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Logo of Talking Points, 1st Quarter 2021: Isaiah

02 Crisis of Leadership

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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Pastors Kameron DeVasher & Mark Howard share study & teaching tips for the Quarter 1, January 9 lesson, “Crisis of Leadership.”

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  • December 10, 2020
    10:45 AM
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I'm Cameron division and I'm Mark Howard and this is talking points we are now in the 2nd lesson of our 1st quarter of this New Year Isaiah is the book of the Bible we're focusing in on and we've already had a fantastic study last week and this week looks to be no different in fact and it's very important themes are brought out we would do well to heed of the edge of our day so Mark when she was well why don't you start us off with a word of prayer and then give us a. Bird's eye view of where we're headed this week that spray together Heavenly Father we are thankful for your word and the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth even understanding in spiritual things when you pray for the spirit guides today as we study this lesson we pray Lord you help us to make the practical application on our lives it would help us too. Become more closely committed to you and the work that you've given us to do we ask and pray these things in Jesus name. All right so these are obviously we're cutting chronologically going through here so it gives us a little little context here where we will mix of things chronologically is a little bit loose just from a standpoint of we started last week and I say I want to work in assists 6 this week in the bag a little bit there's a reason that I believe that Dr gain jumped to his is 6 because this is so really it's a foundational piece is kind of is meaning is that a beginning of the whole thing isn't it yeah and it's in it course it talks about a crisis of leadership it was a crisis in the history of Israel during or shortly after the death of Ziad King as we talked about how the. Ministry spanned the reigns of his son Jotham and then he has and then Hezekiah and so this is the 1st of those kings was didn't rain very long in Aziz ministry before he passed off the scene and as I was a faithful King for much of his ministry and a very loved king in Israel and then toward the end of his reign he actually had tried to offer incense in the temple or to take the role of a priest and was stricken with leprosy for the remainder of his life itself. I mean you know when you have confidence in a leader especially when a leader is a good leader that can be a little bit of a shake up and then we talked about the times that Israel was going through where you had the rise of the Assyrian power and so all of this stuff is going on and it was at this time that King as iodized so it launches Israel into this crisis of leadership obviously you know when you have a it's different when you have for example even in the Aventura tour in the United States you have I can say elections are always going to want to have been the policy but the idea is that you know it's different when a leader there's a process to get a new leader that's different than when a leader dies and suddenly you're like a where are we going to get a leader from so they're in a situation like our leader died and we've got of course you know you have the sons and people of the tribe of Judah those of that lineage that have replaced it's not you know there's a little bit of a process but. But clearly a crisis of leadership well plus if there's a crisis leadership and there's the external pressures going on tell the world you're all right so there's a it's not just any old change of leadership there was a particular pressure right now to look to someone we got it there was there were there were some trouble there right yes anyway so this is the setting that we find ourselves in and we're looking at that death of us and the immediate effect of that on on the nation of Judah so Israel and Judah and so our 3 talking points are number one don't put your trust in princes and has drawing the language of the Psalms we'll see that in a moment and that's drawing also from Savage in Sunday's lesson and then key point number Talking point number 2 is God's glory is our motivation for mission it's interesting we see this taking place actually in the ministry of Isaiah and. In his sleep using the rivers of idea and that I think spans Monday Tuesday and Wednesday as a lesson and then finally our last talking point is that grieving the Spirit is our choice not God's choice to talk a little bit about grieving the Holy Spirit the m. pardonable sin and I think because we've been doing this for a little while with our Sabbath school programs but sometimes I think of the fact that we covered this before we talked about the grieving of the spirit we talked about this are we talked about that and I forget and I think I'm bringing this up for the sake of the teachers and lessons that. There will be things you know when a new quarterly but it's written by ork or the contributor is a different person so you may have the Point same point made again but keep this in mind and you may have different people in your 7 school every week too who need to hear less and so sometimes we're tempted to think well we cover that like. So how many times you go to like Oh I heard the one about Jesus already covered a beer or exhaust with Seems that repetition is lurking in the deep into the impression so this. These are important things to talk about so that 3rd point is about grieving the Spirit the import of all sin and it's our choice not God God doesn't choose to take the spirit away as much as we choose to have him taken away Ok so let's go back to the 1st one then don't put your trust in princes that's a little bit to me that strikes me as I mean obviously we know that language from the souls but like saying that if there is a princes is to be the trusted person right isn't better hope well song 46 verse 3 which is in or notes here says don't put your trust in princes nor in a Son of man in whom there is no help and you