A Remnant of Hope in Judah (Isaiah 8:9-9:7)
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Morning, you can go ahead grab your Bibles open up to Isaiah chapter eight will be in chapter eight and nine this morning Isaiah chapter eight. Now as you’re turning there, I want you to imagine for a moment that you are walking through a dark forest in the middle of the night. It’s so dark, you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. It’s a little bit terrifying. The only noise you hear is you and if you do hear a you know, stick crack or something like that, elsewhere, you’re freaking out because you don’t know what is there. So heart is racing, all of that. And maybe the worst part of course, is that you just keep tripping over everything. Because you don’t know what’s in front of you. Every route every rock you keep worrying, you’re gonna walk off a cliff or something. What do you need in that moment? It’s the simplest thing in the world like you would give anything just a flashlight, night vision goggles, something like that. Some of you are parents with young children’s Of course you’re thinking this has nothing to do with the forest. This is just the hallway in the middle of the night when the kids are crying because I don’t want any plastic dinosaurs are on the floor right now. Let’s speak from experience. I bring us all up this little you know, make believe moment because last week we saw that God’s people, Judah, the southern kingdom, Jerusalem as its as its capital, we’re in dark times because of King Ahaz is bad decision. He had in a moment of crisis national crisis chosen to put his trust in a pagan superpower a Syria instead of in the Lord Almighty and that bad decision led to destruction and destruction of his nation ultimately, was a dark day. But is that the end of the story? Of course not. Caitlyn already read it for us. We know that we’re often faithless. But God always remains faithful. He keeps his promises. And one of those promises was Isaias son Shourya shoes, a remnant will return to people will come back. And so that’s what we’re going to see this morning. As we continue in Isaias message, we’re going to see a remnant of hope. Every bit as sweet these words is the first rays of dawn, when you’ve been wandering about in a dark forest all night. How do we live? Even in the dark times? How do we foster hope in the midst of destruction? These are questions we all need answered their questions that we may need answered even right now you may be feeling this because you’re in a season of grief and the holidays don’t ever make that easier. Or you’re going through a trial of some sort might be financial might be medical might be relational, you’re facing temptation of some sort, and you need hope. Isaiah is gonna help us answer two questions. They’re gonna get us answers to these deeper questions that we’re looking at. So our questions, we look at a remnant of Hope, who is the remnant? And what is the hope? Let’s start with the first one who is the remnant? It’s gonna be chapter eight, verses nine to 22. I’m actually going to read this as I go just so we keep the text fresh in our minds as we look at it. So when we read verses nine and 10, to start, raise the war, cry you nations and be shattered. Listen, all your distant lands, prepare for battle and be shattered, prepare for battle and be shattered, devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted, propose your plan, but it will not stand for God is with us. Remember last week, when he has and most of the people of Judah hear that there’s this invasion coming the alliance of Aram and Israel, their hearts shook like trees being blown by the wind, but not these people. This is God’s remnant. This is God’s people. They’re not shaking it all. Instead, they’ve got this holy boldness going like this is the the hutzpah that characterizes God’s people. They look at air and they look at Israel and they say go ahead and invade. Go for it. See what will happen. We know how this story and come on in. It’s the the boldness that Jacob had his dad read for us last week for his baptism of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Go ahead, toss us in the furnace doesn’t matter to me. It’s the boldness of St. Lawrence a murder in the early centuries of the church. He was being roasted on a spit and as he was there, he said you can turn me over this sides done now. That’s one way to treat your persecutors of course it’s the the the boldness of of Lucy Haven’t Z and Prince Caspian, at least in the film version, there’s a certain moment where the entire chlorin army is coming across the bridge and she’s just standing there all by herself. She’s like seven years old. She’s got a dagger with about a six inch blade and she’s blade and she’s just kind of smiling at them. And you go, where does this courage come from? Like, what would give that sort of boldness we know why because as she’s standing there, all of a sudden, a giant lion appears next to her. You know, that would be Aslan, the Christ figure. And that’s exactly what we see in this passage, divide your strategies can be for to propose your plan, it will not stand for me read it to you in the Hebrew for it. Ie Manu, l. Emmanuel, God with us. That’s why we’ve got this boldness like what’s in the name that was given