Sermon #23 Series: Isaiah
Title: Faith - The Mother of Stability
Text: Isaiah 7:9
Subject: Encouragements to Faith
Date: Sunday Evening - September 17, 1989
Ahaz was probably the most wicked king ever to sit upon the throne of David in the house of Judah. He was a rank idolater. He revived the worship of Malech in the valley of Hinnom. He filled Jerusalem with graven images. He even burned his own son as a sacrifice to Malech! Yet, this pagan king pretended to have great reverence for God (See v. 12)!
When the kings of Syria and Samaria formed a confederacy to kill Ahaz and destroy Judah, Ahaz was terrified. But instead of turning to God for help, he made arrangements to turn himself and the kingdom of Judah over to Tiglath-pilser, the cruel, barbaric, pagan king of Assyria. He trusted not in the Lord God, but in the arm of the flesh. He turned for refuge not to the Lord God of Israel, but to the armies of the Assyrians.
God sent Isaiah to Ahaz to warn him not to look to the King of Assyria, but to the King of heaven, and to promise him deliverance from the hands of his enemies, if he would simply believe God. But Ahaz was obstinate in his unbelief. Isaiah 7 contains Isaiah’s confrontation with Ahaz the King.
If Ahaz had only believed God, Judah would have been saved. Ahaz would have been established in his throne. But he would not believe. And his unbelief was the cause of his instability and ruin. Tonight, I want to take one sentence from this chapter for my text. It is the last sentence of verse 9 - “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” This sentence is recorded in the Book of God for our learning and our instruction. It is recorded here by Divine Inspiration to encourage us to believe God.
Proposition: The cause of Ahaz’s instability was his unbelief; and unbelief was the cause of his destruction.
Divisions: Tonight, I want briefly to talk to you about these four things:
1. The Veracity of God.
2. The Unbelief of Men.
3. The Nature of Faith.
4. The Cause of Instability.
I. THE VERACITY OF GOD.
How I wish I could persuade you, and fully persuade my own heart that God is true in all things and deserves to be believed. He is worthy of our most implicit faith and confidence
(Ps. 100:5; 117:1-2; 119:160).
· God is True to His Purposes.
· God is True to His Promises.
· God is True to His People.
A. God has prepared the veracity of his word.
· Is there a promise He has not kept?
· Is there a prophecy he has not fulfilled?
B. A good many of us here have proved his faithfulness in many ways for many years - (Lam. 3:1-26).
· His Goodness.
· His Providence.
· His Forgiveness.
· His Preservation.
C. The gospel I preach to you is as true and faithful as the God for whom I speak - (I John 1:9).
· The Covenant of Grace is True!
· The Accomplishment of Redemption is True!
· The Offer of Free Pardon is True!
God is true. If you get nothing else I say tonight, I pray that you will get hold of this, God is true. He deserves to be believed. God is worthy of our faith.
II. THE UNBELIEF OF MAN.
Man by nature is not willing to believe God. If I understand the Word of God, the greatest, most abominable evil in this world is the horrible sin of unbelief - (I John 5:10). Yet unbelief is the nature of man and the bent of man’s will.
Both faith and unbelief involve the will. Our text says, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” Believing is a matter of the will. No one believes without willing to believe. Faith is a gift of God wrought in us, not upon us. He works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. He gives us a will to believe. Faith is a voluntary thing. If I believe God, I do so willingly. And unbelief is a voluntary thing. If you refuse to believe God, you do so voluntarily, you choose to do so. And your unbelief is your own fault. It is a crime for which you must bear all blame and guilt. Why is man so unwilling to believe? Why do you not believe God?
Note: Man by nature prefers to believe anything rather
than believe God.
· The Speculations of Science.
· The Myths of Mysticism.
· The Reports of Sociologists.
Why? Why do men and women refuse to believe God?
A. They prefer feeling to faith.
· Emotional Religion.
B. They believe in themselves.
C. They prefer visions, signs, miracles, and experiences to revelation.
D. Faith in Christ begins with an acknowledgment of personal sin, depravity, guilt and inability.
Tonight, you are without excuse. God has spoken. Your unbelief is voluntary. You believe not God because you choose not to believe him.
III. THE NATURE OF FAITH.
What is faith? Faith is taking God at his Word (Heb.11:1-3).
· About Creation!
· About Himself!
· About His Son!
· About Myself!
· About His Salvation!
· About His Providence!
A. Faith is an index of the heart.
· It proves love!
B. Faith is the proof of grace.
C. Faith inspires prayer.
Illustration: David (II Sam. 7:27).
D. Faith glorifies God (Heb. 11:6; John 6:29; 11:40).
· The highest form of praise in the universe is faith!
IV. THE CAUSE OF INSTABILITY.
Our text says, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”
A. First, and foremost, that means if you do not trust Christ, you will not be established in the kingdom of God. If you do not believe God, you will be lost forever.
B. But let me take the liberty of applying this text to us, to you who are God’s people, and to the members of this church.
If you will not believe you will not be…
1. Established in Comfort.
2. Established in Doctrine.
3. Established in Hope.
4. Established in Service - (Zeph. 3:16; I Cor. 15:58).
5. Established in Consecration.
Illustration: The Old English Squire at Christmas -
Get a Bigger Basket! (Heb. 4:16).
Sinner, God is greater in mercy than you are in sin. He is more willing to forgive than you are to transgress. And He is more able to save than you are to do evil. But, “if ye will not believe, ye surely shall not be established.” God help you to believe!