VN520523 8-13-17 God Treasures Those Who Reverence Him Doyle
Isaiah chapter 33 verses 1 through 6; “Woe to you, O destroyer.” He’s talking to the Assyrians which are coming down. Isaiah is prophesying by God’s Holy Spirit. He’s saying “Woe to you, O destroyer. While you were not destroyed; And he who is treacherous, while others did not deal treacherously with him.” He’s still addressing the Assyrians. He said, “As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed; As soon as you cease to deal treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you.” Then Isaiah’s talking on behalf of the people of God. “O LORD, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their strength every morning, Our salvation also in the time of distress. At the sound of the tumult peoples flee; At the lifting up of Yourself nations disperse. Your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers; As locusts rushing about men rush about on it.”
And he’s just talking. He’s saying you Assyrians, you think you’re so great. You’re getting away with destruction. You’re double-dealing, two-timing, back-stabbing people. Your day is coming and when it does come God will rise up and you guys are going to flee and you’re going to run back and forth. Over all the things you thought were precious you’ll see that it wasn’t near that precious. That’s why it says they rush about on it. “The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and he will be the stability of your times.” Now he’s talking to the Jewish people. “A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge,” but notice what the Lord says or what the Lord treasures. “The fear of the LORD is his treasure.” The fear of the Lord is the treasure of God. He’s talking to people and it still applies today. Remember, there is the literal meaning of it. He’s talking directly to the Assyrians but it also comes down to us today.
He’s saying there are double-dealing treacherous people out there that you cannot trust and they will sneak up on you and you might not be aware of it, but remember what the children of Israel said, what Isaiah was saying. But Lord, we trusted in You, we waited for You. We waited. He realizes if you read the Book of Isaiah, he realizes that the people of Israel were not the perfect people but they are still the people of God and when they chose and they came to their senses and they said we will wait upon You God said alright, the time is coming when those who are treacherous will be dealt with. Those who are back-stabbing will be dealt with and this is reinforced again in Isaiah 10, Isaiah 14, and in the Book of Habakkuk, and it’s actually dealt with in Revelation and other places. It’s reinforced by God saying the people who are treating you treacherously, you keep trusting Me because I will take care of it and that always gets me. It’s like when I see this happening, especially when I’m the victim, I’m going what on God’s green earth is going on here? Why don’t you just destroy the destroyer? Why do you let me get God smacked? Bam. You know, it’s just gosh awful sometimes when this stuff happens to us. Gosh awful, God smacked. Where is my vocabulary?
You know, all this stuff happens and I’m just standing there dazed and confused through all of it and yet God permits evil to happen and here is the reason why. Evil is a great motivator. Evil is a great thing to get you to turn to God. When things are really going bad what do you do? Hello God. I’m here. You haven’t forgotten me have you? I know it’s been awhile but. Okay, so I haven’t been to church for awhile, I haven’t prayed in awhile, I haven’t read the Bible even longer, ignore the dust, but that is a great motivator to cause us to turn to God and that is one of the reasons God permits evil to go on, but even then He says alright, now that I’ve got you back on track. He’s telling the other people who have treated you poorly or harshly, He says you’re not going to get away with it. You might think you’re getting away with it and to us the believers He’s saying it might look like you’re getting away with it but you trust Me. They’re not going to get away. You just watch. You just wait.
Lot was one of those people. He moved into Sodom and Gomorrah. He got used to it. He learned how to navigate through the city. Things were going alright for him and his and then the cities got invaded and he was captured and drug off. Abraham gathers his people, gathers a few others, goes up and attacks the kings. He wins back everything that they took including his nephew Lot. At that point Lot should have said that’s not the best place to be in. Look at what happened to me by association. I think I will move away, but he didn’t and eventually the angels literally had to come and grab him by the hand and his kids and his wife and take them out of the city. Literally grabbed, take out of the city and say there it is, head to the hills because these people have been dealing treacherously and the cry has come up against them and God is going to judge them. Now, isn’t that a pity that a lot of times we have to wait till the human cry gets so bad that God says alright, it’s time for a judgment? And actually a lot of people believe and teach that and there’s nothing wrong with this. Like I said there is the literal truth.
Lot was captured. Lot was taken literally out of the city by the hand and led forth, but one of the things that this applies, and it applies to us today is that at the second coming how many people have made themselves so comfortable in this world? How many Christians are so comfortable in this world because we’re in the world but we’re not of it, but so many of us live as though we are part of this world. We have become comfortable. We desire what they desire. We look at the things they look at and one of these days God is going to come down and send His angels and literally grab us and take us out. Remember in the Book of the Revelation the church of Laodicea Jesus stands at the door and knocks, bam bam bam bam bam. That means the biggest part of that church is not saved. The biggest part of that church does not have a personal relationship with Jesus because He said if you open the door I will come into you and He said also I will never leave nor forsake you so that means He wasn’t through that door to begin with. There’s so many churches out there who think they have got it aced because they are doing the things they think that God has required of them when actually they have no personal relationship and they are going to be the ones that are left behind and they will be God smacked.