to this little baby that was born last week, everything’s in this name. It is that holy boldness because the truth behind the name, the reminder that God is with us that the lion is at our side, changes how we respond to the news. changes how we respond to the news doesn’t actually change the news, I think that’s really important for us to remember, like Lawrence, he got roasted, he died, he was murdered, we do not ever have a guarantee of victory in any given battle. What we have is the guarantee of victory for the war. The war is already won. Whatever happens in this or that skirmish, God is with us, no matter the circumstances, he is with us even in death, because of course at that moment, we will be with him in all of eternity. This is the lesson that two missionaries learned they were sent from the United Kingdom to Tierra del Fuego in 1851. As they were making their journey across the Atlantic they were their ship was forced to winter in a in inhospitable Bay, so they were there waiting for a supply vessel to arrive, or else they weren’t going to make it. And that supply vessel never came. And actually everyone on that ship died of combination of cold and starvation. But their journals survive these two missionaries. One of them wrote this poor and weak though we are our abode is a very Bethel, to our souls. in Bethel, meaning house of God, here we are in this ship that is killing us. We are dying of cold and starvation. And this might as well be God’s very out because he is so present to us, Emmanuel, God with us the last journal entry when he says, I don’t think I’m gonna be able to write again, he says, Let all my beloved ones at home rest assured that I was happy and would not have changed situations with any man living. That’s a remarkable statement. If I were dying, of cold and starvation, I think there are a few places I would rather be. I would switch places with a few people No, no, no. Why? Because again, they experience the presence of God, even though circumstances did not go the way they were expecting that cold starvation was a very Bethel to them. That’s what we see in this passage, who is the remnant? It is those emboldened by encouraged by the knowledge of God’s presence, we keep reading them verses 11 to 15. This is what the Lord says to me with a strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people do not call conspiracy, everything, these people call it a conspiracy. Do not fear what they fear and do not dread it. 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. He will be a holy place for both Israel and Judah. He will be a stone that causes people to stumble on a rock that makes them fall for the people of Jerusalem, he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble, they will fall and be broken, they will be snared, and captured. The Lord has a strong, clear word for Isaiah here. This
is like when the parent kneels down in front of his child, you know, I level making eye contact hands on the shoulders as if to say, pay attention. What I’m about to say matters. What is it that he says? This message matters because what Isaiah is drawing out with the Lord is telling Isaiah is that darkness doesn’t just cause fear. Although it does that it causes confusion, too, because you can’t see clearly you don’t really know what’s going on. Well, what happens then you start to rely on rumors. And we all know this. Remember those early days of COVID When rumors just flying, we didn’t we didn’t know and we look back now and you see how naive we were in so many ways, but we didn’t know at the time. And so there was confusion and fear and it’s this vicious spiral because those rumors here it’s it’s the concern about a conspiracy so all the political stuff that’s happening the the rumors create more fear, which leads more rumors which leads to more fear Then when Isaiah points out what the Lord points out through Isaiah is that that fear is misplaced? Because the problem is that they are fearing their circumstances, not the God who is sovereign over those circumstances. The repetition of fear and dread and verses 12 and 13 is kheer key, do not fear what they fear and do not dread it, the Lord Almighty. He’s the one you’re supposed to fear. He’s the one you’re supposed to dread. That’s what distinguishes the remnant, the people of God from the masses, what do they fear? But this raises the question, of course, though, why are we dreading the Lord? Why are we fearing the Lord? What does that mean? So, there we are hiking in our dark forest, already feeling trepidatious because we can’t see anything and there’s noises around us and all of that. And then it gets worse, because you are set upon by robbers, you know, like a band of thugs and brigands, they are armed, and they look nasty, although you can’t see them. So they just sound nasty. And you know, like, this is the end, you’re getting taken care of right here. And then all of a sudden, you know, those movie scenes where you’re in that situation, and then the bad guys just start dropping, you don’t even know where it’s coming from. They’re just like, and pretty soon, they’re all lying unconscious around you. And so that’s what happens. This rescuer comes in all the guys are now lying unconscious on the floor, and then he walks toward you. And he’s always hooded