In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah;
We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter
in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the
Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: For he bringeth down them that dwell
on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground;
he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of
the poor, and the steps of the needy. The way of the just is uprightness:
thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of
thy judgments, O Lord , have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to
thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee
in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy
judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn
righteousness. Isaiah 26:1-9
Also, read Isaiah 24
We are truly living in some dark times! We cannot
sugar-coat it, nor, can we call it something that it is not. Most people have
many questions with very few answers. However, I know the answer to life’s
questions. I said a few weeks ago I wanted to preach on Galatians 5:22.
We all know what that chapter and verse is all about…The fruit of the spirit
being, love, joy, peace…..
I looked up the word "peace" in the dictionary and came up
with this understanding: Peace, a state of quiet and tranquility, freedom
from disturbance or agitation, serenity. Peace is the third thing mentioned in
the “fruits of the Spirit.” As I said earlier, we are living in restless
times. People are watching the evening news to keep up with world events and
all the nastiness that is involved with it. We see the wickedness of men; we see
the economy going out of reach; and we see our families being destroyed. Jobs
are being taken from us and going to other countries. All the security we
thought we once had is spinning out of control. So, what do we do? We need
peace! We need tranquility in the midst of the storm.
How do we obtain that tranquility? Some say, “I will lose
myself in some form of addiction until the storm passes. I’ll drink myself
stupid with alcohol.” They are right about the stupid part; trying to lose
oneself in alcohol is stupid. Others will say, “I’m going to drug myself numb
and that will keep me from having to deal with things.” It is so sad that we
try to find peace in the wrong places.
I marvel at how thing that happened a thousand years ago
are relevant today. History does repeat itself. In the history of the world
everything runs in cycles.
Isaiah 24:1 -- Behold, the Lord maketh
the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down.
Doesn’t it feel like everything is turned upside down. Right is no longer right
and wrong is no longer wrong. Morality and righteousness have been thrown out
the back door and replaced with whatever feels good.
Isaiah 24:2 -- And it shall be, as with the people,
so with the priest, as with the servant, so with the master; as with the maid,
so with the mistress, as with the buyer, so with the seller, as with the lender,
so with the borrower, as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury
Everyone is being affected. Those who work from
week-to-week are barely skimping by. Some people are just one paycheck away
from poverty. All it would take to throw their home into total chaos is for the
place of business where they work to close down and move away. This turmoil is
affecting everyone and nobody is being excluded!
Isaiah 24:4 -- This is what the Lord has said: The
earth mourned and faded away; the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty
people of the earth do languish.
Some people think that the reason for our chaos is because
of the political parties of eight years Democrats and eight years of Republicans
brings it on. But it’s not what you think; the word of God tells us how we got
into this situation. Isaiah 24:5 -- The earth also is defiled under the
inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the
ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
I don’t care what anyone says; this country was based on
the love of God. The reason people left England and traveled here in the first
place was to have free will to worship God. They left to escape the rules that
forbid them from worshiping freely. They based their belief on the Lord God and
set up this nation as a Christian nation to serve a true God. That is why we
have prospered as a great nation for all these years. But now, we have hit the
summit and the only way to go now is down. In the last fifty years we have lost
our spiritual anchor. We look back and say, “It’s because they took prayer
out of the schools.” That is not entirely the reason; we have taken prayer out
of our homes and churches. It is true that it didn’t help things when they
removed prayer from our schools, but the downward trend has started and I am
afraid we haven’t bombed out yet. We have transgressed the laws, changed
the ordinance and have broken the everlasting covenant.
It seems like in this day and time people want to distance
themselves from God. They are religious and they worship; but, the true God is
not the one they worship. Some worship Scientology; some worship nature; some
worship Humanism -- being their own God, doing what makes them happy. Where is
the Lord Jesus Christ in all of this? We have broken the everlasting
covenant. We have said, “God, this is your country…God Bless America.” Then we
have turned our back on God. Now what happens to the nation? Psalm
9:16-17 -- The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked are
snared in the work of His own hands. The wicked shall be turned into Hell,
and all nations that forget God.
Everyone here will have to agree that this country has lost
its moral footing, and the decline has been steep. God said that He will
lay waste the nation that has broken the everlasting covenant. God said He would
lay waste a kingdom that changed the ordinance. Have you noticed while watching
the nightly news how states are running the bylaws that violate God’s laws? Can
you see what is happening? We are digging our own grave and don’t even realize
Isaiah 24: 6 -- Therefore hath the curse devoured the
earth and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the
earth are burned, and few men left.
