False Power Back to all sermons

Isaiah

Date: October 11, 2020

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Isaiah

Scripture: Isaiah 19:1–19:15

  • Isaiah 19:1-15
  • False Power

1 An oracle concerning Egypt.

Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud

and comes to Egypt;

and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,

and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.


And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,

and they will fight, each against another

and each against his neighbor,

city against city, kingdom against kingdom;

and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,

and I will confound their counsel;

and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,

and the mediums and the necromancers;


and I will give over the Egyptians

into the hand of a hard master,

and a fierce king will rule over them,

declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

(Isaiah 19:1-4, ESV)

5  And the waters of the sea will be dried up,

and the river will be dry and parched,


6  and its canals will become foul,

and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up,

reeds and rushes will rot away.


7  There will be bare places by the Nile,

on the brink of the Nile,

and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,

will be driven away, and will be no more.


8  The fishermen will mourn and lament,

all who cast a hook in the Nile;

and they will languish

who spread nets on the water.


9  The workers in combed flax will be in despair,

and the weavers of white cotton.


10  Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed,

and all who work for pay will be grieved.

 (Isaiah 19:5-10, ESV)

11  The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;

the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.

How can you say to Pharaoh,

“I am a son of the wise,

a son of ancient kings”?


12 
Where then are your wise men?

Let them tell you

that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.


13 
The princes of Zoan have become fools,

and the princes of Memphis are deluded;

those who are the cornerstones of her tribes

have made Egypt stagger.


14 
The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion,

and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,

as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.


15 
And there will be nothing for Egypt

that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

 (Isaiah 19:11-15, ESV)

  • Main Point
  • Though at first glance it appears the Egyptians can offer peace and assurance…they are subject to God and worthy of judgment
  • They turn to idolatry…wealth…and the wisdom of their leadership
  • Isaiah sees no hope for Egypt who continues in such ways
  • They are truly powerless

Application Points

  • False Power
  • We have a tendency to draw ourselves to things which appear powerful
  • In Genesis we found this to be the case (Eden, Relationship with the “sons of god” in Genesis 6, tower of Babel etc.)
  • In today’s text we see such power being described
  • Egypt is considered powerful because of their religion, wealth, and the wisdom of their leadership
  • We find that which the world considers powerful, in the end, has very little power
  • Egypt's religion, wealth, and wisdom in leadership were substitutes…the truth for a lie
  • Their religion was idolatrous polytheism
  • “From the mountain came the god”
  • In this nature comes first
  • A God above nature would be far worthier of worship

Application Points

  • False Power (2)
  • Israel’s God is the maker of nature
  • He is all powerful and almighty
  • If polytheism is true, then the gods are only as powerful as nature
  • If the sun ceases, then Ra ceases
  • It’s no wonder, then, that Isaiah focuses on the Nile which was the basis for Egyptian wealth
  • The force of nature is stopped by God
  • Nature ceases when that which created it causes it to cease
  • This has serious ramifications for the Egyptians
  • Most individuals are willing to do much in order to attain and keep wealth
  • Wealth can become a god in tis own right

Application Points

  • False Power (3)
  • But their wealth is able to be dried up just as easily because God is able to take away that which gives them wealth
  • Apart from God’s grace, there would be no wealth, no power
  • Finally in regards to wisdom in leadership, when their leaders are unable to ascertain the events around them it shows they are foolish
  • They cannot see God moving
  • Their wisdom naturally leads to things other than God
  • Instead of turning in repentance and faith
  • All of these very things are what plague our modern society
  • Secularism has taken a deep root around us
  • If my truth is different than your truth and just as valid then there is no actual truth to be found
  • In the end…all is in conflict

Application Points

  • False Power (4)
  • The Egyptians believed in polytheism and idols, we believe in ourselves
  • In both cases that which is created is being placed above their Maker
  • When our foundation is fractured, our societies will crumble
  • While we have false beliefs which lead to false power, we also have pride in our wealth
  • We have been blessed with incredible abundance
  • How often is it the case when we lose our wealth we feel most powerless?
  • When the money is tight and wondering how we’re going to pay the bills, it can make us feel powerless
  • Is it any surprise we associate power with wealth when we experience all the pleasures when we have it and all the frustrations when we don’t?

Application Points

  • False Power (5)
  • Finally, when it comes to our wisdom and leadership it is much the same
  • Many will look to politicians, celebrities, etc. for their wisdom, being led by the hand
  • It is the blind leading the blind
  • This has become true not only for those outside the Church but inside as well
  • The truth is, though they claim some semblance of belief, they very often lead people far away from God
  • Where shall we turn?
  • We must turn toward the Maker of heaven and earth, the One who bestows blessings as such nature, wealth, and leaders

Application Points

  • False Power (6)
  • All the things mentioned are not evil in and of themselves
  • We can rejoice in what God has made in nature
  • We can rejoice too in wealth
  • Wealth is a blessing from God and we should rejoice with those whom God has blessed
  • When it comes to wisdom in leadership, we know God bestows wisdom to those who fear Him (see Proverbs 1)
  • We should earnestly desire for wise leadership
  • We should pray for it, and pray for our leaders that they would seek wisdom which is from above
  • We do not find power in ourselves, but instead we find power in the One who is the creator and sustainer of all
  • The world offers us lesser gods, lesser powers

Application Points

  • False Power (7)
  • God, however, has given us Himself
  • The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • It is here we find the ultimate source of power and majesty
  • When we consider what has done through Christ, and we consider how Christ has all power given to Him…we recognize it is in obedience we find true power
  • As such, turn toward God
  • See the world for what they are
  • They are truly powerless in their ways
  • As such, cling to the Living God, for He alone is powerful above all

Application Points

  • The Gospel of Christ
  • Origins
  • Fall
  • Redemption
  • Glorification