Isaiah 45 – Dr. Dan Boone

Posted: June 10, 2013 in Random Topics
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Dr. Dan Boone is the President of Trevecca Nazarene University and also a well-known preacher in the Church of the Nazarene.  This past year he spoke at a local church and I had opportunity to go and listen.  It was a very powerful sermon on living in a time when there is a sort of nostalgia for the past that cannot be fully recovered but must be re-appropriated for the future.  Israel finds itself in a similar situation in Isaiah 40-55.  His sermon text focused on Isaiah 45, on which I took a few notes.  These may be seemingly random thoughts, but I found them helpful in looking at our current context in light of Isaiah.

Dan begins with “odd names” of towns.  He moves to a town (fictive) called “yesteryear”, which is the ideal of 2 generations previous.  “Exile” is the reality of today, though without the harsh Babylonians.  From this context, there is a “sigh for yesteryear.”

History: People of God are living in Jerusalem in security when “exile” happens.  Israel is now confronted with the gods of Babylon.  It is culture shock – in Jerusalem, everything pointed to YHWH.  That is the subtle assurance of “yesteryear.”

Isaiah 45

God calls Cyrus – “Does/Can God use ‘pagans’?”

God is doing a new thing unlike it was done in the past.

God is Creator.

Are we willing to let God use Cyrus, which leaves us unsettled?  Our reaction is typically fear.  In exile, we are susceptible to false gods and the culture that surrounds us.  Isaiah teaches Israel to respond faithfully.  The gods that requier us to save them are not the One, True God: YHWH.  God will carry us into His future.  It is too tiny a thing to take Israel back to “yesteryear.”  Instead, He calls them into a new future. 

We do not need to save God.  If we must save God from our culture, then we do not really serve God in the first place.  God is not in danger of defeat.

Where do we move from here.  It is like teaching a child to walk.  You prop them up on something sturdy (yesteryear).  You call them to come (a move into a future they wouldn’t have done without being called).  That is the very thing that God does with us.  We are called to remember, not so that we can go back, so that we can move into God’s new future.

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