[SW203] 09/25/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015
“Good News For Captives!”
Texts: Isaiah 52:7-12, Romans 10:14-15
The prophet of God joyfully declares, “I have good news for captives!” He sees into the future, sees captivity, and sees God’s good news!
But wasn’t the Bible written to God’s people, those who declare Him to be their God? And isn’t Isaiah a prophet of God, for His people?
Why are God’s people captives, in Isaiah’s vision?
Because they rejected His prophets who warned them to stop sinning against Him, or they would be captured and taken away from His presence (in this passage, Judah in Babylon, per Isaiah 48:20 and 52:1-2).
How did they sin? The people and even their priests went through the motions of worshiping God but in secret (and sometimes openly) worshiped gods who were no gods at all. So they worshiped Him but their hearts were far from Him.They worshiped what the world worshiped. And they oppressed the poor and needy, and cheated God, and one another.
But despite the fact that they are far from home, despite the fact that they have sinned against God, He now brings them this extremely good news by way of someone with lovely, beautiful feet (literally, feet that are at home):
v. 7 Reconciliation and salvation because of God’s dominion
v. 8 Jubilation because of restoration
v. 9 Celebration because of redemption
v. 10 Revelation to the world that God forgives those who sin against Him
He will rescue them to show the world that He is God, just as He rescued them from the Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt to take them to the promised land.
But the message is also a call for:
v. 11 Separation and purification
And all of this results in God’s:
v. 12 Protection (kept by the power of God, 1Peter 1:5)!
Who will make all of this possible for Judah? God!
Who makes this all possible today, for God’s people who sin against Him despite being warned?
God’s Son, His Christ! It pleased God for Him to take the punishment we deserve (Isaiah 53:5,10) for:
—- Going through the motions of worshiping God but in secret (and sometimes brazenly) worshiping gods who are no gods at all — even ourselves, our needs, our desires, our addictions.
— Worshiping Him while our hearts were far from Him.
— Worshiping what the world worships.
— Oppressing the poor and needy, and cheating God and one another.
It pleased God to have Jesus Christ take our punishment! How beautiful are the feet of the one who brings good news to all who claim they are God’s, good news of freedom from captivity!
Again, He rescues us just as He rescued His people in Egypt and in Babylon, to show the world that He is God!
But you must come out of your captivity. You must go out from where you’ve been. You must turn from your sin and back to God and Christ. Then, come out of your captivity! You have been rescued by God, through Jesus Christ!
But how can you believe if you have not heard?
And how will you hear unless this good news is preached? It seems this is a secret, good news rarely preached in today’s church.
I believe it is because it is impossible to preach unless the preachers have been rescued from their own captivity. You can’t preach what you haven’t experienced.
But turn now, all of you! And you will be:
—Reconciled, saved, because God is over all things, even your sin!
—Jubilant, because you will be restored!
— Celebrating, because you are redeemed!
— Separated and purified
— Kept/protected by the power of God
— And the world will see, by your rescue, that God forgives those who sin against Him, when they turn back to Him!
He will rescue you to show the world that He is God, and there is no other!