore in the first instance holiness rests upon the divine initiative. The picture is not one of human energy at work seeking to make itself acceptable for God but of God preparing a people for his presence. Presentation 04

  17. Holiness And Life The divine initiative is again stressed by reminding us that the survivors names have been written down in the city’s books. Ancient cities recorded the names of their citizens in a book. But is this simply a reference to those who survived the destruction of Jerusalem? No. It goes beyond that cf. Ex. 32v32 The subject is again and again mentioned in scripture. “Nothing impure will ever enter if, [the New Jerusalem] nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book life”. Rev21v27This verse links holiness of life with the electing love of God. Presentation 04

  18. Holiness And Life Charles Simeon a famous C19thpreacher wrote; “God has not chosen us because we were holy, or because he foresaw we should become holy, but in order that we might be holy To have survived the great calamity of God’s judgement therefore is not due to personal achievement or, to some accident or, some happy chance; it flows from God’s elective love”. For nothing buttresses the believer’s security as much as the doctrine of election. The hymn says, “His name from the palms of his hands eternity will not erase” and points to the spiritual indelibility associated with God’s electing love. Presentation 04

  19. Cleansing But how can one be secure in God’s presence when our sin has offended and continues to offend God’s character? The holy community of which Isaiah speaks is brought into being, not only through the electing love of the Father, but through the cleansing work of the Spirit v4. The force of the Hebrew implies a thorough internal cleansing. Sin blocks the way into God’s presence and makes the route impassable. It is the cleansing work of God’s Spirit which graciously removes the obstacle. And as a result, “through him [Christ] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit”. Eph.2.18 Presentation 04

  20. Cleansing However, the particular emphasis in Isaiah is to the part played in the cleansing process by the Spirit who applies the saving benefits of God’s plan of salvation in our personal experience. The Holy Spirit’s cleansing work is described in the context of judgement and fire. Judgement here is to be understood as God’s chastening which is designed to awaken the wayward rebel to the seriousness of his sin. Whenever God draws near we have a heightened sense of our guilt, of the judgement we deserve and of our need of cleansing. Think of Isaiah’s response in 6v6. ‘Woe to me I am ruined.’ The cleansing he experienced was symbolically expressed in the coal of fire placed on his lips by one of the seraphs. Symbolically burning out the sin! Presentation 04

  21. Cleansing Can you see in this the extent of God’s love - the lengths to which God will go to prepare us to be his abiding dwelling place? We are right to marvel at the cost to God of our cleansing as does Isaiah; “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” 53v5. But God’s love for us equally expressed in the fire of his Spirit’s chastening which brings us also to the point of repentance, where we cry ‘Woe to me I am ruined.’ Presentation 04

  22. Cleansing Samuel Rutherford a Scottish minister wrote a pastoral letter to a woman experiencing God’s chastening in which he said; “When you have come to the other side of the water and have set down your foot on the glorious shore of eternity and look back again to the waters of your wearisome journey and shall see in that clear glass of the endless glory nearer to the bottom of God’s wisdom, you shall be forced to say, ‘If God had done otherwise with me than he has done I would never come to enjoy this crown of glory.” Presentation 04

  23. Conclusion Israel was learning, as must we that, ‘whom he loves he chastens’ Heb.12v6 God wants his picture back. He is determined to make a dwelling place for himself and provide a place of eternal security for his people. For our part, we need to trust him as Deliverer/Saviour. This means submitting ourselves under the mighty hand of God as he chastens us in order to purify us. It also means constantly living lives of repentance whereby we will experience his on-going cleansing work. This is the destiny of those who have their citizenship in the New Jerusalem. Presentation 04