Friday, December 28, 2007

Glad I Am Not A Chicken

Isaiah 40:27-31 "Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

INTRODUCTION: There are those who reject the message of the Bible, that delight in trying to get others to do the same. The book of Isaiah is one of those battle grounds. Some would have us believe it is actually two books, written by two different men years apart. While they may find it hard to believe God could inspire writers to write, those of us who know the Lord of the Bible personally, recognize His words and trust them. ++ Is 40:10 ++ Actually God does with the book of Isaiah what he does in many books, he simply makes a natural division between two key thoughts. (i.e. Eph 1-3 wealth of the believer, Eph 4-6 the walk of the believer) Chapters 1-39 deal with God's promise of Judgment. Chapters 40-66 deals with God's promise of Deliverance or Salvation. The first section deals with heartache; the second, with comfort.

Chapter 40 is the transition chapter. It is one of the great chapters in the Bible. It begins with, vs. 1-2. In our text, God is offering comfort to the Israelites who have been taken into captivity and have very little or no hope of deliverance.

A modern day song writer, put it this way:

The God of the Mountain, is still God in the valley, When things go wrong, He’ll make them right, The God of the good times, Is still God in the bad times, The God of the day, is still God in the night.

Have you ever found yourself between a rock and a hard place? Have you ever got out on a limb and look back only to see someone about to cut the branch off behind you? If any of that sounds familiar, listen closely, this message is for you. (Read verse 31 again.)

I. The need to Wait upon the Lord.

I hate waiting. Patience is not my first, middle or last name. Yet the Bible is full of admonishments for us to learn to be patient. In Rom. 15:5, God is called a God of patients. In Rom 8 we are told that that patience is a prerequisite for hope. In Rom 5 we are instructed that tribulation is a prerequisite of patience. I Thessalonians reveals that patience and faith go together. In Titus 2 we are told that patience is mark of spiritual maturity. Heb 10:36 says, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Heb 12:1 “... and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” The book of James, in the first chapter rubs salt into the wound, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

I would not mind being patient if I did not have to wait. Be honest, some of you don't enjoy waiting either. John McDowell, the husband of our church secretary, a week or so ago had some possible skin cancer spots removed and tested. After waiting for the results he received a letter asking him to come in to the office for an appointment this past week. The doctor seemed in no hurry to tell them what was found. Thank the Lord the spots were nothing major to worry about. Someone ought to tell doctors that while waiting a person could develop an stomach ulcer and die. Some told me ulcers was a part of the plan to help provide job security for the doctor.

II. The hindrances to waiting.

God give us many descriptions of Christians in the Bible. Sheep, soldiers, athletes, newborn babies, etc. In our text we read how those that wait, shall one day fly like an eagle. Someone once said, “It is hard to fly with eagles when you are surrounded by a bunch of Turkeys. Someone else said, you have two choices in life you can scratch like a chicken or soar like an eagle. I am glad God did not call us a bunch of chickens.

Chickens are crowd followers. See one chicken running, is to see them all run. They don’t care where the first one runs too, they simple know if he is running they need to as well.

Chickens don’t look stupid they just act that way sometimes. Roosting chickens are too engrossed in roosting to care about what happens to those around them. (i.e. Grouse [type of wild chicken] in tree, shoot each one from the bottom up.)

Chickens are squabblers. A dozen chickens can walk by a bug and not care but let one chicken stop to peck and all will want a piece of that bug.

Chickens have little interest in heavenly things. Though God has provided them with wings, they are very content spending most of their time on the ground, scratching in dirt.

Greatest hindrances to waiting is our preoccupation with, “I have got to have it now, syndrome.” Pleasures first / pay later. It is what makes credit cards popular and bankers rich. It is sometimes called the, “me first” attitude.

III. Rewards of waiting.

1. Waiting renews our strength.

2. Allows us to fly above a troubled world.

3. Allows us to see things as they really are down below.

IV. Final thoughts about waiting.

1. God has a plan & purpose in making us wait. Though we may not understand why. It is best not to rush the washing machine. Don’t skip any cycles. The song writer said we’ll understand it all by and by. Another said, Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow, and he holds me in the palm of his hand.

2. Don’t expect to fly every time you go to God with a problem. Sometimes, His plan is to aid us in running without growing weary or helping us to walk without giving up.

3. The final flight on eagles wings is reserved for those who have made their reservation. I am a bargain hunter. When purchasing airplane tickets I shop every bargain sight on the Internet. One thing I have learned when you push that final button, to purchase, you had better be sure you have everything right because most bargain sites don’t allow for corrections after you arrive at the airport. Have you made you reservation for heaven? Are you sure your ticket is right?

By Jim Preston

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