Reading: Isaiah 58
INTRODUCTIONThe second law of thermodynamics tells us that unless there is an input of information and/or energy, all material things will deteriorate, decay and eventually fall apart. In other words, in the physical universe about us, the work of restoration and repair is absolutely essential, else deterioration, decay and death will result. In the book of Isaiah the Almighty calls certain believers 'Builders of old waste places,' 'Repairers of the Breach,' 'Restorers of paths to dwell in.' Here is the text:
Isa:58: 12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of paths to dwell in."Who are these folks? Do you know any of them? Can you point to someone and say 'He' or 'She is a repairer of the Breach,' a 'Restorer of paths to dwell in.?' Yes, who are these people? This morning we will find out. To begin with, what is a breach?
A breach is a broken section or gap in a wall, a fence or a hedge. In warfare or agriculture, a breach is a place where the enemy comes in to destroy or where the sheep break out and get lost. As every farmer knows, repairing breaches, broken fences, cattle paddocks etc. is a never-ending task. No matter how well built a fence may be, there will come a time when it will need to be repaired. This also applies to the walls surrounding cities or large properties. Even the best of walls can be broken into by thieves. Thereafter every gap is an open invitation to thieves or vandals to enter in. If domestic cattle, sheep, goats, cows etc., are kept, then the need to repair breaches is all the more urgent; because these dumb creatures will break out as sure as night follows day. In spiritual matters, a breach in a defensive wall is even more serious, because it lets Satan in and encourages God's sheep to stray. Let us now consider some examples from Scripture of the responsibilities of Yahweh's people; especially His priests.
1. REPAIRERS Of THE BREACHKing Jehoash
2 Kings 12: 1: In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba.2: And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3: But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places. 4: And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD, 5: Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found.That was the king's order. But alas! it was not obeyed. The priests weren't interested in repairing the Temple of God. All the tithe that came in was spent on their own homes and on their own interests. Jehovah's Temple began to fall into disrepair!
Verse 6: But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house.
7: Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and the other priests, and said unto them, Why repair ye not the breaches of the house?
now therefore receive no more money of your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house.
8: And the priests consented to receive no more money of the people, neither to repair the breaches of the house. 9: But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the LORD: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD. 10: And it was so, when they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king's scribe and the high priest came up, and they put up in bags, and told the money that was found in the house of the LORD. 11: And they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the LORD: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the LORD, 12: And to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the LORD, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it. 13: Howbeit there were not made for the house of the LORD bowls of silver, snuffers, basons, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver, of the money that was brought into the house of the LORD: 14: But they gave that to the workmen, and repaired therewith the house of the LORD. 15: Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.
The same thing happened in the reign of young king Josiah. Money gathered up was given to conscientious and faithful workers to repair the Temple of the LORD.
2 Kings 22: 1: Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. 3: And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying, 4: Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: And let them deliver it into the hand of the DOERS OF THE WORK, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house, 6: Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house. 7: Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.
2. REPAIRERS IN NEHEMIAH'S DAY
In Nehemiah chapter 3 we find a long list of believer's names who repaired the broken wall of Jerusalem: nobles, rulers, goldsmiths, traders, chemists, priests - both men and women. I quote a few names. Note the repetition of the word 'repaired.'
Neh:3: 5: And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.
6: Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
7: And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river.
8: Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.
9: And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.
10: And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.
11: Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.
12: And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.
13: The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.
14: But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.
15: But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col-hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.
16: After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Beth-zur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.
17: After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.
18: After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.
19: And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall.
20: After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.
21: After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.
22: And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain.
23: After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house.
24: After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner.
27: After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel.
28: From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.
29: After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate.
31: After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.
32: And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.
Oh yes, these believers most certainly were 'Repairers of the Breach.'
Isa.61: 4: And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
3. THE OPPOSITION
Nehemiah 4: 6: So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
7: But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
8: And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. 9: Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
10: And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
4. BUILDING MATERIALS & ARCHITECT
Everyone knows that without good materials it is not possible to produce a good job. Even in the baking of cakes, you must have good ingredients if you want good results. Alas, in spiritual matters this basic fact is ignored. The essential ingredients for spiritual buildings are Yahweh's truth, His law and His Word. And the Master Builder must be God Himself. If these building materials and the divine Architect are missing, disaster is sure to follow.
Isaiah 30: 8: Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
9: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
10: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
11: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. 12: Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
13: Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
14: And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.
15: For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
5. BOGUS BUILDERS / FALSE PROPHETSBogus builders abound in the building trade and many a well designed building has collapsed into a heap of rubble because the workmen have stolen the cement or failed to do a proper job. It is exactly the same in the spiritual realm. Spiritual swindlers posing as priests have used a pathetic array of human traditions, vain visions, pagan practices, outright lies and bogus Bibles, which is sure to collapse in the Day of the LORD'S anger.
