Trouble with Self Back to all sermons


Date: February 16, 2020

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Isaiah

Scripture: Isaiah 2:6–2:22

›Isaiah 2:6-22

Trouble with Self

6  For you have rejected your people,

the house of Jacob,

because they are full of things from the east

and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines,

and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.

7  Their land is filled with silver and gold,

and there is no end to their treasures;

their land is filled with horses,

and there is no end to their chariots.

8  Their land is filled with idols;

they bow down to the work of their hands,

to what their own fingers have made.

9  So man is humbled,

and each one is brought low—

do not forgive them!

10  Enter into the rock

and hide in the dust

from before the terror of the LORD,

and from the splendor of his majesty.

11  The haughty looks of man shall be brought low,

and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled,

and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

(Isaiah 2:6-11, ESV)

12  For the LORD of hosts has a day

against all that is proud and lofty,

against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low;

13  against all the cedars of Lebanon,

lofty and lifted up;

and against all the oaks of Bashan;

14  against all the lofty mountains,

and against all the uplifted hills;

15  against every high tower,

and against every fortified wall;

16  against all the ships of Tarshish,

and against all the beautiful craft.

17  And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,

and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,

and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

(Isaiah 2:12-17, ESV)

18  And the idols shall utterly pass away.

19  And people shall enter the caves of the rocks

and the holes of the ground,

from before the terror of the LORD,

and from the splendor of his majesty,

when he rises to terrify the earth.

20  In that day mankind will cast away

their idols of silver and their idols of gold,

which they made for themselves to worship,

to the moles and to the bats,

21  to enter the caverns of the rocks

and the clefts of the cliffs,

from before the terror of the LORD,

and from the splendor of his majesty,

when he rises to terrify the earth.

22  Stop regarding man

in whose nostrils is breath,

for of what account is he?

(Isaiah 2:18-22, ESV)

Main Point

These verses show the futility in trusting things of this world for our security

Anything which seeks to displace Him will be displaced itself

Whether made by human hands or human minds

God’s judgment will come upon those who trust in these things rather than in Him

Application Points

Trouble with Self

Throughout the Scriptures we find the struggle between the things of this world and the things of God

This can cause us to become unaware of where the struggle lies

Does the prophet have a problem with the mountains, trees, or ships?

Is the problem with the horses and chariots?

No…these are merely material by their nature and as such do not have a sense of morality unless acquired or utilized by moral agents using immoral means

Thus something more is the problem

We remember this same things happening in chapter one

“When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations – I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.”

-Isaiah 1:12-15, ESV

Application Points

Trouble with Self (2)

We are reminded of the fact that the issue is not with the Law

The issue is with their lack of faith and repentance

They’re saying, “Forgive me for the sin…” just to return to the sin again

They are claiming to know, yet they are far from Him

The problem isn’t knowledge of is the self deceit

The people are relying on the blessing rather than God

The issue is not in the precious stone

The issue is what they do with the stone

They willingly bow down to idols created in their own image rather than worshipping the Living God

Application Points

Trouble with Self (3)

So we want to be cautious

During my time in college social justice was becoming a big thing

Right before I went the new monastic movement started, where individuals took vows of poverty

Is this the right response?

The issue isn’t the wealth, the issue is their trust that wealth will keep them secure

This causes them to live in ways which are contrary to God

That is what occurs with human pride

It takes what is good and spins it around to the bad

Rather than have those things which God blesses us with and glorifying God for the blessing, we often look at our own selves

Application Points

Trouble with Self (4)

Very often those who have good paying jobs will claim whatever wealth they have comes from their own hands

The question is, what is truly different between the individual who worked hard for a living here…and one in another country?

The answer is God

As such whatever you have is only yours because God gave it to you

Even Christians have a hard time acknowledging this

Instead of taking care of others they hoard their earthen treasures

Stewards is what we really are

As it is even we need to be cautious

Likewise it is not because we are so mighty that these things exist, but because God is so mighty


The more we lift ourselves up…the harder we will fall

Application Points

Trouble with Self (5)

But God will always be lifted up high because He is worthy

If it is from His hand the mountains, trees, wealth, and all blessings come, then the only response is to rejoice in Him

We can do this by seeking obedience

In Christ we are able to attain the knowledge of God and learn His ways and His will

It is all because of Christ this is attained

As it is written…

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; the new has come.”

-II Corinthians 5:14-17.

Application Points

Trouble with Self (6)

In Christ we have become a new creation

It is from Him we are able to be turned from darkness to light…terror to safety

If this had not occurred, then we would still be in the bondage of sin and darkness

As such, the warning of the prophet is clear

Find peace not in yourself, but in Christ

Do not cling to your own sinful nature…rely on Christ

He alone will be exalted

The warning is to not rely on self

The encouragement is that there is One in whom we can rely…and that is God

He is able to be your true safe haven, and provide the peace, love, and justice we all so desperately need

Application Points

The Gospel of Christ