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Lesson 19 -- How Great Is Our God

  

In that day, they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”   Isaiah 25: 9

 

After looking at the individual judgments of the nations surrounding Judah, in chapters 24-27 Isaiah covers two more prophecies with a broader scope.

1.     The devastation of the whole earth which is called the Great Tribulation by Jesus in Matthew 24.

2.     The restoration of God’s kingdom on earth. God preserves a remnant of his people through the Great Tribulation and Jesus, the Messiah, returns in all his glory.

 

The study of these two prophecies is called eschatology. Let’s look at a few key verses in chapter 24 to understand an overview of this subject. And then we’ll look at the four attributes of God revealed to us in chapters 24 and 25.

1.     The devastation of the whole earth is highlighted in verse 1.  “See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants.”

2.     The reason for the devastation is given in verse 5.  “The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statues and broken the everlasting covenant.” The destruction of the earth by fire is the consequences of persistent rebellion against God’s lordship. (verse 6)

3.     A remnant survives in verses 13-14. Just as only a few olives and grapes will be left, the picture is used to portray the truth that a small godly remnant will be preserved through the Great Tribulation. This is an important doctrine that Isaiah emphasizes throughout his prophecy.

4.     Jesus reigns in verse 23. The culmination of this time will be, “The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before its elders, gloriously.”

 

We are going to focus on the four attributes of our great God that are revealed in these two chapters. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so these attributes can be fulfilled in our own hearts and minds today. And we can sing “How Great is our God” because we have known him as majestic, righteous, perfect in faithfulness, and our refuge.

 

1. He is majestic….24:14 “…they (the remnant) acclaim the LORD’s majesty.”

His people salute him with shouts or sounds of joy and approval for his majesty – his excellence, his magnificence, his supreme greatness, authority or sovereignty whether it be in his judgment or his mercy. Often when we refer to majesty, it is someone who is in a royal position. And that is true about Jesus – he is majestic – high and lifted up and seated on the throne, as Isaiah had related in his vision of the Lord. He is King of King and Lord of Lord. He is above all. Can you acclaim him as majestic today? Do you have a picture in your mind of Jesus as King? Worship Jesus!

 

2. He is righteous…24:16 “From the ends of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glory to the Righteous One.” Jesus who reigns on high is the righteous ONE and only. He alone is just, upright, innocent. And it is through Jesus we are made righteous. My husband and I were talking about what righteousness means to us, and he related to me that for him it is the picture of “squeaky clean” hair in the shower. That is what righteousness is – being squeaky clean in Christ!

II Corinthians 5:21 states, “God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  God cancels the guilt of the person’s sin and credits righteousness to him. When we put our trust in Jesus we are declared not guilty, but righteous. Jesus died to pay the penalty of our sin. He lived a life of perfect righteousness which can be imputed to us – or charged to our account. Have you been made righteous through faith? Hebrews 10:19-21 speaks about the truth that not only does God wash our bodies clean from sin, but he sprinkles clean, with the blood of Jesus, our guilty consciences!  Blessing of the new covenant that God has made with us through Christ! What’s your picture of squeaky clean?

How great is our God!

 

3. He is perfect in faithfulness: Isaiah 25:1.  Not only did he live a perfect life, but he is perfectly faithful in what he has done and planned. Let’s look at Isaiah 14:24,26 Jesus is not only sovereign in his plans, but loyal to his plans. He is loyal to His Word. What He says He will do, He will do. Look at Isaiah 46:10-11.  Are you able to exalt and praise the name of Jesus for doing marvelous things in and around you, because of his perfect faithfulness? The phrase “marvelous things” means the wonders God has done. The saving acts he has performed (Psalm 40:5). We thank God for the acts of deliverance he has performed in our lives like saving us from illness or sparing us from a near accident. All those positive ones we are ready to acclaim. But what about the deliverance from sin, when he convicts of us of our sin, calling us to repentance and cleansing us? This is a mighty act and can be paralleled to the judgment of God in the Old Testament right here in Isaiah. The people are praising him for his perfect faithfulness in all his mighty acts, not just the sparing of a small remnant from his judgment. We are declared not guilty and declared righteous because of God’s perfect faithfulness in Jesus. Can you say Hallelujah?

How great is our God!

 

4. He is our refuge: Isaiah 25:4   “You have been refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress,  shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.”  Have you ever experienced the breath of the ruthless – something or someone that keeps coming at you. Perhaps and illness, an abusive relationship, strife, trials, false accusations, grief, or even evil thoughts. They seem like a storm driving against a wall – never giving up and hurtful? Have you ever felt the pounding rain against your skin? It can hurt and you look for protection. You want to get out of the rain. Why are the people here in the last days able to praise God? Because they have found Him to be their refuge, their shelter whether they were poor, in distress, caught in a storm or in the burning heat of the sun. They looked to the Son, Jesus Christ. This reminds me of the passage in Habakkuk 3:17-19: “though the fig tree does not bud and there are no on the vines, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stills, yet I will rejoice (jump for joy) in the LORD, I will be joyful (spin around) in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go the heights.” We are shown not only to look to Jesus for our refuge, but to rejoice in God our Savior during those distressful, hot, painful times in our lives.

 

Have you been where they were - poor perhaps in spirit, or have you been in distress, or caught in a storm or burned by the heat of a trial? God is your refuge! Rejoice in Him!

How great is our God!

 

And we wait…wait for the feast that those who trust in Him will enjoy prepared by the LORD Almighty! Isaiah 25: 7-8  What will be fully accomplished in that day that we look for? The shroud that enfolds all people will be destroyed – Everyone will see Jesus, there will be no veil over anyone’s eyes. All will see him for who he is - the Messiah, the long awaited King!

He will swallow up death - death will never again bring sorrow and loss to our lives!

 

He will wipe away the tears from all faces.

He will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth – once and for all! Anyone ever been ridiculed, slandered, or persecuted for your faith? In that day

 

You will sing the song of Isaiah 25:9 Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Are these words ringing as true in your heart?

 

How Great is our God!!!!