Are You Waiting Upon God or Is God Waiting Upon You?
Date: 26 February, 2017
Text: Isaiah 30:15
Title: Who's Waiting on Who?
Theme: The folly of trying to solve problems without dependence upon God.
Proposition: You ought to be waiting upon God.
Rhetorical: Are You Waiting upon God or Is God Waiting upon You?
Isaiah was a prophet during the reign of 4 different kings. Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.
The introduction to this book in my Zodhiates study Bible says that
- He was a prophet for over 40 years, possibly the son of a prince of Judah.
- Uzziah and Jotham's reigns were peaceful - but Ahaz trusted in the Assyrians rather than God.
The most well known of the kings Isaiah served was the great King Hezekiah. Hezekiah brought about wonderful reforms for the Kingdom and a period of revival.
Israel under King Hezekiah has revolted from the King of Assyria
2 Kings 18:7 And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
exp. Perhaps because the people had grown accustomed to trusting in a nation for the defence rather than in their covenant God - THEY HAD CEASED TO WAIT UPON GOD FOR HIS PROTECTION.
quote: Barnes' Notes "It is probable that many of the leaders of the Jews began to be alarmed at the prospect that their land would be invaded by him (The king of Assyria), especially as it was known that it was the intention of Sennacherib to make war on Egypt, and that he could easily take Judea in his way. In such circumstances it was natural that they should propose an alliance with the Egyptians, and seek to unite their forces with theirs to repel the common danger. Instead of looking to God, and relying on his aid, they had probably entered into such an alliance, offensive and defensive Isaiah 31:1. To see the impropriety of such a league, it is to be remembered that God had promised to be the protector of his people, and that he had prohibited alliances with the surrounding nations;"
Our text: Isaiah 30 is a declaration of the folly of trying to solve problems without dependence upon God.
God is going to point out to them that THEY ARE NOT WAITING UPON HIM but instead HE IS WAITING UPON THEM.
My challenge to our church this morning is pretty simple - WE OUGHT TO WAIT UPON GOD.
quest: Are you waiting upon God this morning or is God waiting upon you?
Maybe you don't know if you are waiting upon God. So, let's identify the characteristics of those who are not waiting upon God.
I. How to identify when you are not waiting on the Lord.
A. You neglect to ask God's counsel.
1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me;
exp. The Bible puts a premium upon good counsel - Pro 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
exp. But, never is the counsel of men sufficient without the counsel of God.
ill. When Israel invaded the land of Canaan - the Gibeonites put on rags, took mouldy bread and very little water and came to Israel to make peace pretending that they were from a distant land.
Joshua 9:14 And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.
15 And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.
16 And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them.
app. Have you neglected to ask God's counsel? The enemy will decieve you. Wait upon God.
B. You make covenants but not with God.
"....and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit,"
Barnes - points out that this word covering has to do with a covenant. They sought to make a covenant with Egypt for protection but it wasn't of the Lord.
ill. Cover me as I go in... Hope you have my back.... etc.
ill. Nerf War All Nighters - suped up crossbows, strobe light, dividers, you would find darts and disks for a few weeks after that. If you were going to take a position - you had guys that would cover you while you ran forward. You were trusting in them for your protection.
exp. Israel was trusting in Egypt. Egypt, the country they had fled centuries before because of bondage and slavery.
app. What are you trusting in? Credit cards, relatives, physicians, self help books, positive thinking, etc - or are you WAITING UPON GOD? YOU ARE NOT WAITING WHEN YOU MAKE COVENANTS BUT NOT WITH GOD.
C. You go where you haven't asked God about going.
2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth;
exp. God's Word does not say that they asked but then decided to do their own thing. They didn't even ask.
ill. Forrester who fell 30 feet out of a tree and broke his back. He couldn't walk - but decided to raise Christmas trees. He has 30,000 and sells annually about 3700. He tried it on his own and made a lot of mistakes. He then asked someone who was doing very well in the business. He said the best advice I can give is "listen to those who know what they are doing and then follow it entirely."
question: Do you know anyone who knows more about life than God?
Psa 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
app. Have you asked? Are you following His advice? Are you waiting upon God?
D. You trust in things other than God.
to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
exp. What a sad statement the prophet makes. "under the shadow" speaks of the protection of the one under whose shadow you rest.
ill. Mac and I playing with our shadows in the setting sun making us very long shadows. As long as my shadow is near my son - what else is near? ME. WHERE MY SHADOW FALLS IS WHERE I AM. THOSE WHO REST IN SHADOWS REST NEAR THE SOURCE OF THE SHADOW.
Psa 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
Psa 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
Psa 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
app. What shadow falls over you? Is it the shadow of the world? Are you resting in the shade of something other than God. Get to the source of the Shadow of God. Wait on Him!
E. You find your misplaced trust hurting you.
3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.
