You’ve often heard it said the goal of every faithful pastor is simply to preach the Word. And that is quite true: communicating God’s Word clearly to God’s people is their aim. But preachers often have a variety of subgoals within any given sermon: teaching people how to read their Bible, confronting the self-righteous in their sin, or motivating believers to obedience. These secondary goals flow out of that primary goal of simply preaching the Word. In fact, one cannot faithfully preach the Word without aiming at those secondary goals.
Our text was written by a preacher, the prophet Isaiah, and it illustrates one of the very important secondary goals faithful pastors have in preaching the Word. In a word, that goal is fortification—strengthening people ahead of time, shoring up their faith, preparing everyone for the coming attack.
And while believers today aren’t threatened by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army, God still brings distress and suffering into our lives. And this passage aims to fortify us for it when it comes.
Title: Redeeming Love
Text: Isaiah 42.18–43.21