Pennsville Baptist Church
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  • Pennsville Baptist Church
    3298 Richey Rd, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666, USA
    Sunday 9:45 AM
Isaiah 41:1-20
“When Bad Things Happen To God’s People”

Introduction
1. In chapter 41 Cyrus in 539 B.C. invades Babylon. Prophecy displays the sovereignty of
God.
2. “What about the will of man?” In order for God to be God He must permit man (a free
moral agent) to carry out his will and wishes. In doing so many innocent people suffer.
Rape, incest, child abuse, drive by shootings…
3. What about: when bad things happen to God’s people?
4. Isaiah 41:1-20 we must see three realizations:

What about: when bad things happen to God’s people?
I. THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD 41:1-7
God uses the will of man to accomplish His purposes. God speaks to the nations of the
world.
A. The Confrontation 1
1. Islands occurs 15 times in the Old Testament. 14 in the book of Isaiah.
Nations…the coastlands…islands (the remotest place where human’s live). He is
speaking of people of the world.
2. Come near…they meet together not to negotiate, but come together to realize the
truth of His words. God uses nations…Hitlers, Stalins (40:15, 17), Assyria,
Babylonians, Medes/Persians some very evil, vile people came up against Israel
and ultimately led them into captivity…using them…misusing them.
B. The Challenge 2-5
1. Who…two questions in 2, 4. Cyrus was not a ‘righteous man’. He was an evil
man that God used for a righteous purpose. In 539 Cyrus took Babylon. In 536
Cyrus let a remnant return home to rebuild the Temple. Isaiah’s prophecy is
history. He was prophesying 170 years before it occurred!
2. Who…He gave The question is not what but who? Let the people renew their
strength (1) A wide spread misconception about God has to be cleared up. God is
not involved in our world today and therefore our lives have no meaning.
Who…Isaiah is not a secularist when he looks at history. Who…do things just
happen or is God at work?? Are we involved in chance or Providence? Is history
cyclical (with events reoccurring on a seasonal pattern) or is history taking us
toward a final consummation? Who? He gave. Why Cyrus? God is activating
human history. God is not evil, but He can and will use evil people to accomplish
His purposes.
3. Who? v. 4 I the Lord the first and the last…He is the first and last cause. Neither
Cyrus in 539 B.C. nor your life today is a fluke. Every event within time,
including your life is yet one more demonstration…I Am He that is how
significant you are! God is inviting the whole world to think that through. He
proves His sovereign presence by predicting the rise of Cyrus. Prophecy is a good
argument for God’s sovereignty!
C. The Conflict 6-7
1. Cyrus is going from strength to strength. Bad Things Happen. How do the nations
respond? He invites the nations to take a close look. What do people do? They
run to their idols. They reinforce their idols. They manufacture their own gods to
help them. They cheer up one another with their own impotent, man made
ideologies! When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing,
they believe in anything. G.K. Chesterton
When fearful people lose their sense of God, what do they do? They join
together to construct their own meanings…their own myths! It is good (v. 7)
shoring up our own idols rather than rest on God!

What about: when bad things happen to God’s people?
II. THE SELECTION OF GOD 41:8-9
Realize that no matter how bad the situation…you are special to God. God longs for us to
draw from His strength and not man-made idols.
A. He Chose Us 8
Idols can choose no one.
1.But thou…is a contrast to the idol makers.
2.My servant…is the privilege of being His.
3.I have taken thee…
B. He Called Us 9a
1. Do you think that He brought you this far to let you down?!
2. He called you…out of all the people in the world.
C. He Is Committed to Us 9b
1. He will see you through!! He who started the work will complete the work!
2. People who have this sense in their heart are unstoppable!

What about: when bad things happen to God’s people?
III. THE SURPLUS OF GOD 41:10-20
“I will” It’s all of grace. 13 times I will…we are important to God
A. God Is A Life-Governing Presence 10-13
When we are opposed…God will hold us up!
1.Fear not (vss. 10, 14) This is the most natural thing to do when bad things happen.
2.I AM…I will..His Promises…His Presence…His Protection I am thy God…His Power. The enemy is real. (11, 12) incensed against thee…strive with thee, contend with thee…war against thee. God must take care of the enemy…you can’t!
3.They shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing. They shall perish…thou shalt see them and not find them…they shall be as nothing and as a thing of naught.
B. God Is A Life-Transforming Power 14-16
Fear not…I will help.
1.God makes a worm into a threshing sledge. Human weakness to the world is a negative. Faith makes mountains into mole hills.
2.They shall rejoice (16b) God did it!
C. God Is A Life-Giving Person 17-20
1. God comes to needy/thirsty people.
2. 6 times I will: I will hear them…I will not forsake them. (17) I will open
rivers…I will make the wilderness (18) I will plant…I will set (19)
3.Are we poor and thirsty? God is presenting Himself as refreshment. What is the ultimate purpose? It is found in v. 20 He receives all the glory!


The Who in v. 2 is grander than we thought!!
The One stirring history takes those very things that
Satan meant for evil and turns them into Good!


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