in that scene, right? Like it’s always dark right there and your hearts actually pounding even more, maybe it’s even just stopped pounding at this point. Because you know, if he could do that to those guys, what’s he going to do to me? And then he pulls back the hood, and he puts his hand on your shoulder and he says, Don’t worry, I’m here to help. What changes in you there? Are you less afraid? You sure, maybe, but it’s more that it’s a new fear. The nature of the fear has changed from terror to all. Because if he could do that to these guys, and what could he do to me? In an instant, I could be gone. But I gotta trust that he’s here to help. That’s us with God. I mean, the brigands that are lying unconscious all around you that’s, that’s Aram and Israel, and Assyria. He defeats the enemies. Of course, those are nothing compared to the real enemies that he defeats. He defeats sin and death and darkness itself. And so we’re feeling good, but we got to remember that he is Savior, He is a rescuer. But he is Lord and judge also, verse 13, the Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy. We just did a series on God’s holiness, remember what it was called? People got killed. Like there’s the fear. There’s the the dread, of course, his coming to rescue us, is either the very best news, or the very worst news depending on how you respond to him. In fact, we get that needs two sets of images that are given we read in verse 14, he will be a holy place he will be a sanctuary. In other words, I mean, there’s Bethel, there’s the house of God, where we can live and enjoy his presence or verse 15. He will be a snare. It depends on how you respond to him a sanctuary or a snare or he is the rock Scripture tells us that repeatedly he is the rock, what can you do with a rock you can build your life on a rock, he is a sure foundation. Unless of course, he’s a stumbling stone, you trip over him because you’re scrambling to get over and away because you know what it means if he is God. Now Peter makes clear in First Peter chapter two that this stumbling stone this rock is Jesus himself. He is the living stone, which means this passage, it’s it is the Christmas question. Like this is what we should be asking ourselves this Advent season. He’s here. He’s here he came. How does that make you feel? Joy to the world. The Lord is come God is real. He’s come to rescue us but but God is real. And that’s got implications for our lives. If what we’re celebrating is true, as it most certainly is, then you are not your own. You belong to God. You belong to a God who speaks who has made his claims on your life abundantly clear. But this is good news. This is good news. Even if it is the loss of autonomy is good news because our only hope is found in that proper fear, the fear or all of our rescuer, because otherwise, we are completely subject to our circumstances. Our only hope is If we get dealt a good hand, and if you don’t get that, then there’s nowhere else to go. So who is the remnant? The remnant is those awed by God’s power, and authority, and goodness. And let’s keep reading. last characteristic of the remnant rest of the chapter. Verse 16, is where I’m starting bind up this testimony of warning and seal up the instruction among my disciples. I will wait for the Lord, who’s hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob I will put my trust in Him. Here am I and the children the Lord has given me we are signs and symbols and Israel from the Lord Almighty Who dwells on Mount Zion. When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter should not have people inquire of their god, why consult the dead on behalf of the living consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn, distressed and hungry they will roam through the land and they’re famished, they will become enraged and looking upward will curse their King and their God, and they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. So here’s the last characteristic of the remnant we already had hinted at in verse 12. It’s that there are people marked by God’s word. I think God is speaking in verse 16. It doesn’t say God’s instruction, the Hebrew just says the instruction. But the point is that these are God’s disciples. He has claimed his remnant as his own. These are my people, and then he instructs them that he speaks to them. And then verse 17, Isaiah responds to that truth. And it is an expression of personal devotion. I will listen to the word, I will trust God, I’m going to wait on Him. And when we do that God does not hide his face from us. Which is what it says he will do to those who don’t turn to him. Of course, this is the opposite i i did the the blessing of Aaron last week, right? The Lord turn his face toward you, that’s blessing. The opposite is that the Lord turn his face away from you hide his face from you. And that’s the experience that they have here. This is a difference really, in terms of how we wait on God Almighty Isaiah is waiting like a child, you know, at a bus station or something like that, who’s waiting for Dad to come and pick him up? A loving doting father, he may be late because he hit all red lights, but he will be there. That same bus station is the kid who hit his caseworker and ran away and he’s trying to hop a bus to Toledo. That’s a really