Not What You’re Meant to Be: Part 2 (Isaiah 3-4)

June 19, 2022 | Brandon Cooper


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

All right, go ahead, grab your Bibles open up to Isaiah chapter three, we’re going to cover chapters three and four. Today, which sounds awfully ambitious. But four is only six verses long. So I think we can do it as you’re turning there, Isaiah chapter three, as many of you know, I play soccer as often as I can, usually with a pretty dedicated group of guys at a pickup game each week. And what will happen is that occasionally, some of the guys who show up show up to show off. And so they’re there just to impress their friends, the guys they came with, which makes them annoying when they’re on your team, because they will dribble into trouble instead of taking the easy paths. And so those of us who’ve made an overlapping run or something like that, now have to scramble back on defense and watch ourselves get scored on selfishness often costs a team. You’ve seen this, if you watch sports at all, selfishness often cost the team but not just in sports. That’s true in companies. That’s true in churches, that’s true in families. Jesus said, there are two great commandments, didn’t he? Somebody came up to him and said, really? What what what’s the commandment that matters most? And he said, I’ll give it to you. And like a good preacher, he did more than he was supposed to. And so he gave two instead of one. And he said, Love the Lord God, while your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor. The whole law is summed up in these two commandments, he says. So why don’t we do that? It’s so easy. Like you guys have two things to do. And yet we all fail at this irregularly. why? It’s because of that other part. The part I didn’t quote when I said it, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor in the way that you are already loving yourself. Because you are fixated on yourself, you are wholly self absorbed, and so am I. Even those of you who loathe yourself, hate yourself are still obsessed with yourselves. This thoughts of self pity, self loathing, it still is self absorption. And that’s the whole problem. That’s what keeps us from looking up or out is that we’re always bent in on ourselves the great AW Tozer refers to this as the self life, the life of the self. And he says, I love this image using the temple imagery, Old Testament imagery. He says it’s like a veil, like that heavy temple curtain that prevents us from seeing and delighting in God’s glory. Let me quote him, he says this, The veil is woven of the fine threads of the self life, the hyphenated Sins of the human spirit. They’re not something we do, they’re something we are. And therein lies both their subtlety and their power. The self sins are self righteousness, self pity, self confidence, self sufficiency, self admiration, self love, and a host of others like them. Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us.
So you see, loving ourselves, trusting in ourselves, the Bible would call arrogance. It keeps us from God, and leads us into all sorts of trouble with people in our lives, too. And that’s more where we’re going today. You want the main idea what we’re going to see in Isaiah three and four, it’s this the self life sabotages society. But there is hope. That’s the good news, but the self life sabotages society now I gotta set us in context here. Especially you weren’t here last week. You worry. Remember, Kyle was talking about Isaiah chapter two, especially verse two, the idea that the nation of Israel was supposed to be a magnet that was drawing all other nations to proper worship of the one true God. But if you look at the rest of chapter two, from Kiowa, walk us through this last week, you saw the religious breakdown, the nation kept falling into idolatry instead of proper worship. This week, we’re looking at the social breakdown that results from that. So this is really part two of the sermon that’s even the title, of course, is part two, that you are not what you’re meant to be. So the social breakdown, we get the social breakdown in what’s really a courtroom scene. So we’re gonna see the charges read, and then the sentence executed. And then finally, just the possibility of restoration promised to us. Let’s take those one at a time. So first of all, we get the charges, read chapter three, verses one to 15. Let me read it for us now. See, now the Lord. The Lord Almighty is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah, both supply and support, all supplies of food and all supplies of water, the hero in the warrior, the judge in the prophet the diviner and the Elder, the captain of 50 and the man of rank the counselor skilled craftsmen, and clever in chanter, I will make mere use there Officials children will rule over them. People will oppress each other man against man neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old the nobody against the honored. A man will seize one of his brothers and his father’s house and say, you have a cloak you’ll be our leader take charge of this heap of ruins. But in that day he will cry out I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house Do not make me the leader of the people. Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling their words and deeds are against the Lord defying His glorious presence will look on their faces testifies against them, they parade their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it, Woe to them, they have brought disaster upon themselves, tell the righteous that will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds, Woe to the wicked disasters upon them, they will be paid back for what their hands have done. You suppress my people, women rule over them, My people, your guides lead you astray. They turn you from the path. The Lord takes his people in court. He rises to judge the people, the Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people. It is you who have ruined my vineyard, the plunder from the pores in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people, and grinding the faces of the poor declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
