In chapters seven and eight of Isaiah, the preacher was delivering a very negative sermon. Joel Osteen would not approve, but God Almighty inspired the message and was pleased with Isaiah’s faithful presentation of man’s sin and God’s judgment.
Yet, even in the midst of this “doom and gloom” sermon, Isaiah presented God’s grace and called for the submissive repentance of God’s people. And how would one recognize a freshly revived and spiritually tender congregation? Isaiah says:
And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! … (Isaiah 8:19-20)
God’s people – who enjoy God’s blessings and forgo God’s painful discipline – are they who bypass DEAD lectures, consultations, philosophical ramblings, and self-help homilies and instead focus themselves and their families on the LIVING Word of God.
Friends, philosophies come and go. Psychological schools of thought become vogue and then passé. Self-help, how-to books are the rage. Even in the church, many are the ministers who ignore the teachings of Scripture in order to preach their own message. And there is no shortage of consumers willing to pay the bill.
However, God’s Word has stood the test of time; it has passed the truth test. I wonder, how many hours will God’s people spend reading, meditating, memorizing and listening to the LIVING Word of God this week, in comparison to all the DEAD sermons which are so easy to be found?