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The Final Choice

Scripture: Isaiah 66

I.  You must choose between the glory of God and the disgrace of an idol.

A. Isaiah 66 opens with the greatness of God and His creation: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me? He reminds us in vs. 2 that all the universe belongs to Him because He is Creator. Of all the glorious things that God likes to look at in this world that He has created, there is one that stands out to Him in vs. 2: “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”

B. To tremble at God’s Word means to humble yourself before such a great God. It is to confess your sin to God and turn away from those sins when you hear His Word. It is to recognize your complete helplessness to please God with your life and your need for His grace and righteousness. And one who trembles at God’s Word longs to obey every command they hear from God in His Word. They turn away from abominations (vs. 3) – idols.

II.  You must choose between a fruitful life and a fruitless life.

A. God’s foes did not believe God’s promises of future blessing for His people. So, when Isaiah prophesied of future hope, God’s enemies within Israel said, “That’s impossible! That will never happen.” But what does God say to His friends in vs. 14? “You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and the hand of the LORD shall be known to his servants.” God’s friends, God’s servants, would see God keep all His promises.

B. When it came to the birth of God’s kingdom in vs. 7-8, God gave the same message to Israel that he gave to the virgin Mary in Luke 1:37: “For nothing will be impossible with God.” If God gives fruitful life to His friends, He gives fruitless lives to His foes. God’s foes experienced the fruitless life of loss and destruction and death (vs. 4, 15-17). When people cease to tremble at God’s Word, they do not believe in nothing. They believe in anything (vs. 17).

III. You must choose between judgment and blessing.

A. God makes the final choice very clear in the last words of Isaiah’s prophecy. At the end, “the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall see my glory” (vs. 18). The Gentiles will become brothers (vs. 20) in the church with the Jews. Jesus said in John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” Those who escape God’s judgment by believing that Jesus died on the cross for their sins will receive peace with God. And they take that message of peace with God to others around the world.

You must choose between being God’s friend or God’s foe. Make the right choice.

The book of Isaiah
Commentaries by J.A. Motyer, Derek Thomas, David Jackman, Bob Fyall and Tim Chester.

Sermon Discussion Questions

1) What is your attitude toward God’s Word? How can you take the Bible more seriously?

2) Why is God as angry with those who are just going through the motions in their worship of Him as He is with those who worship idols? What will happen to those who are cynical about God keeping the promises in His Word?

3) What is the final choice we need to make with our lives? How long will this choice impact our