So again, this flows directly from last week, because corrupt religion last week produces corrupt society what we see this week, there is rot in the foundation, the leaders of the people and so society is collapsing. In fact, in many ways, the last verse of chapter two is a hinge verse transitioning us into this section, verse 22, stop trusting in mere humans. It says though, that this whole chapter is saying, trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding proverbs three, five and six. And so in a severe Mercy, the Lord is teaching them just that, because they have been trusting in mere humans. And so God pulls the support out from under them what it is they’ve been leaning on food and water, the essential supplies, but he removes people to, especially since they are the source of so much corruption, we get the total collapse of leadership, all those who could guide are taken away. I mean, you look at the list there, we got military leaders like heroes and warriors and captains, you’ve got political leaders, like elders and judges, you’ve got religious leaders, some of them are good like prophets. Some of them are sketchy, like diviners and enchanters. You even get skilled craftsmen, and we would call that the private sector. Today, all of it is stripped away. And in their place, we have youths and children leading instead. I don’t know this means literal young people. But certainly the childish even still, today we get a bad leader will say he’s a child. And that’s what we have here. The leaders reflect the spiritual poverty of the people saying you probably heard it before, of course, we get the leaders we deserve. Well, that’s exactly what is happening to Israel here. And when you put leaders like that over a nation, what do you expect to see oppression and strife? Exactly what Isaiah describes in verse five kids even rising up and rebelling against their parents, this is like the Cultural Revolution under Mao and kids were turning on their parents and turning them in. And even now, the Chinese Communist government which is not famous for taking an honest look at its history calls this an unmitigated disaster. This is not what it should be disaster and death. And so what is the end result? And we see it in verse six. It’s a heap of ruins without a leader. In fact, it’s so bad that all it takes to be qualified for leadership now is if you have a coat, that must mean you’re doing something right. And so one guy sees his his brother and says, Well, you’ve got the coat. You should be our leader at this point. But he refuses because he knows that he has no remedy. He’s going I don’t even have enough food to feed my family. I cannot take on leadership for the people as a whole. Alright, so this is a bad situation. The where’s this all coming from? Exactly what’s the root mean? Verse eight, Jerusalem, staggers. Judah is falling. Why? Because their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying His glorious presence. This is a nation a people living in arrogant defiance of God. I’m going my way. I’m gonna do what I want, regardless of what the law Word commands. And you see this in their speech and in their deeds. Speeches, Jesus reminds us as the overflow of the heart. So it shows you what is in your heart, we tend to think very little of Sins of speech today. But God does not take them lightly. Because he knows that they show us who we are.
And then deeds, the total expression of our lives. And so he’s looking at the deeds of his people. And he sees that there is no evidence that they the suppose that people of God belong to him. Instead, we get brazen defiance, they parade their sin without blushing in the battle between self and God, they have sided with self. And so the disaster that is coming is well earned, they brought this trouble on themselves, and diverse nine. This is the boomerang nature of sin, we sin and we kind of toss it out that way, thinking it might hit, somebody else always comes back, and wrecks your own life. Man, how many times have we after sending making foolish choices, and then reaping the consequences? Go, God, what are you doing here? Where are you? Why aren’t you helping me? Proverbs says something about that. Proverbs 19, verse three, a person’s own folly leads to their ruin. Yet their heart rages against the Lord. That’s what Israel is doing here. How can you let this happen to us and God’s going, I didn’t do this to you, you did this to you, you are just reaping what you sown. We should never be surprised that the consequences of our sin, you make bad choices and you end up humiliated, exposed, rejected, fired, whatever it may be, of course, because sin brings disaster in the end. In contrast, though, verse 10, the righteous have nothing to fear. It doesn’t always look like it in this life, a very definitely does not always look like it in this life. But the reward for the righteous is sure. And it’s worth it also enjoy the fruit of their good deeds in this life, in so many ways, and perfectly in the life to come. Sin leads to death, but obedience leads to life always, always. And frankly, Christ’s death and resurrection are the proof of this, the guarantee that it will be true. I mean, Jesus led the