Refuge in a Dark World Back to all sermons


Date: January 17, 2021

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Isaiah

Scripture: Isaiah 26:1–27:1

Tags: Faith, God, judgment, Righteousness, Faithful, Destruction

Isaiah 26:1-27:1

Refuge in a Dark World

1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

“We have a strong city;

he sets up salvation

as walls and bulwarks.

2  Open the gates,

that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.

3  You keep him in perfect peace

whose mind is stayed on you,

because he trusts in you.

4  Trust in the LORD forever,

for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

5  For he has humbled

the inhabitants of the height,

the lofty city.

He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,

casts it to the dust.

6  The foot tramples it,

the feet of the poor,

the steps of the needy.”

26:1-6, ESV)

7  The path of the righteous is level;

you make level the way of the righteous.

8  In the path of your judgments,

O LORD, we wait for you;

your name and remembrance

are the desire of our soul.

9  My soul yearns for you in the night;

my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.

For when your judgments are in the earth,

the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

10  If favor is shown to the wicked,

he does not learn righteousness;

in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly

and does not see the majesty of the LORD.

11  O LORD, your hand is lifted up,

but they do not see it.

Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.

Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.

12  O LORD, you will ordain peace for us,

for you have indeed done for us all our works.

13  O LORD our God,

other lords besides you have ruled over us,

but your name alone we bring to remembrance.

14  They are dead, they will not live;

they are shades, they will not arise;

to that end you have visited them with destruction

and wiped out all remembrance of them.

15  But you have increased the nation, O LORD,

you have increased the nation; you are glorified;

you have enlarged all the borders of the land.

for the LORD has spoken.

(Isaiah 27:7-15, ESV)

16  O LORD, in distress they sought you;

they poured out a whispered prayer

when your discipline was upon them.

17  Like a pregnant woman

who writhes and cries out in her pangs

when she is near to giving birth,

so were we because of you, O LORD;

18  we were pregnant, we writhed,

but we have given birth to wind.

We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth,

and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.

19  Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.

You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!

For your dew is a dew of light,

and the earth will give birth to the dead.


(Isaiah 27:16-19, ESV)

20  Come, my people, enter your chambers,

and shut your doors behind you;

hide yourselves for a little while

until the fury has passed by.

21  For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place

to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,

and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,

and will no more cover its slain.

27: 1 In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.

(Isaiah 26:20-27:1, ESV)

Main Point

The true power of the faithful is not in themselves, but in God

When opposition comes against them, they will find their assurance in God

God is their foundation they are able to withstand the trials and flood

The world oppresses, but in the end the faithful will be vindicated by God

Application Points

Refuge in a Dark World

When we consider our current times it can be easy to become discouraged

It can be accurately described as spiritual darkness

As the world continues to spiral down into the pit many could conclude this is the end

Hope in the world is futile…because we see the merry-go-round of the nations which rise and fall

This may be the worst we have seen it

Is it really any different than any other time before?

The world is bathed in darkness, and has been since the Fall

Application Points

Refuge in a Dark World (2)

As Christians we shouldn’t at all be surprised over what we have been seeing in our society

We know this is the case because we know sinfulness and know the world and humanity are robed in sin

While many believe humanity is progressing…our time shows us it is not the case

That which can be purposed for good we very often purpose for evil

Why? Because of sin

Humanity defines things such as morality, justice, and righteousness arbitrarily

Everyone doing what is right in their own eyes

Application Points

Refuge in a Dark World (3)

This fails because the definitions always change

Our morality, justice, and righteousness becomes like reeds in the wind

We all know and want morality, justice, and righteousness to exist

Our own reasoning is not adequate enough to provide the foundation necessary for such concepts as these

This is what Isaiah has been telling us

Instead of turning toward God we continue to choose ourselves

The reason the way the world is the way it is today is because of such sinfulness

If this is true then this is the best we can do, forever changing on a whim, forever suspect to our own limitations

Application Points

Refuge in a Dark World (4)

If, however, God exists then we do not need to rely on our limited selves

We would have a stronghold to sustain us

We would know justice and righteousness for all time because it would come from an eternal source…God

All that Isaiah has proclaimed would be true

If it is true then we have no reason to worry about what is happening in our society

We would be able to stand against the torrents of a world falling apart, because God is stronger than the world

Application Points

Refuge in a Dark World (5)

Yet we need to be cautious, because overcoming does not being going unscathed

Those who belong to the world will punish those who belong to God

They will jeer, they will hurt, they will hinder

Isaiah describes it as such…the people are in distress because of the hindrances of the world

Yet where do we find our peace?

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

(Philippians 4:8-13, ESV)

Application Points

Refuge in a Dark World (6)

Isaiah began by recognizing the peace of God is found for those who belong to His city

Christ is our refuge, and He provides our peace

He has defeated death

In Him we find our peace and why we are content, because He is victorious

If Christ, who is the conqueror, did not escape the darkness, then how can we?

Yet…we know though the world seeks our destruction God gives us life through Christ

Application Points

Refuge in a Dark World (7)

Darkness is always the absence of what is good, and therefore it is no different from generation to generation

The questions, worries, and fears they have all been experience by those in the past

What kept those who have come before? That they knew God

The knowledge they had we have as well

We have trust that God has placed us exactly where we are for His intended purposes

We have a refuge in this dark world

It is not made by our hands, our reason, or our abilities

Our refuge in this dark world is God Himself

Application Points

The Gospel of Christ