Now, a lot of times people will say yes, I know. I know. I know this isn’t right. There was a lady who lives away from here. I can’t say what town. Let me be a little more vague, what city, and I ran into a former pastor over there and he was talking and he said I know this lady and she always says well, I know we’re not supposed to talk about other people but… and launches. I started laughing. I said her name and he goes how do you know her? I said oh yeah, because that was her favorite way of introducing any subject. I know I’m not supposed to but, and a lot of people say I know I shouldn’t be doing this but, or I just can’t stop, or… and they give me all these reasons for whatever it is they’re doing and it can be unhealthy things they are doing, and they will stand there and say you don’t understand Doyle. You just don’t understand. You never had this problem and I’m going I never had the money to have that problem, but they say no, this is the worst thing. You can’t get away from it, you can’t get away from it, and then the doctor will walk in and say oh, by the way you have got such and such an issue problem and something has got to be done because you are standing right there looking death in the face, and then they’ll come back to me and they’ll say do you know I just quit that cold turkey right there. I just walked right out of that doctor’s office and I quit and it never crossed my mind again and I’m going good for you.
What I’m getting at is all this stuff that’s going on is evil and it’s a great motivator. We know a lot of times what we’re supposed to do and yet we don’t do it until we’re shoved to that point where it’s like our backs are against the wall. There was a guy, and if I say it right, I think his name is Rabbi (Isaac Zelber). He was born in Russia in 1917. He wanted to study what we call the Old Testament and he tried and he tried and the communists were taking over and caused problems and he ended up in a Russian gulag which is a prison. He was abused because he wanted to study the Word of God and finally in 1979 he got free, migrated to Israel. He got off the plane. The first thing he did, the first guy he met he walked up, he hugged the guy, a great big old bear hug, I should have said Russian bear hug, Russian bear hugged the guy and he said I want to know what do you think of this quote, quote, quote, quote in the Bible? What do you think it means? The guy goes I don’t know what you’re talking about. He goes oh, okay. Well, how about this over here and he quotes some more stuff and the guy goes I still don’t know what you mean and this rabbi started crying.
It wasn’t out of joy that he was in Israel. He was crying and he let it be known the reason for his tears was all this time he was in Russia and being abused because of his desire to study the Word of God and now he was in a nation that not only permitted it but actually would encourage people to do this and all his Jewish cousins and brothers or however you want to look at it, all these Jewish people who had migrated there didn’t care. Did not care and he’s like I can’t believe that you’ve got all this opportunity and you don’t care? He was very upset, but you’ll notice this, that God treasures. What is a treasure? A treasure is something that is so rare, so unique that you value it. I don’t treasure coal. I don’t. I don’t treasure air. There’s lot of it. There’s a lot of things that I don’t treasure in this world and God is saying in that verse I read in Isaiah, He says I treasure those who reverence Me. I treasure those who fear Me. I treasure those who listen to what I say and act accordingly, and it must be a rare thing for God to treasure it that much that He puts it in His Word that He treasures the people who reverence Him.
Up in heaven He is saying this is a real treasure. I’ve got people who are saved but the ones who fear me are the ones that I just treasure them so, so, so much and it’s like the Jewish people, most people don’t. Most of us are Christians and we say we reverence God. We don’t swear, we don’t cuss, we don’t date girls that do and all that kind of stuff we say, but still how much more could we do? How much more time could we actually show forth our reverencing? The question that would come to mind, and I’m always talking about the mercies of God and the grace of God and how we have to have faith, but now we need to turn to what James was getting into and he’s saying if you’ve got this faith, if you’ve really got this reverence towards God you will be showing it. “Faith without works is dead.” You should be showing your reverence towards God. It should be something that we are doing. Let me read to you really quick Matthew 25:34-39.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick or in prison and come to You? The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'” If we reverence God we need to be motivated to feed, clothe, help the people that cross our paths.
Now, I want to make a little qualification here. Because there are these verses that say he who does not work does not eat, it also says he who steals get a job, make some money and then take that money and help other people who lack. So, it’s not just freely throwing your money out there to everybody. You help the people that you’re prompted to help. If you see somebody and they’re hungry if you’re prompted and God says help that person, help that person. Put it out there, but don’t help somebody because you feel guilty. We are taught to feel guilty and, therefore, we say well, I’ll do that for that person not because we feel the Spirit of God prompting us, but we’re prompted by guilt. We don’t want to be an enabler of people who could give up their stealing and get a job to help others. We don’t want to be enablers of people who are able bodied to do something and are just mooching off the system. Yes, God will see what we’re doing and He will know our motivation but we need to be following the Spirit of God like that balloon shooting up that string. We need to be following the path that He lays for us, trusting Him to get us to the place we need to go. We need to be motivated just because God says that we are to do these things.
That is the true reverence and fear of God and let me point this out real quickly. If we don’t do tha,t God will use evil to motivate us and we do not want to be motivated by that method. We will not enjoy it. Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus we thank You. Cause us to really hear that still small voice. Help us to read Your Scriptures and understand. Help us to reverence You in such a way that we don’t need motivation but, Father, when that motivation does happen to us give us the courage to stand there and say God, at this point I do trust You. I do trust You and I will wait and I will watch because I will see You turn the tables on the destroyer. I will see you turn the tables on the treacherous. I will see you turn the tables on those people who do not show mercy. I will see that and I will know it’s the hand of God. Father, all glory and honor to You. Speak to us today. Lead us by Your grace, by Your mercy, and help us to experience that grace and help us to share as a witness of Your greatness to other people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.