Do not live as the people of this world do
Scripture reading: Isaiah 6, 2 Kings 16
Today we are going to begin a study of the book of Isaiah.
-Isaiah is a big book (66 chapters)
-Isaiah served God as a prophet for over 50 years in the 7th century B.C
-Isaiah name means "God saves, The Lord is salvation"
-Isaiah has one of the most amazing calls to ministry, as recorded in the Bible- for
God blesses him with a vision of Himself on his throne in Heaven. From the throne
God asks "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" To which Isaiah responds, as we
all should to God, "Here am I. Send me!"
-During Isaiah's tenure, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was taken into captivity by
the Assryians. Isaiah lived and served in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. During his
days, the Southern and Northern Kingdom did not get along.
-Isaiah was married to a prophetess
-Isaiah had at least two children. Of the two that we know about, God instructed
him as to what there names should be. In both cases their names contained
messages that served as reminders of various messages that God had Isaiah declare.
i.e His first son had a name which meant "a remnant shall return". His second son
had a name which meant "Quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil"
-The book of Isaiah is a prophetic book. a. Some of what Isaiah said about the
future had to do with the near future as it related to the time that he lived in. b.
A fairly big portion of what Isaiah said has to do with Jesus, his coming, the nature
of his ministry, his kingdom. It's amazing how much the book of Isaiah is about
Jesus. c. Some of what Isaiah prophesied about the future is yet to come to pass.
Hence we have prophecies that address (From Isaiah's perspective) the near
future, 700 years in the future, and the distant future
-Isaiah's job was a tough one, for many of the messages that God sent him to
deliver were messages of judgment. So deserving were the people of judgment
that in Isaiah 10:22b it says; "Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and
-While much of Isaiah concerns judgment, what's incredible is this: all the messages
of judgment are perfectly balanced with calls by God to repentance, with promises
of forgiveness and blessing for those who are reconciled to Him. This is called
grace. This is undeserved.
TODAY'S LESSON: DO NOT LIVE AS THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD DO
In Isaiah 8:11-22, God has a very simple message for Isaiah: Don't live like the
people who are around you. Don't get sucked into their way of thinking and their
lifestyles. Stay holy. Stay on the straight and narrow. Stay faithful.
The message that God gave to Isaiah is the very message that we need to hear.
I. CONTEXT OF THE COMMAND
A. The evil reign of King Ahaz 2 Kings 16
B. A threat from the North that the King of Judah tried (despite Isaiah's council) to
handle by making an alliance with the Assyrians (isaiah 7-8:10) (see 2 Kings 16)
C. Unbelief- King Ahaz was evil and led the people in similar ways
-Isaiah's message was falling on deaf ears
-Isaiah's messages were not being taken seriously (His messages of judgment, his
messages of God's grace -- at least during the reign of Ahaz who was wicked in the
eyes of the Lord)
-To the naked eye it looked like everything was alright and that their deal with
the Assryians was working
It is within this context that God tells Isaiah to not live as the people of his time
were living. It is within this context that God tells Isaiah to stay faithful, to stay
Thought: Staying faithful to God is hard during periods of affluence. Staying faithful
to God is hard when God's words and ways fall on deaf ears.
II. THE SPECIFICS OF GOD'S COMMAND TO NOT LIVE AS THE PEOPLE OF THIS
1. Do not follow the way of this people v.11
2. Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy v.12
3. Do fear what they fear v.12
4. Hold the LORD in high and holy regard v.13
5. Fear the LORD- v.13
Note that verse 13 has a New Testament connection. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus says;
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be
afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Note also that God's words come with a promise: Trust in Him and he will be a
sanctuary to you v.14-15
Interesting: While God will be a sanctuary to Isaiah and the righteous, He will be a
stumbling block to the unfaithful and to the wicked, to those who refuse to listen
to God's message.
As v.13 has a New Testament connection, so to does v.14-15. (SEE Romans 9:30-33
and I Peter 2:4-8). They are both in reference to Jesus as a stumbling stone
III. DO NOT LIVE AS THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD DO: ISAIAH'S RESPONSE
1. I will wait for the LORD
2. I will put my trust in God
3. I will stay stay faithful and true
Note the beautiful way in which Isaiah communicates this. "Here am I, and the
children the LORD has given me." v.18. This also reminds me of Isaiah's response to
God's calling "Here I am, send me" (Isaiah 6)
This reminds us of the words of Joshua, who said; "As for me and my household,
we will serve the LORD" Joshua 24:15.
4. I will not involve myself in the occult practices of my neighbours v.19
People in that day, as well as today, thought that they could learn the future and
get help from the dead and other spirits. The Bible forbids dabbling in the occult.
The Bible condemns the practice.
Are you involved in the occult? Are you involved in superstitious practices, the
signs of the Zodiac, tea leaves, fortune tellers, Yoga, Tai Chi, Ouiji Boards, etc? If
you are, repent of it. Seek the forgiveness of God. You will not experience the
fullness of God's blessings until you turn your back on such things.
Other texts that address this: Deuteronomy 18:9-13
5. I will live my life by the teachings of your Word v. 20
The Bible tells us how to live.
It is vital to our spiritual health to be a people of God's word. You will not grow to
be a strong Christian apart from the Word.
The Bible tells us how to think and act. To please God, we must be students of
God's Word, committed to being doers of the Word of God.
Note the end of those who refuse to attend to the God's word: Read v. 21-22. Such
is the end of all who reject God.
CONCLUSION: "Do not live as the people of this world do"
Romans 12:2a says; "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind."
1 Peter 1:15-16 says; "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you
had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy
in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
3 John 1:11 says; "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good."
Ephesians 4:17, 22-24 says; "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you
must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking." "You were
taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is
being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your
minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and
As the followers of Christ, it is imperative that we live, talk, think differently than
the people around us. The call of God that we be holy demands it. We are not to
engage in the sinful activities that the world promotes.
Instead of language that is crude, base, disrespectful of God, filled with lies,
deception, and half truths, we are speak with honesty, integrity, and purity
Instead of sleeping with who we want or conducting ourselves in sexually
inappropriate ways, we are to save sex for marriage, dress modestly, and not
engage in the sexual banter that so many others do
When it comes to what we watch, read, download, stream, we need to take great
care. We are to have high standards when it comes to television, music, the
internet, movies, books, and magazines. If you and I like all the shows, music,
magazines, books, and places our non Christians neighbors like, what is their in us
to prove that we have devoted our life to Christ and to holiness? As the Scriptures
say, we will be known by our deeds and fruit.
When it comes to our thought life, priorities, motives, we need to be different
and that difference needs to be reflected in how we talk about ourselves, our
dreams, our desires.
As a teenager I had a tshirt with a fish on it. This fish was going the opposite
direction of all the other fish. The caption that was on my shirt was "Go against
the flow". We need to go against the flow - not to show ourselves off, but because
we need to show ourselves to be people of whom the words of Christ have truly
been impacted. We need to live the godly lives that God has called us to.
Let us resolve, as Isaiah did, to stay faithful to God, no matter what those around