make a good point well princes are established to you no leaders are there to trust but I believe the point the Bible's trying to get at is especially from a Christian perspective a good leader is only the front man for the true leader in other words I've had the role of elite We're leaders right now in the conference office god forbid people be looking to me or you we look to God and we want other people to look to God and when we teach we want them to look to God So I think the lesson is trying to say and I think the case with a Zion and other kings of Israel I think the case with leaders today in our church or in the world there are cases where people will look to the person. Instead of looking to God. In Israel why Moses why do you lead us out into the wilderness Moses is the one who brought in the pillar of fire and opened the sea and in fact that's what goes in trouble wasn't we bring water from this rock very well you brought you do it yourself right that's the problem so anyway so there's this idea of don't put your trust in princes and they had apparently become so confident or co-factor bowl with their earthly leadership that they had lost sight of their heavenly Soffer That's right and in just a little bit the lesson gives a little bit of the setting I'm just going to point number 4 on Sunday's lesson at the bottom of the page it says the death of a Zion about 740 b.c. marks a major crisis in the leadership of God's people the death of any absolute ruler makes his or her country vulnerable during the transition of power but Judah was in special danger because to grasp a leisure the 3rd had ascended the throne of Assyria few years before in $745.00 b.c. and immediately went on the warpath which made his nation an invincible super power that threatened the independent existence of all nations in the Near East in this time of crisis God encouraged Isaiah by showing the prophet that he was still in control and we talked about this a little bit you were pointing out the idea and it brings it out here the death of any absolute ruler right kings were absolute rulers why in the world would Israel God's people have chosen an absolute ruler well so why they did it I don't know but he 1st sandwich after 8 or 7 it goes back to the history of this because it wasn't always the case that Israel had an earthly king they had judges they had prophets and whatnot but God had been their software and that was why he brought it about Sinai gave them his law says you will be my people I write you got but by the time you get to 1st Samuel Chapter 8 you're not going to get in the history of all that but basically the old of the said said look we're done with this system without earth if you look at all the other nations they have a King we want that too and God I mean in his infinite wisdom does not. Draw them for their insolence He's like All right listen to what they're saying Give them but warn them that this is what is going to happen if that and lo and behold as we now read in Isaiah all that chaos and that comes from looking to well and if you notice that every time a king comes up the whole country takes on the personality and direction of the king with his good one or bad one and here he is I was good but then he says bad now he's dead what do we do and they've lost sight of God Himself as the sovereign the king of kings if us right and so God evidently in Isaiah 6 takes this opportunity this leadership crisis to redirect their attention that's what it appears to and I think that's what the lesson is bringing out in facts and that's what even says it in verse one in the year that king use iodide comma I saw the Lord sitting on a throne right it's a clear contrast there focused on the death but I was much it was drawn to the living King haven't thrown That's right and someday Quarterly says the king is dead long live the king play on words there because let's get to looking at the real king and so yes sees the Lord sitting on a throne that's an accident and he sees God in all his glory what a contrast that must have been from the earthly King as well and even the best diversity can see exactly was drawn out and Monday's lesson the quote there from Park prophets and King's Speech the 07 about 2 thirds the way down the page and a spirit graph as Isaiah beheld this revelation of the glory and majesty of his lord he was overwhelmed with a sense of the purity and holiness of God How sharp contrast between the matchless perfection of his creator and the sinful course of those who with himself long been numbered among the chosen people of Israel and Judah so you imagine he's looking at u.c.i. he's looking his people he's looking at these other kings threatening he's looking at his own experience and then he's shown God in His holiness on his throne and the automatic response. Was his undoing I am undone yes which was shocking we're going to get that under Point number 2 in point number one the idea of putting not putting your trust in princes I mean everything you're saying like once you see the Lord in His glory what you want another small everything really insignificant but that's what we are and so the Lord is trying to get them to see in the midst of all this crisis and uncertainty you don't need to be worried I'm on the throne I'm in control and then the end will see the effect of that vision but the 1st point there is is not to put your trust we should never put our trust in any earthly person as much as we do look to and we there are people in positions of authority where the parents are whether they be teachers or whether they be leaders in the church or leaders in community or government yet God is the ultimate authority and should be treated as so while God is a God of order he's the one on the top of the higher that's our Sasha and that leads us into Number 2 God's glory is our motivation for mission in the way this motivation worse. It almost sounds a little bit to try in in the talking point because there's a process that happens here and you touched about the 1st one and I've got the ball point here beholding Christ we talk about beholding Christ and when people talk about it today in the evidence church just the whole Jesus almost it's almost as if you get this