Damariscotta Baptist Church
Monday, May 21, 2018
Growing personal relationships with God and community

02/04/18 Sermon - True Humility

“True Humility”

Isaiah 2:6-11


Today’s Scripture is a radical shift from the first five verses of chapter 2, where Isaiah had all the nations streaming to “the mountain of the LORD” or to His house, His temple, in Zion. They are going there to learn God’s law and to walk in the light of the LORD.


We read in today’s Scripture that Judah was in a sorry state of affairs and about as far away from walking in the light of the LORD as one could get. In fact, it was their sins that was preventing them from doing so.  


Let’s look at the sins they were committing:


> Judah had allowed the false gods of the foreigners to captivate their attention -

I think it is important to recognize, that God was not against all of the cultures and customs of the foreigners, it was just those customs and cultures that honored and worshipped false gods that was in question. Why would Judah decide to disobey the number one commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.” unless, perhaps it was in the guise of “diversity?”


> Judah was now a land full of silver and gold. Economic prosperity had become a false god of wealth and materialism and had captivated their attention. Verse 7 states there was no end to their treasure, they had an abundance of both horses and chariots. Which in the day of Isaiah, horses and chariots meant they had the most powerful weapons of war available. This left them vulnerable to rely on their own strength and power and to be prone to economic idolatry.


Again, I think it is important to recognize, nowhere in this statement is the idea that God is anti-wealth.

God does, in fact, allow some to obtain significant resources. However, when one begins to love the riches and trust in the wealth, more than in God, well, that’s a problem.


> Judah had allowed their land to be full of idols, enough so they were captivating their attention. Humans have an innate tendency to worship what they have made and accomplished, instead of worshipping the One who made us and gave us the talent to do so.


Be certain, this is not meant to bring across the idea that humans are not to work or be proud of their accomplishments. It is God’s desire that we work and use the gifts and talents He has given us to produce good things. It is when we start worshipping these things, that we need to reminded of who and what is worthy of worship.

 

> Isaiah remarks that there was plenty of people bowing down and humbling themselves, but the issue was they were doing so towards the wrong things. Why is it that humans are happy to bow down and humble themselves to the things they choose, but when it comes to doing so for the LORD, humans find that difficult?

 

The response to this difficulty,

found in verse 9,

was for God not to forgive them.

 

Their worship and humility towards the earthly things may have been sincere and it may have been good for society, but it was a rejection of the LORD God, and ultimately, unforgivable.

Basically, this all boils down to human arrogance.

 

Israel and Judah had been seduced by human power and glory, and as a result had abandoned their Creator, the one who had made them a chosen people and for whom only true glory existed. And because of their poor choices they were doomed to be humiliated. Instead of being filled with the Holy Spirit, we have read that Judah chose to be filled with

  • Human wisdom, v.6

  • Human wealth and power, v.7

  • Human-made idols, v.8

Which will never stand up against the splendor of God. Thus, as we read in verses 9-11, the result of those who chose against God, they will be humiliated.

Unfortunately, it is human instinct to exalt ourselves. Whether in:

Wealth

Education

Political Power

Military Power

Beauty

Religion

Or whatever, you pick it

Humans exalt themselves, due to insecurity. Ultimately, each of us is faced with the sobering fact of immortality. And even more sobering is the fact that regardless of how much we try, we still have to deal with the fact that each of us sins. We like to cover this fact up, or make it sound not so bad, by stating that we “mess up” or “make mistakes” or have “shortcomings.” No matter how we state it, humans sin. We fall short of the glory of God. And left to our own devices, everyone knows, deep down, that this is true. In verse 9, we read “So man will be brought low and mankind humbled - do not raise them up.” This is Isaiah’s cry to the LORD. He asks the LORD to stop rewarding those that choose against Him.  

 

Today, post resurrection, we can say, thank you LORD for your forgiveness.  Today, we have the opportunity to set the record straight. As is our practice, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. This is an excellent opportunity for each of us to take stock of where we are in our relationship with God. To humble ourselves before God, before we are humiliated because of our sins.

Idolatry today still exists. It is a state of mind and exists whenever we place our security in either

Wealth

Education

Political Power

Military Power

Beauty

Religion

Instead of in our relationship with the LORD, Jesus Christ, who alone can hold us securely.

Take inventory of where you place your security as we prepare for the LORD’s Supper. As the Deacons come forth to take the Deacon’s offering, we will sing “Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord”, the words are found in your bulletin.

Deacon’s Offering

Lord’s Supper