Scorched Earth Isaiah 9:8-10:4
Last Sunday (3/9) Liam Goligher continued his morning sermon series "The Gospel According to Isaiah" with "Scorched Earth." In it he explains that, following on some of Isaiah's most lyrical and beautiful writing, this passage is dark and seemingly hopeless. Sometimes God sends plagues, sometimes help. Sometimes God sends a Word—and Isaiah is gripped by this Word; it spills out of him wherever he goes. We're dealing with Israel divided: Northern and Southern Israel. It's a standing reminder that the covenant community of God can be divided just as it was in the days of Isaiah.
The church is made up of human beings who are sinners by nature. As sinners we want to redefine God in categories that we are comfortable with. The image of God in us at this time is that of socially moderate, culturally pluralistic, and spiritually vague westerners. We want a tame God who doesn't bite. A lion of Judah who never roars. We want God to be quintessentially nice. Liam exposits from this passage the reason why, by definition, a loving God must also be an angry God. In this passage we have two pictures:
- God in the hands of a rebellious church.
- A rebellious church in the hands of God.
Seeking Worshippers John 4:16-26
Sunday evening Liam preached on John 4:16-26 "Seeking Worshippers"—this is the most recent sermon in his series "That You May Believe…" Liam reminds us that we've been watching a relationship develop between Jesus and this Samaritan woman, and we're at the point where Jesus reveals that he knows about her life and background, and yet he keeps talking to her with compassion.
In this context they start a conversation about worship, which provokes from Jesus perhaps the clearest thing he says about our worship. It says a lot about the way in which God is working in the world—no one is so unlikely or unworthy that God can't use them in a remarkable way. The woman assumes that God is to be worshipped. She assumes that worship takes place somewhere. Both Jesus and the woman are talking about worship as an intentional activity of God's covenant people gathered together somewhere. Jesus confirms by his reply that she is right to assume that God is to be worshipped intentionally and corporately by his covenant people. What does Jesus teach, then, positively about worship in relation to this conversation with the Samaratin woman?
- True worship is shaped by God's program.
- True worship is grounded on God's revelation.
- True worship is focused on God's glory.
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