perfect life. He is the only one who never stopped loving God and others because he wanted to love himself. Instead, the only one who has done that surrendered his life holy all the time at every moment. And at the end of his life. It didn’t look like it was worth it, did it look kind of foolish and then Sunday happened. And that’s what we have to keep in mind. Every time we experience the reward of righteousness in this life. It’s like a mini resurrection for us. It’s that reminder of what the life to come will bring. God is unfailingly consistent, he rewards the righteous and he punishes the wicked. He’s unfailingly consistent, you live in defiance, you will reap evil and disaster. So why not rather follow God? When you know what’s coming? When you know that your long term future is secure? That’s the question Isaiah has left for them. So he’s taken stock of the social collapse them and he has exposed the root issues and then we get the charges read, starting in verse 13. Even here, though, you feel his tender love, don’t you? How many times does he call them, My people in this stanza? In fact, that’s why it grieves him so much to see the leaders take advantage of his people. Now the youths and women not totally sure who this is referring to could be a has, who was young, when he took over was a wicked, wicked king, could be the influence of the harem. Or perhaps there are some Queen mothers who were particularly difficult in Israel’s history. We don’t know what we know for sure those these are leaders who are pursuing the self life. He want like the prime example of this, like, this is what it looks like you guys remember King Ahab, and he wanted a vineyard that wasn’t his. And so he was feeling down in the dumps about it. Because even though he had all this other stuff as king, he wanted that vineyard, and his wife was like your king, dummy. I’ll take care of it. And so she has righteous knave off killed so that King Ahab can take that vineyard also. That’s what this looks like. That’s the experience of Israel time and time again, these leaders sabotage society. Why? Because they’re pursuing the self life, the plundering and Writing the poor treating people as if they were commodities, and they are ruining God’s vineyard all for the sake of what? possessions. In contrast, Jesus, what does Jesus say about leadership? He says the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy.
But um, the Good Shepherd, The Good Shepherd comes to give life to give it to the fall, the good shepherd lays down his life for his people, instead of using his people to give himself life. This is why one mark of a true Christ follower, are you looking for evidence of whether or not you actually love Jesus? One mark is sacrificial generosity, those who lay down their lives and especially lay down their goods for the others instead of grinding the poor trying to lift the poor out of their poverty. That’s not what we see here. And so in light of all of this, what else can God do? He takes his place in court, and he reads the charges against the leaders, self life sabotages society, the evidence is all around what must happen. That’s the next section. When they’re sentenced, let me read verse 16, through chapter four, verse one. The Lord says the women of Zion are haughty, walking along without stretch necks, flirting with their eyes striding along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore, the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion, the Lord will make their scalps bowled. And that day the Lord will snatch away their finery, the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the Signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors and the linen garments and Tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance there’ll be a stench instead of a Sasha rope. Instead of well dressed hair baldness instead of fine clothing, sackcloth. Instead of beauty branding. Your men will fall by the sword your warriors and battle, the gates of Zion will lament and mourn destitute, she will sit on the ground. In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes. Only let us be called by your name, take away our disgrace. So back in verse 11, Isaiah had already hinted at the coming judgment. And then again, God charges them in court and verse 14, and now the sentence is executed. Well, why to focus on women’s specifically? I think these are the daughters of Mother Jerusalem who are displaying her character, and I think they’re meant to be representative of the nation as a whole. I don’t think this is the problem. The Women’s specifically, of course, the end of this passage suggests that as well. What is the issue though? What’s the problem with these issues with these women at heart at its root, the issue is arrogance. There hottie. God says in verse 16, there haughty, no arrogance in Scripture, that doesn’t mean boastful. That means again, living in defiance of God, trusting in yourself seeking what’s best for you. It is the arrogance of Sinatra, I did it my way. That’s what’s being rejected here. And then, of course, that arrogance, that love of self feeds luxurious living, that we see in the rest of the passage, it’s a matter of the heart. It’s not a matter of jewelry, it’s a matter of the heart. But of course, that leads to them, you know, grinding the poor so that they can pay for all this luxury. They have made the foolish exchange that Kyle read for us earlier. And Jesus’s own words, Mark 835, to 37, for whoever wants to save their life. And that’s living for self, right? There’s the selfless, whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me, and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul?
Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? That’s what these women are doing? Right? They’re gaining the whole world that was a long list of fancy things that they own right. So they gained the whole world, they forfeited eternity in the process, because they love themselves in defiance of God and ultimately, exploitation of others. Because not that God objects to find things necessarily, the question is always Yeah, but how did you get it? And what are you using it for? And that’s where they’re guilty. And here we’re starting to see by the way, why the self life sabotages society? Because when we love ourselves first, when we look out for number one, we will use others. Every time we will end up using others exactly what we’ve seen in the passage already. Michael go through some of the sins we just talked about. We talked about speech way back in chapter three verse eight, that was one of their problems? Well, there are a lot of Sins of speech aren’t there, you can deceive people shade the truth a little bit. You can boast about your accomplishments you can gossip or slander in every case, what are you doing? You’re trying to make yourself look a little bit better. And usually, that means you got to make other people look a little bit worse in the process. So that you know, you get the promotion, or whatever the case may be. So what are you using your speech in the service itself, leaving others behind in the process? Or what about the exploitation of the poor? We saw verse 14? Well, that’s what happens when you begin to treat people as commodities, and use them to enrich yourself. They’re all here, all these peasants, all these serfs are here to make me wealthy. And so you treat people as not as though they were created in the image of God. And that’s possessing inherent dignity and worth. But frankly, it’s a much more Darwinian approach to people, survival of the fittest, I’m clear, we fitter, and so you all can help me survive and thrive, for that matter. And then what we see here in this section, when it comes to human sexuality, there’s a lot of flirting, there’s a lot of swaying hips, and all that kind of stuff. What happens when we love ourselves and exploit others in the area of sexuality, mean, sex becomes then transactional, instead of covenantal, it’s an exchange of goods, you’re using other people to feel good about yourself, I’ll give you some sweet nothings. And then you can give me your body, or the other way around, I’ll give you my body, but then I’m gonna expect you to make me feel loved and beautiful and worthy, and all the rest. It’s interesting, of course, because this is our culture’s approach to sexuality, it is transactional at this point. And that’s why there’s been a spate of articles coming out recently New Yorker, New York Times The Atlantic about why the consent ethic is insufficient, it isn’t enough, because it still reduces people to goods. And that’s not okay. Remember, reading an article with the title was I didn’t consent to be ghosted the next morning. And that’s it, I didn’t consent to be treated as subhuman, as a tool for someone else’s momentary pleasure. But that’s what happens. When you love self, you will use others, it’s so important for us to see this, that that’s what’s going on. Because there may be some here this morning, who don’t care about loving God, like you are not here because you love Jesus, and you want to know more about him. You may not even think he exists. But I guarantee you, you still want to love people. Because that’s part of our culture do like we should we’re supposed to treat other people well, but that doesn’t work. Unless something overcomes the self life in us. There has to be some reason for us to be willing to lose our lives in service of others. And what is that something, but certainly is not going to be this life only. Because then you got to try and suck as much happiness out of this world as you possibly can. You know, it’s interesting, too. I just like this, even in this passage, we see issues that matter to both sides of the aisle. So here we’re dealing with sexuality, that’s a typically stereotypically conservative concern, right? But then, right before that, we’re dealing with justice and exploitation of the poor, that’s a stereotypically progressive concern. And scripture just cuts right through the middle of both. It speaks to all of us up ends, all of us. Remember, God’s people are supposed to be magnets, not what we see here, drawing people toward God, not just making them infatuated with themselves, like these women are doing, drawing people toward God, by leading exceptional lives. lives that will make you stand out as weird by the way, but weird is slightly offensive. So Kyle always says it much kinder than I do. Weird. That’s never happened before. We want to be people that the world can’t ignore the people where their ears go.
