trust in the lord forever, for the lord, the lord himself is the rock eternal." - Isaiah 26:4
Talk 1: Courageous Trust Or Blah, Blah, Blah
Passage: Isaiah 28:1–13
In this talk I want to set the scene of the C8th Assyrian attack on Israel and Judah and the frightening demand of trust in Yahweh that Isaiah is preaching. I want us to face the radical and potentially costly nature of faith. I also want to notice how religious leadership can actually get in the way of truth, making faith even more difficult. I will explore the immaturity that may stand behind the obscuring of God’s word through fear, indifference, syncretism and consider how we may be tempted to make God’s truths easier than they really are. I will end with a focus on the glorious grace of Yahweh in miraculously saving the remnant.
Talk 2: Courageous Trust Or Lies, Lies, Lies
Passage: Isaiah 28:14–19a
In this talk I will explore what the C8th Judeans may have trusted in rather than in Yahweh, particularly the ‘covenant with death’ – possibly a reference to a turning to spirits but more likely a turning to Egyptian gods and Egyptian military power. I will explore the kinds of lies that we find attractive today as alternatives to faith and will contrast ancient Judean tendency to replace Yahweh with other gods and our tendency to replace Yahweh with godlessness. I will end with reference to the original and Christian meaning of the precious cornerstone in Zion.
Talk 3: Courageous Trust In A Strange God
Passage: Isaiah 28:19b–29
In the talk I will especially focus on the portrayal of the God that Isaiah wants his readers/listeners to trust in. Yahweh is presented as involved in alien work: actually judging his own people. A parable about the various stages of farming then places the severity of God in a wider context of his wisdom and his wonderful purposes. I will connect this complex portrait of God to the truths of the gospel and consider how unbelief can be fuelled by an inadequate grasp of the strange wisdom of God.
Registrations are now open for Katoomba Easter Convention.