at the Ariel they did. Oh we're just going to hold Jesus and it's like any entry way from mysticism osis like this well it's like you're going to have this warm euphoric feeling but you don't find that ever in Scripture when a person beholds the Lord the 1st thing that you just mention with as it is he said I am undone in the word and he remains destroyed yeah I'm destroyed decimated obliterated I've just seen the Lord I have a man of unclean that and I do well in the midst of a people of it and my eyes have seen the King and also. Or. You know and so you think of Daniel who saw the Lord and said All my comeliness was turnin me into corruption Using think of Peter on the boat with Jesus when he saw you get a glimpse of the glory of Christ in a catch of the fish and he fell down at his knees and he said Well Lord Depart from me for I'm a sinful man like this is the reaction the 1st reaction we see when somebody truly Goldsboro Well I think about some of the commonness that we refer to deep religious things or some of the trite and flippant kind of like. Almost Well I'm thinking of like some of the music but given the whole thing about music but some of the showers of the lyrics and the superficially ality of the religious experience that's conveyed there yeah you know like I'm going to do this I would do them just before she is this would clap or geez you know like that although I only imagine what is going to be like I'm going to dance and I know you're going to fall on your face and that's what's going on there isn't like and we kind of lose sight of the holiness and splendor and glory and purity of God and our lower estimation when we meet a real we need to recalibrate our lives to his truth and here we're going to flesh that out a little bit because what you said like this is the problem that so many people have and it is a byproduct of cheap Christianity is that you say you're going to fall on your face is a dead man I can imagine multitudes of Christians just being rude that's a revolting you just said like funny you know that makes it sound so miserable Christianity and what's happening is there a lot of people have never experienced the joy that comes through being stricken Yeah with humility at the presence of the Lord I'm thinking about and I told you about the late Pastor Tony Zerilli on a wood told the same thing you talking about people who say I don't need the Bible I talk to the Lord the Spirit leads me any talk about a guy he said you know I was just talking to Lord this morning while I was shaving and he said you are shaving and you just had this conversation with the Lord he said the Bible the Filner face is like you mentioned so well we don't like that fall in your face because it's like well God doesn't want us to be afraid of Him God does and and we agree with you through that and there is a joy that comes through that but you mention the point that Isaiah is the messenger of the Lord Himself right of all people who you can't say well he did have a relationship with Jesus and that's right so I know he had a relationship with Jesus and yet well as me he says for him undone in the point being. That if you have the Lord's holiness results in humility and dependence not a good e elation and in fact we see this on Tuesday as a lesson statements from prophets and kings page through the 2nd paragraph down it says standing as it were in the full light of the divine presence within the inner sanctuary he is a or realize that if left to his own imperfection in the fish and sea he would be utterly utterly utterly unable to accomplish the mission to which he had been called so interestingly he 1st he is that person you know there's a transition point there yes there's a personal revelation of his own unworthiness but then he realizes how inefficient incapable he is and what it does is it produces a level of dependency on the Lord that nothing else would have and you would think that if I see the Lord he's so much purer so much holier so much higher than I am that that would be discouraging and then he's going to give you a mission this is the goal of the whole world and you realize you can't do it that you would leave discouraged you would leave like don't try and like well it's he's too holy missions too big and too small and too dirty and I think oftentimes people think that's what would happen if you emphasize our sinfulness or God said Let us when the reality is there's something inspiring about the fact that I can let go of any pretense to my own capacity because I'm done done there's nothing in me if this is going to get done it's only through your glory and let's you know clear when we're on done that was not a revelation to God it was a revelation to us well it's like well no because we can't because then we're going to feel what I'm going to feel different when I realize that God has what God has known all along you know I think in this is where this is where the true. Peace comes in Christianity you know that wait a minute the God who's calling me who loves me who's appealing to me. But boy he finds this out no he already knew it and he still called you and he still loved you need you no stone of saying in this what we see in eyes is experience. The Lord addresses when eyes is was me I'm undone I'm Him the Lord addresses it the cry of impurity and I have the Sonos by touching his lips with a call from the altar and thus in the in the contests he says purging his sins so this this in purity of the Lord His I've made your sin pass from you and the lesson makes a great point in the 3rd paragraph on Tuesday that he touched the lips because the lips signify not only speech but also the entire person who utters it James as you contain the tongue as a perfect man yeah so you know the Lord through the symbolism shows that despite the unworthiness of man he's willing to purge away all man's iniquity and he does this Fry's a and it's this and I notice the steps that happen this moves him to this this volunteer ng Well the volunteering is let's bring that because obviously the 1st part of his experience with the Lord is His own recognition of his and righteousness and his undoing Right right but this in verse 18 says I also in addition to us are heard