Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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September 16 – Pentecost 16 – Is. 50:4-10 – Persevering In God’s Word

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Old Testament Lesson just read, from Isaiah 50.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • I know that all of you have had times in life that were quite challenging.  Even now, some of us are struggling with great difficulties in life – and all of us have some troubles.  It was not God’s intent that it should be so – but with the entrance of sin into the world, from the time of Adam and Eve to this day, sin brings all kinds of challenges and struggles to human being and existence.
  • Thank God that we have His gracious forgiveness and mercy, that He sent His Son Jesus Christ as “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.”  The promises of His word assure us that after all of the trials and troubles of this life we will inherit eternal life in the joy and bliss of heaven, that we will have exactly what He in His love intended for us from the very beginning! 
  • But we still have this life – and God is also concerned to bless us here and now, so that we may persevere and endure in life, and ultimately prevail through His providence and blessing.  We see in our text precisely how God seeks to bless us:

 

I.  God Gives Us His Word – Through His Prophets And Apostles, Which Is Able To Strengthen And Sustain Us Through Life In This World

 

Text:  “The LORD God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain WITH A WORD him who is weary.  Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.  The LORD God has opened my ear.”

 

Statement:  The Word was given to Isaiah – to all prophets and apostles of God.  This Word given to them and through them  is able “to sustain him who is weary.”  Isaiah describes all of the woes and maladies that we have to contend with:

 

“I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.  But the LORD God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.”

 

Much of our affliction in life has to do with our sin – our weaknesses, our failings, and our guilt.  But the Word given to Isaiah – which also “sustains” us is clear:

 

“He who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me?  Let us stand up together.  Who is my adversary?  Let him come near to me.  Behold, the LORD God helps me; who will declare me guilty?  Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.”

 

Application:  There are two assurances in this Word from God which “sustains the weary” – first, that God is not our accuser but “He who vindicates me,” and second that God is near to defend us, to protect us, and to enable us to prevail against those who DO have the arrogance and temerity to actually try to accuse and prosecute us.   We know He is not our “accuser,” for He is the One Who sent His Son Jesus Christ to “take away the sin of the world.”  He promises us that His blood cleanses us from all sin, that we are forgiven and accounted to be perfectly righteous in His sight, through faith in Christ Jesus.  John assures us that:

 

“If we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and He is the blood atonement for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1 Jn. 2:1,2]

 

This is the strength and sustenance God also wills to give us – through His Word, that of His apostles and prophets!  And it is available to us – through our personal daily devotions, and especially as we study His Word in Bible Class, and certainly as we hear godly sermons and receive the Sacrament of His body and blood.  So:

 

II.  Let Us Consider Carefully Our Response To This Gift Of God’s Word Which Sustains Us – That We May Respond As Isaiah Did

 

Text:  “I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. . . . Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His servant?  Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the Name of the LORD and rely on his God.”

 

Statement:  Isaiah’s response was to allow God to strengthen and sustain him by His voice, His Word.  The outcome was just what we desire, what we need, and what is blessed for us – our adversaries and our troubles in this world “will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.” 

 

Application:  If we will receive what “the LORD God has given” us, if we too will obey “the voice of His servant” and “not turn backward,” the outcome will be same for us.  We too shall be sustained and preserved in all our trials and afflictions as we “trust in the Name of the LORD” and rely upon God and His Word.

 

Transition:  And as we do so we end up being blessed to be in a position to actually help others, for through His word,

 

III.  God Also Gives Us The Tongue Of Those Who Are Taught, So That We Too May Know How to Sustain With a Word Him Who Is Weary

 

Statement:  We have choices in life – especially in regard to how we are going to use our “tongue,” as we heard rather poignantly in our Epistle Lesson from James.  You see, often we choose to use our tongues as an adversary AGAINST others – accusing, cursing, slandering, gossiping, and setting all kinds of things “ablaze” with our mouths. 

 

But, like Isaiah we can also allow ourselves to be taught by God – so that we use our tongue instead to sustain others, to comfort them with God’s love, to instruct them in the way of faith and trust in God, and also in the ways of love, so that they too may persevere and prevail.

 

Application:  I wonder which use of our tongue is more pleasant and more blessed toward others?  I wonder which use of our tongue is more pleasing to God, more accomplishing of His good and gracious will?  I wonder which use of our tongue accomplishes more good in the world?   We surely know the answer when we are on the “biting” end of someone else’s tongue! 

 

Conclusion:  So let us give all of this ample consideration!  Surely we are well aware of our need for help as we go through all of the struggles and troubles of life in this world.  We do grow “weary” and downtrodden!   God seeks to help us through all of this, to sustain us, strengthen us, and enable us to prevail – with the gift of His Word, a Word of forgiveness and justification, and a Word promising that we shall prevail in the end!

 

So let us allow God to give us this gift of His Word – “morning by morning,” eagerly embracing every opportunity to receive His Word and wisdom!  Let us not be rebellious or turn backward, but receive and embrace His Word.

And let us consider carefully what our contribution to the people around us is going to be – how we are going to use our tongues, whether to plague and afflict others, setting them on fire, OR whether we will among those who have instructed tongues that “know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.” 

 

We know the blessedness and wisdom we receive from those who encourage us with God’s Word – surely this is what we want to be able to convey to others, and how blessed they will be when we do this.  But first the “receiving” – let us take care to be there where God is teaching and giving His Word of blessing, that we too may be among the “taught.”

 

May He grant it richly to each of us – that we may be sustained in life, and that we may be among those who bless and sustain others, Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.