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Before we jump into Isaiah and Ezekiel, let’s talk about Proverbs!
Proverbs 12:23, “A prudent man conceals his knowledge, but fools proclaim their folly.”
It’s similar to “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” (Words to LIVE by!! 😉)
A prudent person conceals what they know
You don’t always NEED to say your opinion
But the foolish person will ALWAYS say their opinion
That’s just my opinion
No it’s not, it’s from the Word of God WHICH IS AWESOME
Now on to Isaiah Chs 51 and 52
These are some of Fr. Mike’s favorite sections of The Book of Isaiah
We are in the Book of Consolation
There is a COMING TRAGEDY
EVERY TIME we are listening to Isaiah, he is PROPHESYING the destruction that is YET TO HAPPEN
Here is JUDGMENT that is COMING
Here is GRACE that COMES
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
Not only is Isaiah prophesying the fact that there is a COMING EXILE
There is also coming a REDEEMER
There is also coming a RETURN FROM EXILE
He is talking about the COMING TRAGEDY
He is also talking about GRACE
The message of both these chapters that he keeps saying AGAIN AND AGAIN
Not only is JUDGMENT coming
Also, I AM COMING TO YOU
Isaiah 51 is saying, “Awake to the reality of God’s JUDGMENT”
This is reality WE ALL NEED TO WAKE TO
Isaiah 52 is saying, “Awake to the reality of God’s REDEMPTION”
OH MY GOSH THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
Awake because here comes the JUDGMENT OF THE LORD
Isaiah 52:1, “Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean.”
SO WAKE UP BECAUSE REDEMPTION IS AT HAND!!
Isaiah 52:3, “For thus says the Lord: ‘You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.”
What will YOU be redeemed with?
Well….we have ANOTHER prophecy of the MESSIAH!!
Isaiah 52:13-15, “Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. As many were astonished at him-his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men-so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand.”
Tomorrow, we will launch into Isaiah Ch 53 which talks about THE LORD’S SUFFERING SERVANT
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE GIFT!!
The WHOLE WORLD will see the REDEMPTION
The WHOLE WORLD will see the EXALTATION
The WHOLE WORLD will see the HUMILIATION
OF THE LORD’S SERVANT
HE SHALL STARTLE MANY NATIONS!
KINGS SHALL SHUT THEIR MOUTHS BECAUSE OF HIM!
FOR THAT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN TOLD THEM THEY SHALL SEE!
What does that mean?
This means, these AREN’T EVEN JEWISH PEOPLE!
They DID NOT EVEN KNOW this was the reality of life!
THEY ARE GOING TO SEE IT!
AND THAT IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED!!
In Jesus, THAT IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED!
I’m not Jewish, are you?
Those of us who are Gentiles, aka NOT part of Abraham’s line
Like St. Paul said, we get to be GRAFTED onto that tree of those covenant people!
The people that we have been walking with and studying for the PAST 215 days!
THEIR story has become OUR story!!
THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!
Isaiah is prophesying here, HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE JESUS
Then HE will be LIFTED UP
And ALL NATIONS will be DRAWN TO HIM
MAN GOSH SO GOOD SO GOOD!!
So on to Ezekiel
Once again, he is doing his “performance prophecy”
God is telling him, “Ok, get ready and be like someone who is going into EXILE. You are going to reenact Judah’s captivity”
A lot of us may think this is odd
Ezekiel is ALREADY in EXILE
The people who are seeing him, they are seeing him act this out in BABYLON
So why is he acting out the exile when they already lived it at this point?
There was a FIRST WAVE of Exile
There was a SECOND WAVE of Exile
There is a great number of people STILL LIVING IN JERUSALEM IN JUDAH
They will hold down the fort
They will be there forever and maybe we will eventually get back?
Ezekiel is making it VERY CLEAR
EVEN THEY WILL GET EXILED
The EXILE has not been COMPLETED YET
They are being drawn out of the Holy Place and the DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE has not happened fully
IT’S STILL COMING
Even in EXILE, so many of the people REMAIN A REBELLIOUS HOUSE
Ezekiel had the VISION of all the abominable things they were doing in the Temple of the Lord
AND THEY WERE STILL DOING THOSE ABOMINABLE THINGS TO THAT VERY DAY
So Ezekiel is saying, “What’s coming is EVEN WORSE. A WORSE EXILE THAN ANY OF THEM HAS EVER SEEN.”
Which is HORRIBLE
It is also REALITY
It is the reality of what they lived through
It is the reality of what they are GOING to live through
In Ezekiel 12 there is this proverb that is STILL being uttered in Israel
This proverb talks about how God’s judgment will be delayed.
God says he will put an END to this proverb
Ezekiel 12:22-23, “...‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will put an end to this proverb in Israel.’”
Ezekiel says, “No actually, the days ARE AT HAND!”
They have this idea that God’s judgment is FAR OFF
God is telling Ezekiel to PROPHESY
Ezekiel is saying, “It is NOT far off!”
“THIS IS NOT DELAYED!!”
“THIS IS NOT IN THE DISTANT FUTURE!”
One of the reasons the people believe what they do is because of FALSE PROPHETS
These FALSE PROPHETS were CONSOLING people when they should be CONVICTING people
They kept saying, “THIS IS FINE!”
They SHOULD have been saying, “You guys, we HAVE TO CHANGE or else destruction is going to happen.”
In fact, the words that God speaks through Ezekiel to Israel in Ch 13:10, “...because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace…”
Saying YOU’RE FINE when you are NOT FINE
Saying IT’S ALL GOOD when it is NOT ALL GOOD
This is what FALSE PROPHETS do
THEY TELL US WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR!
THEY TELL PEOPLE WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR!
Here is the Lord God who says, “That is not the job of the PROPHET. The job of the PROPHET is to SPEAK THE WORDS OF GOD.”
Those false prophets SPEAK FROM THEIR OWN MINDS
Those false prophets DO NOT SPEAK FROM THE MIND OF GOD
We have this CONVICTION
Are we listening to FALSE PROPHETS?
Are we listening to GENUINE AUTHENTIC PROPHETS?
When you are BAPTIZED, you are ANOINTED PRIEST, PROPHET, AND KING/QUEEN
When WE utter, are we uttering JUST WHAT IS ON OUR MINDS?
ARE WE SPEAKING WITH THE MIND OF GOD?
Are we telling people what they NEED to hear?
Or are we telling people what they WANT to hear?
Are we ourselves CHOOSING to hear only what we WANT to hear?
Or are we CHOOSING to hear what we NEED to hear?
THIS IS THE CHALLENGE!
It’s so tempting to just say what people WANT to hear
It’s so tempting to hear what we WANT to hear
To belong to JESUS
To belong to GOD
To be in COVENANT with Him
Means that we HAVE TO BE WILLING
TO HEAR WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR
TO SEE WHAT WE NEED TO SEE
TO DO WHAT WE NEED TO DO
We can’t do ANY of that ON OUR OWN!
WE NEED GOD’S GRACE
SO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE