Look To Me • Isaiah 45:22-25

I.   INTRODUCTION

A.  Invites Not Returned

1.   Have you ever put on a party and sent out invitations

2.   And people said they were coming

3.   But when the day came, only a few showed up?

B.  Nite Out

1.   The second Saturday of ever month, the high school group has what we call “Night Out”

a.   it’s a full night of just hanging out, skating, shootin’ hoops, playing the N64,

b.   listening to music, playing some crazy, fun games

c.   and eats

2.   A week ago last night, we had our 3rd night out, and we had a blast

3.   For dinner we made some killer nachos

a.   chips, beans, meat, cheese

b.   sour cream, olives, guacamole, and jalapenos

4.   We had some really fun games planned to; put up the volleyball net, had a rail for the skaters

5.   Two ice chests packed with sodas  -  we were all set for a crowd

6.   But less than half the kids we were expecting showed up!

7.   Now, make no mistake, the ones who did come had a great time, but even they were asking, “Hey, where is everyone.”

8.   A couple of the guys grabbed a directory and started calling other kids asking if they needed rides – and then they went out and picked a couple more up and brought them.

9.   All evening long, specially when we were all laughing, or the sense of closeness with others was especially strong, I got a little ache in my heart for the ones who were missing out.

10. But the moment it was the worst was when I was standing in the kitchen watching everyone piling their plates with nachos

a.   you see, since we were anticipating a lot more kids,  we had prepared a lot of food

b.   there it all was sitting on the counter and though each person was taking a pretty healthy portion, there was a lot left

11. For the previous 3 weeks we had reminded the kids about the night

12. Just two nights before they had all repeated out loud together that Saturday was our “Night Out”

13. So there was no failure on our part to remind and invite, even to urge them to come

14. But it was their choice to make – and many didn’t

C.  God’s Invitation

1.   God has sent out an invitation

a.   it’s an invitation to the greatest party of all time

b.   it’s an invitation to eternal life, to heaven

c.   and it has gone out again and again

2.   And though there has been no fault or lack with Him, many people have not replied

3.   Such an invitation is found in our passage today . . .

II.  TEXT

A.  Vs. 22

22  "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

1.   As always, we need to understand these words in their context

2.   In the chapters prior to this, God has been showing the Jews the foolishness of worshipping idols

a.   this was the one sin that got Israel into the most trouble -

b.   they kept falling to the worship of idols

c.   and they got these idols from the nations around them

d.   in other words, though they were supposed to be the people of God,

e.   they kept trying to be people of the world

f.    instead of defining themselves and their lives by God’s Word

g.   they lived according to the wisdom of man and the fashion of the times

3.   So Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit shows the utter insanity of worshiping an idol

4.   Again and again God reminds them that He is the only God; there isn’t any other

5.   So to worship an idol is to waste your time, talent, and treasure

6.   Here in v. 22, God makes an impassioned plea

a.   but this time it isn’t just to the Jews

b.   it is to all people

c.   not only must the Jews realize idolatry is foolish, so must everyone else

“Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.”

a.   I hesitate to say any more – the words themselves are enough

b.   maybe we ought to just read them a couple times

7.   Look to God my friend – Look to God and be saved!

8.   No matter who you are or where you are – Look to God and be saved!

a.   you may be a sinner of the rankest sort

b.   or one who thinks that you have gone to far from God

c.   see what He says – see His invitation . . .

d.   “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth.”

e.   the invitation isn’t just to the good people, the ones who seem to already be close to God

f.    it is to the ends of the earth – to those who are as far away as far can be.

9.   Or maybe you’re a fine upstanding citizen whose conscience is clear of  grave moral guilt

a.   the invitation is to you too –

b.   “Look to Me, and be saved”

c.   look where? – To Him to be saved

d.   you will not find salvation in yourself, in your own goodness

e.   salvation lies in one place – In Christ!

f.    that is why God says, “For I am God, and there is no other.”

