We are having a conference/fellowship meeting at our church Saturday, October 22nd, 2011.  Several church’s are coming from the Full Gospel Evangelistic Association.  I’m also preaching.  Below will be my sermon notes for that sermon.  This sermon is not original actually.  It’s a reworking of my Dad’s (Jerry Trammell) most requested sermon, “Bread corn is bruised.”

Unless noted, all Scripture is from the HCSB.

Crushed.

Isaiah 28:23-29 – 23 Listen and hear my voice.  Pay attention and hear what I say. 24 Does the plowman plow every day to plant seed?  Does he [continuously] break up and cultivate the soil?  25 When he has leveled its surface, does he not then scatter cumin and sow black cumin?  He plants wheat in rows and barley in plots, with spelt as their border.  26 His God teaches him order; He instructs him.  27 Certainly black cumin is not threshed with a threshing board, and a cart wheel is not rolled over the cumin.  But black cumin is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod.  28 Bread grain is crushed, but is not threshed endlessly.  Though the wheel of [the farmer’s] cart rumbles, his horses do not crush it.  29 This also comes from the LORD of Hosts.  He gives wonderful advice; He gives great wisdom.

Introduction

The context of this passage is found in Isaiah 28:1-33:24.  Here the Lord through the Prophet Isaiah is giving six woe judgments upon the Northern Kingdom (Ephraim) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah).  Both Kingdoms of the Children of Israel had constantly turned their back on the Lord who loved them and called them to be a holy people in the midst of pagan nations that surrounded them.  They had turned to idol worship, perverted worship of mixing the pagan religions with the worship of YHWH, and trusting and making treaties with nations that the Lord forbade them to do.

So God said that He was going to crush both nations.  And in verses 23-29 God through Isaiah tells them this parable of how He was going to crush them.  It would be like the crushing of seed and bread grain. Ancient  farmers used different methods to crush seeds and grain, depending on the seed/grain; in the same way God was going to use different methods to bring about His crushing judgment on both kingdoms.  But notice the promise of verse 28.

Verse 28a – Bread grain is crushed, but is not threshed endlessly.

This means that the crushing and threshing would not be an ongoing thing, but one day it would be stopped.  Many feel that it would be stopped when they would get to return to the land of promise from exile, but I believe that the stopping of the crushing and threshing ultimately would be the coming of the Messiah – Jesus of Nazareth.  Why do I say this?  Well, notice an earlier prophecy in Isaiah 28.

Isaiah 28:16 – Therefore the Lord GOD said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable.

Jesus Christ is that tested stone (tested both in the wilderness and the Garden of Gethsemane); He is the precious cornerstone that is the foundation of our faith; He is the sure foundation that we build our lives upon so that when the winds blow, as we hold on to Him in faith, He will make us unshakable.

And this is what this message is about.  Let’s begin now applying this truth of crushing to our lives.

Contrary to many opinions in the church today, you and I will go through times of crushing.

We live in a time that people don’t want to hear this.

They want to know what God’s purpose for their lives is. They want to have their best life now, and live life everyday like it’s a Friday (not exactly sure what that’s suppose to mean, other than that’s the title of the new fad book hitting the Christian market).  They want to be prosperous, happy, care-free with no burdens, sickness, and struggles to speak of.

Many feel that this is the dream of Jesus for their lives (I actually heard a preacher make that statement the other day), but it’s not, it’s the American dream.

And the American dream is different from Jesus’ dream for our lives.  In fact, I can say this with certainty: Jesus saves us from the American dream.

As Christians we are not called to pursue the life of the American dream (nice house, car, life); we are called to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.

Luke 9:23b – If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

So crushing times will come upon us, not because of judgment, but because we live in a fallen world.

We will all experience times of crushing.  These may come in the form of persecution, sickness, times of poverty, or many other things.

But the good news is these times do not last forever, and in the midst of them, Jesus Christ will be our strength.  Notice what Paul says in Philippians 4.

Philippians 4:10-13 –  10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last you have renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me, but lacked the opportunity [to show it]. 11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret [of being content]—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Our hope is not that these times of crushing are for a brief moment in our lives, but our hope is also the same as the hope of those being crushed in Isaiah 28.

Our hope in the midst of our crushing moments is in the one who was crushed for our sins – Jesus Christ.

Let’s look and quickly dissect Isaiah 53:4-5.  Let’s look at it redemptively.

Isaiah 53:4-5 ESV – 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

Borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.

In Hebrew, griefs can also mean sicknesses.  He bore and carried the results of living in a fallen world – griefs, sorrows, and sicknesses at the cross.

Stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.

There is a negative connotation to this passage actually.  We esteemed Him means that the Jews of Jesus day thought He was deserving of death and judged by God.  But they missed this important truth that I want to reveal to each of us this morning.  He was crushed by God and afflicted, not for His own sins, for He never sinned; but for the sins of the whole world.

He was wounded and crushed for our sins.

He took our place in the punishment for our sins.

This punishment for our sins provides for us peace with God.

Our crushing can do a lot of things, but two things it cannot do; (1) it cannot provide peace with God for us; (2) it cannot separate from the Christian the peace we have with God all because of Jesus.

This punishment brought about the healing of our souls from sin and the healing of the rift we tore between us and God because of our sin.

Good works on our part cannot do this; it all because of Jesus.

Conclusion

As we conclude know this: we will go through times of crushing.  It will be painful, and at times it may be costly; but God does not abandon us in those times.  He is right there with us through our Savior Jesus Christ.  And Jesus was crushed so that He might heal us of our crushed times.

So if you are feeling crushed this morning.  Hold on to the promise that this crushing will not last forever, and you will not walk through it alone; and in God’s own time, He will provide healing and deliverance from this crushing.

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