Ezekiel 13: 1: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2: Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
3: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
4: O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.
5: Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.
6: They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.
7: Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?
8: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.
9: And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
10: Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter:
11: Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.
12: Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it?
13: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it.
14: So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
6. THE SABBATH BREACHEver since the creation of the world Satan has endeavoured to break into the Almighty's territory and lead His people astray. Satan's greatest delight is to make breaches in Yahweh's fences and walls; whether they be in His church, in believers homes or even in the true believer's mind. If he can break in and cause chaos, sorrow and death, Satan's joy is complete. Satan (Lucifer) is a sadist of unspeakable depravity. His unholy spirit has motivated earth's most evil men. The Almighty's two divine and sacred gifts to mankind in the Garden of Eden were
• The Marriage Bond
• The Sabbath ... Satan has attacked both
The Marriage Bond
No one needs reminding these days of how marriages the world over are falling apart. The sexual act, which the Almighty ordained for the continuation of the human race and the loving bond between a man and his wife, has become the foundation of a sex-crazed entertainment industry. Movies, videos, magazines, music, dancing and blatant sex advertising are all big business these days. All these things openly condone or encourage sin. I'm sure that even the most informed authority on earth would be appalled at just what is really going on behind the scenes in the multi-billion dollar Sex Industry. In Sermon Note 1312 that subject will be looked at from the Scriptural standpoint.
The Weekly Sabbath
This morning I will concentrate on the second gift the Creator gave mankind in Eden - the weekly Sabbath!
Gen.2: 1: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2: And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3: And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Obviously the Almighty didn't need to rest after six days of work; for He never becomes tired or even needs to sleep (Psalm 121:4). He rested on that first Sabbath to set man an example. Later He placed the Sabbath command at the very heart of His law.
Exodus 20: 8: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10: But the seventh day IS the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Notice those two vital points:
• The seventh day IS the Sabbath. Not was, but IS!
• And why should we keep the Sabbath? The answer is because the seventh day Sabbath is the divinely appointed memorial of the creation.
Believers in Jesus who refuse to keep the seventh day Sabbath are on dangerous ground; especially those who now know what it represents and of what it is a memorial. We may liken the weekly Sabbath to the heartbeat of God. When kept in the right frame of mind, the weekly Sabbath is one of the greatest acts of faith in the Creator. Those who truly believe the Genesis record will honour the Almighty's Sabbath. In a day when billions of souls, including millions of Christians, believe in the unproved theory of Evolution, the Almighty is calling His people to keep the weekly Sabbath - as an act of faith in the Bible account of Creation! For more information, see The Everlasting Gospel
A Holy Convocation
Moreover, the weekly Sabbath is the appointed time when the Creator meets with His people as a congregation, rather than as individuals. It's not just a time of physical rest and refreshment, but a time to meet God and to learn about His Son, His law and His plans. The weekly Sabbath is a time to join with family members and other believers in worship. According to Scripture, the weekly Sabbath is 'a holy convocation.' This means it is a sacred, assembly - one which is commanded of God! Failure to attend Sabbath assemblies, without a very good reason, is disobedience. It is a sure way to spiritual atrophy and defeat.
Lev:23: 3: Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Isa.58: 11: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
12: And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
13: If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
7. SUMMARYIsa.58: 12: "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of paths to dwell in."
Who are these people? Can you become one of them? The answer is: every believer can.
1. A breach is a break or gap in a wall or fence. Through it the enemy can come in and through it the innocent may wander off and be lost.
2. Repairing spiritual breaches is the responsibility of all believers, especially that of the priesthood. The Almighty will withhold His blessings from you if you fail to do your duty.
3. No matter what your profession: (priest, ruler, goldsmith, chemist, farmer - man or woman) you can become a Repairer of the Breach, a Restorer of paths to dwell in.
But expect opposition; because the enemy of souls is never pleased when 'breaches are being repaired,' or when the 'old paths are being restored.'
4. It is absolutely essential that only the finest of materials be used. Yahweh's truth, His law and His Word. Only these must be used. 'Private opinions,' 'human traditions,' 'pagan practices,' or 'downright falsehood' will not do. Like untempered mortar these will never stand the test of divine Judgement.
5. We can compare false prophets to bogus builders. In the Time of trouble their flimsy structures and vain prophecies will collapse in ruins.
6. Many Spiritual Breaches have been made in the Almighty's property: Married life the true Sabbath day, the law of God and the real Word of God; all have been broken into, vandalised and mutilated. Let us restore them to their former glory. If we do this conscientiously we will be called 'Repairers of the Breach,' the 'Restorers of paths to dwell in.'
'May the Almighty grant us all success in this noble work' is my prayer for His Name's sake.
Source Link: http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/sbs777/snotes/note1311.html