10. What are you trusting in this morning for salvation?

a.   what do you pin your hopes for eternal life on?

b.   there is only one object worthy of hope

c.   there is only one God

11. So look to him and be saved

a.   don’t look to yourself – to your good works or even your good intentions

b.   don’t look to your husband or wife or mother or father

c.   don’t look to your brother or sister, or friend

d.   don’t look to the church

e.   LOOK TO GOD and be saved.

f.    because there is hope and salvation no where else.

B.  Passion

1.   Oh that we might catch the sense of urgency with which the prophet Isaiah spoke these words

2.   That we might feel the passion of the heart of God as He looks out over the human race and invites us to come

3.   As I stood in the kitchen a week ago, watching kids piling their plates high with nachos, I thought about individual kids who weren’t there

a.   sure I was happy about the kids you had come

b.   and as they walked down the line, I was comforted by their faces and the obvious fun they were having

c.   but in between them I saw the empty space and pictured the faces of the kids who were missing

d.   and there was that ache, that pulling at my heart, the sorrow

4.   And that was for nothing more than night of simple fun

5.   How much more passionately does God ache for those who are absent from the feast He has prepared?

6.   How much more important is His invitation and offer?

7.   How much keener His sorrow as He thinks about all those individuals who have rejected the invitation

C.  Vs. 23-25

23  I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath.

24  He shall say, 'Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, And all shall be ashamed Who are incensed against Him.

25  In the LORD all the descendants of Israel Shall be justified, and shall glory.'"

1.   Know this – even more surely than the fact that the sun comes up every morning and sets every night, the day will come when EVERYONE will bow before God and acknowledge Him as the only God!

2.   At the end of history as we know it, all of mankind will be assembled before the throne of God

a.   then each and every knee will bow – even the enemies of God

b.   those who have denied His very existence and His right to rule over them

c.   those who have done nothing but curse Him and called Him unfair

d.   and they shall all confess that He is righteous and good while they were absurdly wrong

3.   The Apostle Paul, in referring to this same event in Philippians 2 wrote . . .

10 . . . at the name of Jesus every knee [will] bow, the knees of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

11  and every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

III. CONCLUSION

A.  Bow

1.   Psychic hotlines are all the rage these days!

2.   The many ads for them you see on TV is evidence of how much money they are making from people who call, wanting to learn something about their personal future

3.   Fortune tellers have always done pretty well because people are fascinated by the desire to know what will happen to them

4.   Well, let me tell you what your future holds – and it won’t cost you a thing!

5.   One day, you will come before the throne of God, and you will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord

6.   Now, in light of that future certainty, God issues an invitation to you to look to Him and be saved

7.   You have a choice:

a.   you can wait till you have to bow

b.   or, you can bow now in humble surrender

B.  The Bronze Serpent

1.   During the Exodus, while the people of Israel were traveling through the wilderness, they fell to grumbling and complaining

2.   Really, they were grumbling against the Lord about every little thing, and everything they said was completely unfair and untrue

3.   So God sent some poisonous serpents into their camp to correct them

a.   the bite was fatal, but it took a while for the victims to die

b.   God then told Moses to make a bronze image of the serpent and attach it to a pole and lift it up high enough for everyone to see

c.   then word went out that if someone was bitten, all they had to do was look up at the bronze serpent, and they would be healed

4.   Would it surprise you to learn that many of those who were bitten refused to look up?

5.   We wonder what possibly could have been going on in the minds of those who would not take advantage of the remedy

6.   Why not look?  Why reject the offer of healing?  How insane to turn away!

7.   What about you?

a.   you have been bitten by the serpent called sin

b.   even now it’s poison is working it’s way through your body and soul

c.   and left to yourself, you will die

d.   but God has made a remedy – His name is Jesus

e.   He was lifted up on a cross, so that all who would look to Him might be saved

8.   Have you looked to Him?  Or are you trusting in something else?

9.   Your refusal to look to Christ makes no more sense than the refusal of those early Jews who refused to look at the bronze serpent.

10.  LOOK TO CHRIST!