How is your health?

Slide1

This next series of sermons will focus on some questions we encounter when reading Isaiah chapter 1. The questions are designed to make us a bit uncomfortable, because they expose our reluctance to examine ourselves.
Isaiah 1:1-6

1 A vision from Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw with reference to Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Listen, sky, and discern, land, because Yahveh has spoken: I reared children and I brought them up, but they rebelled against me.3 An ox knows its owner and a donkey the trough of its master. Israel does not know; my people do not understand. 4 Wow, sinful nation, a people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly. They have forsaken Yahveh; they have despised the holy one of Israel. They are estranged and perverted. 5 Why do you want to be beaten again? You continue rebelling. All of your head is sick, and all of your heart is weak.    6 From the sole of the foot and up to your head there is nothing healthy; your bruise and sore and bleeding wound has not been cleansed, and they have not been bound up and not treated with healing oil. (Isa. 1:1-6 JDV)

Slide2

Today’s question is “How is your health?” Are you really as spiritually healthy as you think you are?

Slide3

First Symptom: spiritual dementia (2-3)

2 Listen, sky, and discern, land, for Yahveh has spoken: I reared children and I brought them up, but they rebelled against me.
3 An ox knows its owner and a donkey the trough of its master. Israel does not know; my people do not understand.

Isaiah pictures Judah as having suffered a horrible debilitating disease. He describes the disease as a kind of spiritual dementia, because not only does it cause much physical suffering, it has also caused Judah to forget who she is, where she came from, who she belongs to. Consequentially, she is not aware of the relationship she has with Yahveh, a relationship which would offer her relief, treatment and recovery. The disease goes untreated, and is just getting worse.

Slide4

Second Symptom: psychological aberrations (4)

4 Wow, sinful nation, a people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly. They have forsaken Yahveh; they have despised the holy one of Israel. They are estranged and perverted.

Yet, if you had asked the average citizen of Judah in Isaiah’s time how his spiritual health is, he would say he is healthy and normal. The first thing to go in them was their since of shame over their own sinfulness. Sin was something that the outsiders did. They saw themselves as a holy island in a sea of corruption. They were the holy nation. But look at how Isaiah described them.

Nowadays, our society is in denial, refusing to categorise anyone as abnormal. In fact, this generation defends anyone who insists he or she be treated just like everyone else, no matter how he or she acts. It is as if the category of psychological deviancy no longer exists. We are like the world that was described in the book of Judges, where everyone does what is right in his own eyes. The result of that kind of aberant behaviour in Judges, and here in Isaiah — is bondage.

Slide5

Third symptom: refusal of treatment (5-6)

5 Why do you want to be beaten again? You continue rebelling. All of your head is sick, and all of your heart is weak.
6 From the sole of the foot and up to your head there is nothing healthy; your bruise and sore and bleeding wound has not been cleansed, and they have not been bound up and not treated with healing oil.

So Isaiah puts his generation onto the scanner, and the results reveal a society that is totally sick, which has refused any treatment. Denying that there is anything wrong, the whole nation — sick in the head, sick in the heart, sick from the foot up to the head — continues to walk around pretending that everything is ok.

Such was the case with the scribes and Pharisees during Jesus’ day.

“When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he is eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they were saying to his disciples, “Why is he eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” So after hearing this, Jesus says to them, “It is not the ones who have strength who need a doctor, but the ones who are having something wrong with them; I did not come to call upright ones, but sinful ones.” (Mk. 2:16-17 JDV)

Such is the case with the world today as well. We deny that there is something wrong, and we have forgotten that there is a Great Physician who is ready to treat us. We go from bad to worse, refusing to acknowledge that God is ready to undo the damage.

So, here we are, the church of Christ, a hospital for the broken ones, a clinic for those who recognise that there is something wrong with us.

LORD, here we are, checking in to your hospital. Forgive us for denying that we have a health problem, for forgetting that you are the answer to our debilitating disease.

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One response to “How is your health?

  1. Pingback: Isaiah 1:1-6 - Rev Jefferson Vann - takanini community church

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