Something is different about that guy about that girl. What’s interesting to me is that we see that even here in our dress, in this passage, how we dress how we present ourselves, is one of the magnetic pieces of our faith. You want to word for it. It’s modesty, of course. Does that include sexual modesty? Absolutely, definitely. That’s on view here. But it is more than that. Because again, in modesty at its heart, it’s not that it’s overly sexual. It’s that it’s overly self focus. You’re trying to draw attention to your self. You know, look at how much style this person has their look at the brands that they’re wearing, and all the rest. So what does Peter’s say to wives in the towns where he’s writing? He shows us how to be weird how to be people who dress so that the world can’t ignore us speaking to women specifically says your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Everything we just read about right all that stuff. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. Now, Peter is speaking to women here. And I think there is a special temptation to women to be immodest. I don’t have any problems saying that. But this is for men too, isn’t it? Because when you get to that, would I want the attention? I want people to be looking at me, there are all sorts of ways to do that. Again, maybe it is the brands. This goes beyond clothes, too, doesn’t it? Can you do this with the technology you possess? Or the car you drive? The house you live in? Are these all trying to be billboards for your life like your own PR campaign? Absolutely. And God suggests there’s a better way. But in God’s perfect justice than the punishment fits the crime instead of wealth and beauty, there will be poverty and shame. And the long list that we get, I mean, it just shows us how serious their self indulgence was. There is so much stuff to be snatched away. And that feels like a big ol moment for us, doesn’t it? Because we are all richer than they were like we are richer today than Pharaoh was. We’re in trouble. We’re in trouble. If we don’t check our hearts. In verse 23, then we see the means that God will use to bring about this sentence invasion and conquest, because the men will fall by the sword. They’re being punished. Also, of course, they’re also guilty of sin and then the women will be taken captive as prisoners of war, which is what the branding is. So that’s Zion pictured here as a woman again, the mother of all these wayward children is they’re destitute and dejected at the city gates. How bad will it be? There’ll be so many slain in battle that the women will pay their own way even if they can just get a last name, which they need to take away their disgrace in that culture. This happens in history, the war of Triple Alliance was so bad for the men of paddock why so many Paraguayan men killed that the government asked those who survived the war to impregnate as many women as possible. What do you think resulted from that? Not love. Not stable families. Without stable families, there is no stable society, total societal collapse exactly what we see here. Why? Because the self life sabotages society? is an act of God’s judgment. Is there any hope? I am so glad you asked. Because the answer is yes. And that’s good because otherwise this is just a downer of a sermon, which will be next week, by the way. So if you’re going on vacation, Miss next Sunday, there’s no hope in chapter five sorry. Let me read verses two to six restored. In that day the branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion who remain in Jerusalem will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem, the Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion, He will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. And the Lord will create over all a Mount Zion and over those who assemble their cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night, over everything that glory will be a canopy will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day in a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
It’s fascinating to me that this paragraph opens the phrase in that day. We’ve been talking about that day for a while now starts all the way back in chapter two verse 12. The Lord Almighty has a day in store. And then we get the phrase in that day again in verse 17, verse 20, chapter three, verse 18, chapter four verse one in every case, basically all of the last two chapters, this is a day of judgment and righteous wrath. It’s the invasion of Israel and the exile of God’s people, to Assyria to Babylon. No, all of this though, is meant to wake us up. This is CS Lewis’s line, right pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world. That’s what God is trying to do here. But he’s doing that because there is still hope. So long as we draw breath, until Christ comes again. There is still hope. And this is interesting, too. You gotta remember what Isaiah was in salvation history in that day, well, they were picturing one day, the Messiah is going to come one time, and God will set all things, right. But we know now that actually messiah comes twice. The first time He comes as a baby, not with a lot of fanfare, anything like that. And he came not to judge but to give his life as a ransom for many. That’s the day we’re still at. Now he will come again. And on that day, there will be judgment, we just saw that. But the whole idea here, the day when the Lord breaks in to set things right, could be a day of hope, could be a day of renewal. That’s what Isaiah is saying. The branch very definitely refers to the Messiah, the Christ Jesus. That’s why it’s capitalized. We see this another passage, Jeremiah 23, verse five, for example, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous branch. And what is that branch, a king, who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. Exactly what Israel needs a good leader, needs, Justice needs wisdom, that’s what’s coming. So there is something about this Messiah is coming, this branch who is coming that allows the land then to produce real and lasting fruit. And the reason why is because it’s not the fruit of effort, it is the fruit of grace, which is also why they then glory in it, what an interesting word or two glory in our fruit. You know, it’s even more interesting, the word glory. There is also the word used in chapter three, verse 18, for the finery of the women. It’s the exact same word. Do you see the exchange that just happened instead of their self created honor, again, a PR campaign that we’re all running by the way we dress the way we act? When we talk? Here, there’s true honor, the glory is in God’s grace, that it is it’s the glory of the moon, that produces no light of its own, but reflects the true glory of the sun. That is what we do. That’s what will belong to the remnant left in Jerusalem. As a often talks about a remnant because not all Israel is Israel, as Paul reminds us in Romans nine. But these are the true people of God, those who will be called holy, because they are set apart to God, those whose names are recorded in the Book of Life, will to be God’s true people. They need cleansing, inward and outward cleansing. And that’s what comes the spirit of judgment of Spirit of Fire. There is a refining that takes place, so that God can make us holy, and in making us holy, keep his character, because God can’t welcome us in if we’re all still filthy. So in order for him to be holy, he needs to make us holy, we’re going to enter into relationship with him. So how does that work? How is that possibly going to happen? I think this explains why Isaiah opens up here with the work of the Messiah. But he talks about the righteous branch, because to satisfy justice, God must punish sin.