5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.
exp. The commentators believe that Egypt was unwilling to be a security to them. They had humbled themselves to go to them sending their "ambassadors and princes" but they came home ashamed.
ill. £16,753 is the average household credit card debt in the UK. Has egypt met the need of these households?
ill. alcohol-focus-scotland.org.uk "84% of Scots thought alcohol causes eaither a 'great deal' or 'quite a lot of harm in Scotland." 1 in 4 people (26%) drink at hazardous or harmful levels (defined as drinking more than 14 units per week.). Men drink an average of 17.2 units of alcohol a week, and women drink an average of 8.7 units a week. Has Egypt met the need of these homes?
app. The list could go on and on - Egyp will not/ can not/ meet the need. If you walk away it will be with shame for trusting in Egypt INSTEAD OF WAITING UPON GOD. Is your misplaced trust hurting you? (It will.)
F. You stop listening to God's Word.
9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
exp. Have you found as I have that this world has little appetite for the Word of God?
ill. Man laughing at me for believing in a 6 day creation. He accused believes as causing all the problems in the world. I said, "Those who believe as I have believed - 18,000 died for the faith in Edinburgh killed by people who believe as you." He said, "Good, The fewer of them the better."
Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
app. How quick are you to hear the Word of God and apply it to your life? Those who are not waiting upon God - REFUSE TO LISTEN TO WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY!
G. You want to hear lies rather than the truth.
10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
ill. How similar these words of Isaiah to those written by Paul.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
ill. Annie - loved to have her ears scratched. Her leg would get going as you scratched her ear.
exp. Like a dog - people just want their ears scratched instead of hearing GOOD DOCTRINE THAT WOULD HELP THEM.
ill. Speaking with a man in West Linton - I can't change the world world with God's Word but God's Word can change my home - My children won't be tempted by alcohol, cigarettes, pornography, cursing or other things in my home. Because WE APPLY THE TRUTH OF THE WORD OF GOD.
app. Those who refuse to wait upon God - REJECT HIS WORD. Is that you this morning? Is there something God wants you to do - you know it is right and that it is God's Word commanding you to obey - but you refuse. WARNING - that is the condition of those who are not waiting upon God.
transition: God has some advice for us this morning - for those who will hear - wait upon Him. v.15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel;
II. How to wait on the Lord.
A. You turn to Him.
In returning ...ye shall be saved.
exp. They were on their way to Egypt - all they had to do was stop their journey - turn around and come back to God.
ill. Christian Captain of a ship in Eyemouth. All the ships were caught out in a horrible storm on the North Sea. Every ship accept his tried to enter the harbour - He returned to the sea and God spared their ship from destruction.
exp. Irael thought the haven would save them but they needed to return to the storm and let God save them.
app. Egypt always looks easier - but God is where to find safety - return to Him. "In returning .... ye shall be saved.
B. You try Him.
and rest shall ye be saved;
exp. Rest - does not mean that there is not a storm going on around you.
ill. The Sea of Galilee is prone to sudden storms. Jesus and his men encountered one such storm.
Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
app. If Jesus can sleep in the storm - so can we. If He isn't worried - why should we be. Try Him - he will not fail you - you can Wait securely resting upon Him.
C. You take Him at His Word.
note: Nothing silences our anxieties as the Word of God - "Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?"
exp. The disciples were like the sea in mental, emotional, physical turmoil. They were anxious, worried, afraid. But, they needn't be. They could be at peace (like the calm they saw before them now that God has spoken) - if they would only take Him at His Word.
ill. Parents know how wonderful silence can be. (Katie and I alone at the dinner table and all the kids upstairs - it was almost quiet and so very peaceful.)
note: Sometimes what is noisy is internal - anxiety - worry - fear....
ill. Jim Berg's book - Quieting a Noisy Soul.
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
app. When you wait upon Him you can quiet yourself before Him. He will say to our soul, "Peace be Still."
D. You trust Him.
and in confidence shall be your strength:
exp. Confidence is a wonderful strength.
ill. If you were boarding a plane and you heard the pilate say, "I hope we are able to get off the ground with this load." What would you do? Disembark - now. You want the pilate to have confidence because confidence impacts performance.
question: Has God ever failed anyone who waits upon Him.
ill. When Israel took the promised land - GOD TOLD THEM - Deu 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
exp. He had not changed. The could be strong and of a good courage - if God was their confidence.
app. Got a problem this morning? Egypt isn't the answer - God is. He will not fail those who wait upon Him.
note: Sadly those who are not waiting upon the Lord are not easily persuaded to do so. Israel is going to have to hurt before they could be healed.
and ye would not.
16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.
WHEN MANKIND WON'T WAIT - GOD WILL BECAUSE HE IS GRACIOUS. IS GOD WAITING UPON YOU TODAY?
18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
If you aren't waiting upon Him, life is tough. "Blessed (happy) are all they that wait for Him."
You can turn to Him today.
You can try Him today.
You can take Him today.
You can trust Him today.
Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.