different waiting, isn’t it? Dad’s not coming. Nobody’s coming in love if anyone’s coming. It’s the cops. And they’re coming because they got some questions about how you hit that person you weren’t supposed to hit. But Isaiah has this restful waiting and in his restful waiting, he and his children serve as signs to the people of Israel and Judah. Why? It’s their names remember when through their names. Last week, my hairstyle house boss and shower Yes, shoes. So these names they are signs themselves remembering what God is going to do that God is real. And God is here. So why not rather turn to Him and receive His instruction? Well, it’s because they turn elsewhere, such folly, but turn it elsewhere. Starting in verse 19. God Almighty that rescuer can help them. But they shown his speech. They stop up their ears and they get on the eighth century BC equivalent of the internet instead. They’re gonna mediums and spiritists. That’s like googling what is the meaning of life?
Or getting on YouTube and typing in who is Jesus? Why are you getting on YouTube to figure out who Jesus is? Why not read the book about him? That make more sense to you? It makes more sense to me, but that’s not what they want to do. By the way. This is a word for self professed christians too. I mean, Isaiah is not speaking to pagans here. He is speaking to people who think they are God’s people. In other words, he’s speaking to us potentially. Where do you go? What do you listen to? I’m always a little bit worried when people tell me the devotionals they’re doing in the morning. And the book has got like, three words of Scripture at the top wrenched out of context, of course, and then three or four paragraphs of just somebody spouting whatever they think, and sometimes not good stuff. Jesus Calling is still one of the best selling Christian devotionals and it’s utter nonsense. Because we don’t want to listen to God’s word, we’d rather consult mediums and spiritists Go back to verse 12. Again, do not call conspiracy, everything that people call is a conspiracy. So that’s when, when, when things are going badly, where do you go to get perspective? When COVID hits or a nation invades another nation or whatever, it may be something personal. Where do you go to get perspective? Do you go on social media? Do you check out cable news? Are you listening to Jordan Peterson and John Oliver, instead of Jesus? Mean? Which one makes the most that’s exactly what I say. Like he’s saying, It’s absurd. You have God. And you’re trying to call up the dead in a seance? What’s wrong with you? That’s the absurdity that he’s drawing out. Why not rather inquire of God? Consult His instruction. Get in the word. This is how you put on your night vision goggles. That’s what we wanted, isn’t it? We’re stumbling around in a dark forest, which often characterizes our lives. We just want to be able to see the dinosaurs on the floor before we step on them. How do you do that? Getting the word. That’s how this is the flashlight. I’m pretty sure one of the Psalms even says that your word is a lamp to my feet. Great. That’s what we were looking for. So this is an easy choice, because you either get God or you get destruction. Tough call. I know, pray about it for a bit. But what happens they choose destruction. And so there they are in exile, starving to death, cursing God, like it’s God’s fault that they flipped in the bird and ran away like the kid at the bus station. And yet, this is what they’re doing. Who is the remnant? Not those people. It’s those who are instructed by God’s word, and living in light of revealed truth. The Remnant has these three distinguishing marks the three that we’ve seen, they’re marked by the presence of God, the fear of God, and the Word of God, the presence of God, the fear of God, and the Word of God. That’s who we’re supposed to be. That should be written on our lives, a calm boldness, a trusting or, and a biblical perspective, no matter what circumstances we’re in, by the way, if we were marked by that the people around us would notice, they would see it, they would know something was different. And they would ask for the reason, we have the hope that we have. But what would happen then is when news breaks as it will, it always does, again, whether that’s a pandemic or an invasion or something personal in your life, your response would be to kneel before him, the Bible open before you to seek His will to seek His face to hear from him, and then you would get up and do His will. Who is the remnant? The Remnant? Are those who choose God’s light? His thinking his living over the world’s darkness, choosing hope over destruction, frankly. So what is that hope? Exactly? That’s the second question we got to answer here. That’s the rest of our passage as well. So what is the hope? Let me read chapter nine, verses one to seven. Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past, he humbled the land of Zombieland in the land of Naphtali. But in the future, he will honor Galilee of the nations by the way of the sea beyond the Jordan. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increase their joy. They rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midians defeat you have shattered the yoke that burdens them the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warriors boot used in battle, and every garment rolled in, blood will be destined for burning will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born. to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace of the greatness of His government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness. From that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Here’s the turn from darkness to light, there is hope. We don’t have to end with gloom and distress. And there is hope especially for the northern most tribes of Israel. I know you’re Middle Eastern geography is good, but just as a refresher course here if this is Israel, a serious kind of Northeast so when they come into invade, they come right through Naphtali and into Zebulon as they traveled down basically the Jordan River on their way to Spirit this is exactly what they did, by the way. So we are talking about some time after 733 BC when it’s you Yeah begins their invasion of those northern tribes before 722. When they finally wipe out Samaria, Israel, Ephraim, whatever you want to call it in its entirety. But the point is, they get conquered first. So they were the first ones to be humbled, but later on, they will be exalted these tribes this land right by the Sea of Galilee, because there’s gonna be kind of a famous Galilean. Later on in history, you have probably heard of him. In fact, in fact, we met him last week, we were told that a virgin will conceive and bear a child. We said, Then, not immediately, though, there was gonna be this remote fulfillment. So now we are looking ahead to that day when he’s actually going to show up the people stumbling in darkness, need light, night vision goggles, flashlight, that would be great, that helps in the darkness. What do they really want, they really want the morning star to appear. They want dawn to break. And that’s what’s coming. Can you imagine what first light would look like to someone who has been alone and afraid out in the forest in the dark of night, all night long. I mean, it would be every bit as exhilarating as watching a foreign enemy retreat from your land, which is what’s being talked about here. Of course, the language verse for that describes their joy, it’s taken from the Exodus, especially those words like yoke and bar and Rod they get used throughout the Exodus account, when God delivered his people out of Egypt. The point is, as God delivered before he will deliver again, we can be sure of that he is who he has always been. It’s also like the defeat of Midian. Under Gideon, if you remember her, I remember him. That’s when the oppressors were cast out. And the people were set free again. We have trouble with language like this, because we have never been under oppression like this. And so we got to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. mean like imagine a slave in the antebellum south, shackled, beaten, regularly seen loved ones killed, not just hearing about the Emancipation Proclamation, but actually experiencing that freedom when the chains are loose, and you are free to go on your way. That is the joy that Isaiah is describing here. Incredibly, it’s not just that the borders will be reestablished. And that’s one thing I guess. But it’s more than that. God says he’s going to enlarge the nation and increase their joy. I mean, this is almost beyond all recognition. This is a child coming down on Christmas morning, misses the nations of the world on V Day connects over the darkness is gone. At last. Like Only a remnant returns, we’ve got that we’ve heard that. But that is not the end of the story. What’s being described here is what we see in Revelation, where it is not just a remnant, but a multitude of the redeemed, worshipping Lord, the lamb before the throne. So to kindle hope in bleak times, like you want to put night vision goggles on, here’s how you do it, you put that final scene before yourself, because that final scene is eternal and your circumstances are temporary. But here’s the most amazing part, all that joy, all that enlarging of our kingdom, all that happens through the birth of a child. Emanuel is Ray ortlund says God’s answer to everything that has ever terrorized us is a child. What a remarkable thing. Not just any child, but of course, he’s born to be king, but not just any king, we get these four titles. I could certainly do a sermon on each of them.
I won’t. I know you’re looking at the clock already. But these are not words, some of them that are used of people ever. Like there are titles in scripture that we read, And we’re like, that sounds impressive, like Son of God. So if God is used to Kings regularly that could definitely refer to a person. Some of these words cannot refer to a person we’re talking about somebody totally different. Who is he? Well, he is wonderful counselor. Now we think counselor and we think somebody who’s going to talk to you about your feelings. That’s not what is needed here. What’s needed is counsel. We need to be told what to do. This baby provides the wisdom we need which is why we consult him and not social media or cable news. He is also Mighty God word mighty, always used of warriors specifically. In other words, he defeats his and our enemies, which is why we trust Him and not the world’s powers like a Syria Ah, and he is everlasting father. And here the reminder is that this king loves his subjects like a father. I mean, what a reminder that we are not in God’s economy, just subjects of the king. But children have a father who delights in us. And that’s why we turn to him instead of fleeing from him. And then he is the prince of peace. And that word peace in Hebrew, as we talk about often is so much more than the absence of conflict. It is the presence of shalom. He is the one who will re weave the torn fabric of this world who reconciles us to God and to each other. And that’s why we submit to Him. And don’t rebel against them. Why would you rebel against that? Not joking about the peace either, by the way, Look back at verse five, as this kingdom spreads, how to Kingdom spread, conquest, war budget, not this kingdom. This is a conquest of peace over war. It’s a conquest that brings an end to all conflict in the process, which is how we reach that vision of revelation 21, where there’s no more mourning or tears or pain or death. Why because this kingdom of peace has at last done away with violence. Was there ever such a king as this? Surely not. Was there ever such a kingdom as this? Surely not. He will reign on David’s throne, and over God’s kingdom, and he will reign forever with justice and righteousness, the two words that taken together describe Shalom peace, but we’re not there yet. Our way. Jesus even said this baby when he’s born, he grew up and he taught us and he said, The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. Like we’re expecting this worldwide sort of thing and it starts so small, but it is increasing and will go on increasing forever. In other words, a verse six is the already verse six has already taken place the baby was born. He is all of these titles. But verse seven is the not yet. This has not come to its fullness yet that comes at the end of time when Jesus comes again, means we’re living in the time between D Day and V Day, the decisive blow has already been struck. That’s what happened when the baby came into the world. But there’s still all these little skirmishes that are happening until the end comes. And that’s why we need this message still today, because we still walk in darkness. And so we still need night vision. There are still dinosaurs on our path. Plastic ones, at least, we still need hope. So what is that hope? Exactly? Our hope is that God’s light will overcome the darkness in the end, and it is a certain hope. And when we talk about hope, sometimes like fingers crossed kind of thing, not biblical hope, biblical hope is certain why? Because the very last sentence of this text, the zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. That’s our confidence. If it were up to us, we would never reach that day. We would never get there never reached the heavenly shore. Never see peace in our time. So thank God it isn’t up to us. It is a his work and not ours. Not only is it his work, but he is zealous to see this work done. We don’t use the word zealous a lot anymore. What do you think of when you think of zeal? I think of William Wilberforce, who single handedly brought an end to the transatlantic slave trade just about single handedly, despite setback, after setback, after setback, politically, with health concerns, everything else you could possibly imagine. But he was zealous to see this horror abolished from the face of the earth. That’s zeal. And that’s what the Lord has when you’re feeling hopeless. Remember that the victory is his. You fall again, I wasn’t going to send like that I was going to do that again. And here is when there’s more brokenness on the news and there will be tomorrow. Never forget, there will come a day because God is passionate for our salvation like a husband flush with love for his new bride. And so he will see it finished. how passionate how much love for us His Bride enough that this child who was God of God is born to die first, and only then to rain. First, John four, nine and 10 Here’s the baby. Here’s what he came to do. This is how God showed His love among us. He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love. Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our Ever since He sent His Beloved Son to die, send them directly to the executioner for our sake, that we might be saved Isaias message here in chapter nine, it’s like a postcard from that distant place. And here we are, this side of the cross and the empty tomb, we are standing at the very Vista ourselves, no more postcard Wish You Were Here we can, we can enjoy it. We have seen it for ourselves, how should that encourage us and foster hope in us to have visited this love ourselves. Here’s how John finishes our thoughts. Just a few verses later, everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well. Alright, so you believe God, you’re born of God. And then what happens? Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. That’s how it encourages us believe, trust be emboldened and encouraged, God has overcome and God will overcome finally and fully in the end, the remnant are those who believe and who choose God’s light over the world’s darkness. And they are the hopeful, who believe God’s light has already and will finally and fully overcome the darkness. You put the two together, you get our main idea for today. This is what you should take away with you as God’s remnant. And I hope you are God’s remnant. But remember that comes by faith in Christ. That’s what John told us, as God’s remnant, live in hope that God’s light will overcome the world darkness. Not just feel hopeful, this should certainly cause you to feel hopeful, too. But that’s not the end of this story. Live hopeful, again, that calm boldness that trusting all that biblical perspective live as a people marked by the presence of God and the fear of God and the Word of God. Without finally close with a word to just two different groups here today, what that looks like practically for us. The first group is if you’re here today with us, and you are skeptical, still questioning Christianity, we asked you this question, because you are going to stumble in the darkness at some point. Where are you going for help and hope and wisdom? Where are you turning? For those things that you need so desperately? Like? What’s your flashlight you will walk in darkness. If nothing else, at some point, you will travel through the valley of the shadow of death. So here’s my encouragement, he has just tried turning on the light. Put it like this, take Christianity out for a test drive, and put the Lord to the test and this way, live as though this were true. And see what happens because it is true. You’re going to have calls to fear many times, but hope is found in fear. Fear that rescuer who came to get you and who left all your enemies unconscious on the ground beside you, even this Christmas season. Every time you drive by house lights on every time you see a Christmas tree or hear A Christmas Carol, would you look at the child differently. Because he is not just a child He is mighty God and he will be a sanctuary or a snare to every one of us. Might as well be a sanctuary. Second, may speak to the believers here. I assume the majority of us our hope is in Christ’s triumph. But don’t forget that his triumph came in defeat.
And so will ours. So often, we will endure dark times. Listen to the words of John the apostle and Revelation 12 Verse 11. They triumphed over him over the enemy, by the blood of the lamb by the word of their testimony. They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. They triumphed by getting killed. Exactly how Jesus triumphed. This is an important message for the American church, which is obsessed with power today the church doesn’t pursue power, the church uses power to serve in love. It’s like money. Like the church isn’t here to fill up its coffers. The church is here to go, Oh, our coffers are full. Who can we help? What can we do with this? And so we should be willing to sacrifice Christianity is not about winning. It is about bringing peace, Shalom into the world. Also, as long as I’m speaking to believers, where are you going for help and hope and wisdom? Because that is not a one time decision. I wish it were right like I decided to follow Jesus so I’m good I got that question right on the test. Now, every time we face new circumstances, we’ve got the choice. Do I go to the media or the mighty God? And parents? Do your kids know where you’re going for help and hope and wisdom? Are you teaching your kids to go to the right place? Do they see you opening the Word of God when you face Crisis? Are you as a family opening the word together? And are you showing them how to do it? So that when your middle schooler comes to you and says, I’m having this trouble you go, let’s, let’s get our Bibles. Let’s see what God has to say about this so that they start to figure out how this works. We got to disciple our children. And Church may speak to us together, collectively, corporately here. If you’re in Journey groups, you probably hit recently in the mission section, that our view of the world is shaped by our community, by our experience, and by facts and evidence and data. And it’s shaped in that order, which is so fascinating, but so true. It is our community first and foremost, that shapes our plausibility structures, what we believe about the world, which means when we’re feeling hopeless, what we need most is a community of people who remind us where we go to get hope. That’s what we need to be for each other, as God’s remnant, live in a hope that God’s light will overcome the world’s darkness because it already has, and it will, in the end, let’s pray together. Father, we are a people walking in darkness so often, maybe even the majority of our days there is so much suffering. In this world. There’s so much sin, even in our own hearts. There’s such great need of a Savior. And so encourage our hearts and embolden us, Lord with the knowledge that the Savior has come and that he has laid our enemies low. Already, that even though the shadows are still here, the light has triumphed. The dawn is coming in unending Dawn, with no more night, no more darkness, no more death, no more defeat no more sin, no more sorrow, no more mourning, no more pain. Would you help us to live in light of that hope and to be bearers of that light? As we live lives marked by your presence and your fear and your word, so that the world might see because of the light we bring, reflecting your glorious light to those around us. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen. Continue on worship.