Why Israel Fell

Text: Isaiah 9:1-7

 

I.         The prophet Isaiah told the people that the Messiah was coming.

            A.        He would bring righteousness to all the nations and remove the burdens of sin

            B.        He would establish a new government, one that would last forever

            C.        The people of Israel foolishly thought that the Messiah would just extend their government to cover other nations

                        1.         They expected an empire with Israel at its center

                        2.         Even after the resurrection, the disciples were expecting it - Acts 1:6

            D.        How foolish was this concept, because the very next verses explains their failings.

II.        Why learn?

            A.        Wasn’t this Israel’s problem? We’re not Israel.

            B.        No, but people repeat mistakes because they forget the past - Ecclesiastes 1:9-11

            C.        It is only by realizing that we are no different – that we are vulnerable to the same mistakes – can we take steps to shield ourselves from sin. Otherwise, we will repeat the same errors - I Corinthians 10:11-12

III.       Israel’s faults

            A.        Arrogance in thinking they could recover on their own - Isaiah 9:8-12

                        1.         They looked at the destruction God brought upon them and thought that this wasn’t so bad because they would rebuild to something even greater

                                    a.         Brick would be replaced with stone. Common sycamore would be replaced by valuable cedar.

                        2.         But no thought was given as to why they were destroyed – why God’s hand was against them

                        3.         The need for God wasn’t considered at all - Isaiah 9:13

            B.        Having false leaders and godless common people - Isaiah 9:14-17

                        1.         God would cut off the highest and the lowest, the noblest and the base

                        2.         The leaders because they are leading the people astray

                        3.         The lowest – the young and the poor – for their evil and foolish talk

            C.        Infighting and no concern for their fellow man - Isaiah 9:18-21

                        1.         There was no mercy for their fellow country men

                        2.         They consume each other - Micah 7:2-6

                        3.         It is pure selfishness – everyone for their own wants

                        4.         Ultimately it is self-destruction

            D.        Unjust government - Isaiah 10:1-4

                        1.         The concept of right and wrong is lost.

                        2.         Those needing protection the most are no longer protected - Amos 5:11-12

IV.      Repeats

            A.        In the government

                        1.         Removing religion, Christianity particularly, from all aspects of life and thinking we are going to remain great

                        2.         Following after politicians and false teachers who are trying to reshape society to the point that sin is accepted. And common people running after sin.

                        3.         Artificial divisions by race and class

                        4.         Judges promoting social agendas and government adopting policies based on monetary benefits instead of focusing on right and wrong

            B.        In the church

                        1.         Using gimmicks to seek growth instead of using God’s method

                                    a.         Jesus sent his disciples - Matthew 28:18-20

                                    b.         We teach and it is God who increases - I Corinthians 3:5-7

                                    c.         This is always the way the church has grown, one Christian teaching another

                                    d.         But man never ceases to look for gimmicks: food, drinks, parties, music.

                                                (1)       Something that makes serving God seem fun in man’s eyes.

                                                (2)       Over time God and His teachings get left out, except in shallow vague references.

                                    e.         We are restricted because the credit belongs to God - I Peter 4:11

                        2.         Following after false teachers and leaders trying to reshape the church

                                    a.         False teachers will ever be a problem in the church - I John 4:1

                                    b.         As well as the corrupting influence of sin that especially attacks the weak members - Ephesians 4:17-24

                        3.         Infighting

                                    a.         Jesus’ commandment - John 13:34-35

                                    b.         Speaking evil of brethren - James 4:11

                                                (1)       We tend to be the harshest critic of those we should be closest to

                                    c.         Hatred - I John 3:14-15

                                    d.         It comes from not following God’s teachings - I Timothy 6:3-5

                                    e.         Majoring in minors - Titus 3:9

                        4.         Injustice with biases toward the wealthy

                                    a.         James speaks extensively toward this problem

                                                (1)       Judges with evil thoughts - James 2:2-4

                                                (2)       Talk and no action - James 2:15-16

                                    b.         A lack of love - I John 3:16-19

V.        History repeats itself, but it doesn’t have to

            A.        I Peter 2:9-15 - By our conduct, give glory to God

            B.        God offers mercy - Ephesians 2:1-7

            C.        You can break the destructive cycle and build something glorifying God - Ephesians 2:17-22