"A few men left" is the key part in that verse. Now, go to
Isaiah 24:13 -- When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the
people, there shall be as the shaking of the olive tree, and as the gleaning
grapes when the vintage is done. In other words, Isaiah is simply
saying this, “Though all hell assails me, I shall not be moved. Not because I
am someone special, but because I stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.”
During these times there will be a few people left, a few
pockets of faith that will stand for God no matter what oppositions they may
have to face. No matter what laws are passed that violate God’s laws, as for
them and their house "they will serve the Lord." Those same people will stand
up and look the devil eye-to-eye, nose-to- nose and not back down, and not give
in; they will stand strong for God. The sad thing is there will only be a few.
When the people were going to harvest the olives, they would shake the trees and
all of the olives should fall down. However, if you look up in the tree there
would be a few left. That’s where I want to be when the earth is shaken,
hanging on for Jesus. This may sound silly, but I would rather be a nut in
the tree serving Jesus, than to be with the crowd on the ground -- Glory to
God! You can call me a nut if you want to -- "Sometimes I feel like a nut --
Sometimes, I don’t."
In the gleaning of grapes, the harvesters always managed to
leave a few on the vine. In the book of Ruth, it explains that they would
leave a few grapes for the needy and downtrodden. The Bible reminds us that the
entire world may be affected, but there will still be a few not affected. I
want to be in that few. I don’t want to go with the crowd, because I know where
the crowd is going. Look what’s going to happen!
Isaiah 24:14 -- And they shall lift up their voice,
and they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the
sea. In other words, they are not going to be ashamed to be counted for
the cause of Christ. It may be unpopular with some, but I am going to stand for
Jesus and I’m going to sing until He calls me home. I cannot stand on the
seashore and sing loud enough to overcome the volumes of the ocean, but I can
get my brothers and sisters to stand with me and we can sing the songs that
even the angels cannot sing…..Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound. Victory
in Jesus. Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. I’m On the Winning Side for Jesus…..
Let me say this….Hear me, Church…. What I described to you
in chapter 24 is the Judgment. Even if the Church stands together and sings in
the same voice, it will not avert God’s judgment. Folks, regardless of the
belief some have, this world is not going to go on forever. It will fall.
Isaiah 24:20 -- The earth shall reel to and fro like
a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof
shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
The good days are behind us. We may experience revivals in
our churches and we may see a sweeping revival in our nation; but I am telling
you, the good days are behind us. Judgment is coming. Physically, good days may
be behind us, but spiritually, the best is yet to come!
Go over to Isaiah 25:6 -- And in this mountain shall
the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines
on the lees, a fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined…When
the King James version uses the word "fat," it means "the very best of
everything -- the best wine, the best of the feast, the best of everything."
Isaiah 25:7 -- And he will destroy the in this
mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is
spread over all nations. What is the veil? It is sin. In that day God
will swallow up death into victory. And the Lord God will wipe away tears.
Church, it’s not here yet, but I don’t think it is too far away. Judgment is
coming! I don’t care how you believe in that, I have studied the Bible long
enough to believe in Revelation and that what it says is going to happen will
Isaiah 26:1 -- In that day shall this song be
sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for
walls and bulwarks. In other words, the cities of the world shall be
cast out and made desolate, but the City of God will stay secure. Though the
enemy may tear down the walls of Danville, Lexington, Chicago, New York, and all
the other great cities of the nation; God’s city will always remain strong.
Isaiah 26:2 -- Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth
the truth may enter in. Not everybody will have access to the
city. Only those with their names inscribed in the Lamb’s Book of Life
will enter that city.
Well, Preacher, What shall we do between now and then?
Isaiah 26:3 -- Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed
on thee: because He trusteth in thee… When the storm is raging, the
Christian has peace in the heart. A sense of quiet and tranquility. We cannot
control any of our “what ifs”; only God has the answer, but even in our
inabilities we can rest in the knowledge of knowing, our Heavenly Father has the
perfect peace. We need nothing else.
We may go bankrupt as a nation; terrorists may attack us;
we may go through a depression; but we can have peace through it all if we keep
trusting in Jesus. Keep looking up, Church, and place your whole trust in your
Pastor JR Fields
October 26, 2008