the voice of the Lord saying whom shall I say and who will go for us then I said Here I am send me now it would be one thing that the Lord says pick yourself up oh I'm going to send you you go you so I guess I have and he said to Jeremiah I ever danger as a prophet Nations he could have just said look go and so we kind of I maybe read into this a little something but the Lord doesn't necessary need Isaiah to go he's looking for something anybody and Isaiah from his undone position then speaks up and volunteer I think a good point to he's he's not looking for anybody he's looking for somebody who's willing you could have appointed anybody so he but the Lord knows that the effectiveness in ministry is not dependent on him. Much we know or think we know or out with our background and experience and all it is it's our willingness to go Yes And so rather than just order him to go he makes that point in why does eyes there respond the way he does why is he so quick to respond it was because of this process this this experience of beholding the Lord's glory and seeing his own personal sin led him to how in the world is he going to experience the joy of forgiveness if he doesn't even see and acknowledge his personal soon so that as much as we don't like and I was going to make this point in the book steps to Christ because again once we talk about beholding Christ another way we talk about it is is beholding the cross uplifting the cross we hear that a lot today let's lift up the cross the best. Chapter in all my it's writings you ever read on lifting up the cross and its effect is the chapter incur in the steps to Christ called repentance you read repentance chapter and it repeatedly talks about the effect of beholding Christ and it is just that effect to see the 1st thing is to see our own unworthiness but it's that which draws us to the Lord right as the one who in this what we see in eyes is experience and then the Lord freely cleanse touches lives with a cold meal to purifies him and what it says is response Lord hearing him send me right can't stay quiet he can't sit still now he's got to go for the Lord paralleling have this in the notes to it from the experience of self if you want to David and his repent Yes he says restore to me the joy of salvation he has this like yes he had had that name from the prophet and that crushing realisation he goes the Lord but as a result of that healing that spiritual renewal he says then I will teach transgressors your ways you've got something to say no and you can't shut it up you know this reminds me of a white quote This is from desire pages 195 every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary if you have a true a following of Jesus experience a true conversion it is not like. It's almost not optional for you not that he's making you do it but it's coming from your bones right now I gotta get out and tell this and so it seems to be this is when the opportunity is given who will go for us I say is right there let me let me go he's eager for it so I put in the notes here in it's actually not in a note I should add it in I jot it in is that humbling and it is counter intuitive as it is humbling impure if occasion is what produced joy that humbling expected joy of salvation that David talked about the joy in experience came through that humbling experience that he started with by seeing his own sinfulness and his need for the Lord because it kept him dependent and when we're dependent we're closer to the Lord the closer we are to. The Lord the more we experience that joy in what makes the point prompting Kings page 310 that this is surance that God gives him through this experience of this vision this is surance of the final fulfillment of God's purpose brought courage to the heart of Isaiah what the earthly powers are a themselves against Juda what though the Lord's messenger meet with opposition resistance like who cares all the earthly powers and come we give you all the opposition they had seen the king the Lord of Hosts he had heard the song of the Sarah from the whole earth is full of His glory He had the promise that the messages of Jehovah to backsliding Judah would be accompanied by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the prophet was nerved for the work before him I love that phrase the profit was nerved you know so before this like he might have been even timid he might have been a little sketchy but after this experience he's like sit me let me out of this right his nerves were so God's glory is a motivation for mission and it's that that entire expresses that experience we have beholding the glory of God and what it does to us and that leads us into the 3rd point that that lesson addresses because after this. Encounter Isaiah sees the Lord who will go for me who will go for us rather here I am Lord send me that Louis is Ok here's what I want you to go and say and this is picking up from Thursday's lesson in verse 9 it says Chapter 6 verse 9 of Isaiah he said don't tell this people keep on hearing but don't understand keep on seeing but don't perceive make the heart of this people dull in their ears heavy and shut their ears Lest they see with their eyes and hear their ears and understand with their heart and return and be healed. Then I said Lord how long he said until the cities are laid waste without inhabitant the house without a mandolin is utterly desolate the Lord has removed men far away and said it was there so it's like and that is what the lesson calls it is the appalling a purely because in this this is Hope is like Oh you're all going to be miserable all right but it's you have to read into this and understand is like for example verse 10 make the heart of this people dull in their ears happy how the rolls eyes is supposed to make the heart like we always talk about how we can change a person's heart so how is he going to make their home though well though what the Lord is trying to tell to prepare him for the consequences of him giving his message the hearts are going to become he's going to make the Hearts dull by preaching the message of truth in what the Lord speaking to in the lesson brings this out is the the effect of rejecting the Spirit of God and his appeal like it's