And that happens in Jesus. A couple chapters later, Isaiah 53, surely he that righteous branch, Jesus, Surely he took up our pain and bore our punishment, the punishment that brought us peace was on him. By his wounds, we are healed. The righteous branch bears that punishment in our place, so that God can be both just because he punish sin and the justifier of those who belong to Him by faith in Christ. And then what happens this Messiah rains wisely, does what is just in right in the land, all that’s been missing and all that we seek for mean, how often are we crying out for justice and wise leaders? That’s what Jesus comes to bring. But it’s so much more than just justice. Right? We want more than just no more laws broken, don’t we? There’s a deeper ache than that in us. What is it that we want in a word we want love in intimacy. And that’s where Isaiah goes next, using the language of the Exodus, this cloud of fire that cloud of smoke that pillar of fire, the glory of the Lord made visible. Now Isaiah says that that’s gonna form a canopy over God’s people. It will be this shelter to which people can run from the storms of life. But here’s what’s really interesting the word for canopy here only ever refers to the bridle canopy. This is the canopy under which man and woman are united in marriage. So do you see that the cloud that covers us the glory of the Lord covers us in a covenantal relationship? It’s love. It’s the marriage of God and His people. And what’s even more amazing is this is an open shelter. Anyone who wants to run to it can run and hang out there, which is in contrast to the Exodus, when it was closed, so that people couldn’t approach God truly, and experience that kind of intimacy. Look at the end of Exodus, chapter 40, verses 34 and 35. Then the cloud, there it is same cloud right? Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting. That’s the place where we’re supposed to go so we can meet with God, the cloud cover the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Not even Moses could enter the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud had settled on it. And the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Now Moses gets to go inside. Sometimes no one else in Israel does, though. So it’s a close tent not any longer. Now all can see an all can approach. And so this is the fulfillment of that opening magnet passage, here’s where the nations will actually stream to the true worship of God, they will stream to God’s bridal canopy, people from every tribe will join in the wedding supper of the Lamb. Because that lamb was slain for our sake. Jesus made a way for us to enter his presence boldly. Because now we have been cleansed and made holy. When you look at his whole passage, do you see that this is not a hard choice? Not really. We can choose self and experience some temporary pleasures, like your ankles, jingle when you walk. That’s cool, right? That’s good. That’s something but to choose self is to reject God and use others exploit others. And again, even those of you who don’t care for God don’t like exploiting others. So we all know that the self life sabotage of society Why would we choose it, it wrecks our lives and the lives of everyone else, we know that you can see it, all you gotta do is open up a newspaper, it’s there every day. So what will unbend us so that we can look up and out instead of always inward on ourselves, the only thing that would unbend us as a love so perfect, so unconditional, that it satisfies us to our very core. All that we seek is found in Jesus. Everything we’ve seen in this passage, justice, and beauty, who wisdom, security, reward,
and above all, love. Because Christ loved us to the uttermost, and wrote the invitation to his wedding supper in his very blood shed for us. That means it’s an open invitation, all may come, come, come into the shelter, find rest under the canopy, it will be well, with the righteous, we can trust God. Don’t lose your life to gain a world that is passing away and doesn’t satisfy anyway. Surrender your life now, while you can, and gain the riches of the coming Kingdom, a just and righteous and loving kingdom because the self life sabotage of society, but there is hope. And his name is Jesus. Let’s pray. Lord, even now we hear the invitation to come and to take shelter, under the canopy of Your glory to enter into covenantal relationship with you to be welcomed as your very bride. Your children hold these metaphors that we have that express the deepest love that we know as humans, and your love is infinitely greater even than that. Help us Lord, to see that we lose nothing. When we lose the world to gain that relationship with you. That we lose nothing when we surrender our lives, but actually gain the fullness of life instead, a life lived in Christ for your glory, and the good have all those you place in our paths. That’s the sort of people We long to be open our eyes to see how we can become that. But opening our eyes to your glow worry and the love offered us in Jesus Christ it’s in his name we pray amen


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