a choice that we make and so what we put as Point number 3 is grieving the Spirit. Is our choice not God's it's not God who says you know what fine I'm going to make them so they can't hear no right he's going to give the message but the lesson brings this out this way on Thursday in fact why don't you read the 1st couple paragraphs on Thursday and I think it just really makes this point sure and lest we think that I say I heard role more that this passage is an important Jesus side of this pastor to explain why he taught in parables so pause right there for a 2nd but that's a really interesting point because this is a direct quote Jesus inferred when he was teaching hard hearted people to that's right because this is what he understood to be true God does not want any to perish 2nd Peter chapter 3 verse none which explains why he sent Isaiah to the people of Judah and Jesus to the world God's desire is not to destroy but to save eternally But while some people respond positively to his appeals others become firmer in their resistance Nevertheless God keeps on of. Healing to them in order to give them more and more opportunities to repent the more they resist the heart of they become so in that sense what God does to them results in the hardening of their hearts even though he would rather that these actions soften them God's love toward us is unchanging our individual response to his love is the crucial variable excellent. And literally goes into talks about probably the most famous example of hardening the heart is yes if Moses speaking to Pharaoh right and fight Pharaoh has the gall or no right says I will harden Pharaoh's heart right well illustrated 9 times he says he's going to harness heart other times he says he hara very hard in his heart so which is it and the answer is yes the Lord desired to see God's people let go and Pharaoh is more than welcome be part of the letting go process to be Colibri with him and that's right but God's purpose was going to get done in giving that message plainly now puts the onus on Pharaoh to make a decision are you going to be with me in this or are going to be against me in this and so when the Lord hardens heart it's not through a rack you list like. Decree. Even a Calvinistic like I determined your last is predestination No no he's giving him the opportunity but he knows the in from the beginning saying this is the what's going to result and sure enough that's what happened but my people are still going to go well I'm going to ask you a question maybe a sensitive question as a pastor have you ever known. Let me put it this way in my ministry there are times when I skip it like I knew there was something I had to say very plainly but I had to bide my time on when to say it because I knew that as soon as I did some people would just plain dig their heels in as much as what I said was right in needing to be said. I think about that in the term of when it's saying here that you know this is Jesus quoted this as the reason why he spoke in parables in other words he spoke in parables and he couched certain things you know they came a point his ministry was I was as now you're speaking plainly where he couched it so as to try not to the best Yeah good because there comes a time so I think it's it's important for those sharing a message to to try not to get the ire of people up although there comes a time when you're well and you think you know but but I also I want to do the flip side and say the other point is we as individuals need to you know some people maybe hear what I'm saying is a yeah pastors and always have to point it out so plain now wait a minute we the bottom line is here here is that grieving the Spirit is our choice and it doesn't matter how the pastor or anybody says it people might say something wrong we might perceive as wrong but the way we take it is our choice right and if it's true and right we need to follow it well and you've got to remember this is in the context of Isaiah who you are said cry aloud to Sarah not right but his goal in that again is not punitive as much as just to punish and to reveal the wrath of God is like I'm crying aloud and sparing I'm give you the whole truth so that you can make a choice so that you yes that's the goal is always repentance Right right and I love Albert Barnes commentary on this is on if you just for 30 repulses not to grieve the Holy Spirit he makes the point that all that is needful for a Christian to do in order to be eminent in piety is to yield to the gentle influences which would draw him to prayer and to heaven the Holy Spirit is always willing and appealing we need to not fight him and I was the voice of God speaking to his people is the Holy Spirit speaking to his people in the Lord speaking to us today through his word and through his prophet and we need to be careful not to reject that message or those messages any more than the people were in Isaiah's day to reject his message that taps. True Well there's a concluding statement that if you're studying this in a small group setting I would encourage you to read that firebase summary paragraph us as at a time of insecurity when the weakness of human leadership is painfully obvious I say I was given a grand vision of the supreme leader of the universe petrified by inadequacy but purified empowered by Mercy I was ready to go forth as gods and Bassett or into a hostile world and if you can't fight it out location of that today we're just not looking right now because the Lord has the same message for us and it would be to our detriment to ignore it and we need to be about God's business so can you give us a word a closing prayer today that's pretty other father in heaven we are so thankful for the messages you have given throughout history nor speak to us still in these last days we thank you for the messages of the prophet Isaiah and that Lord they sometimes find conflict in our hearts and are in resistance in our hearts is needed to people in Isaiah's day I just pray you would give us soft hearts and willing hearts obedient hearts a willingness to to yield to you and follow where you the last is to this and more if we ask him prayed in Jesus name.

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