"When the Enemy Come In"
Isaiah 59: 19
April 25, 1998


Song: "The Battle Belongs to the LORD"

  • "If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul" (Psalm 124:2-4).

Ridley Havergal has reminded:

"God has not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
All our life through."

Today’s passage gives us hope in such times... FIRST...

A. Capture the context: ch. 58:14 "Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high ills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken."
They were promised victory they had not seen...

1. The reason for failure here is not on God’s side (59:1)
2. The reason is moral failure on Israel’s side (59:2-15)
3. The only way of salvation left was from to God (59:16-19)
4. The Redeemer will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob" (59:20)
"When the enemy comes in like a flood..." "The Battle Belongs to the LORD"
5. The New Covenant is promised (59:21 – read it)

B. The Text: In the middle of the promised salvation, an interesting statement if made, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him." This is where we will spend our time in meditation on the Word this morning.
C. The prophetic has multiple applications in time. Ultimately this will be fulfilled in Rev. 12: 15 when after the world has experienced the worse that Satan can do, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever."
D. We hear in the news the "Holy War" declarations of the Musilims, but there is a war declared in the Heavens against sin since the time of Satan’s rebellion.

I. The Holy War

A. The struggle within

1. The enemy: Satan, Devil, the Accuser of the Brethren, the who can destroy a soul: Matt 10: 28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
2. The flood: sudden, destructive, overwhelming, watery grave... i.e. our total inability to stand against the onslaught... can’t swim against, stand against nor hold it back

a. You know that feeling when the flood comes in: feeling of loose, powerlessness, wandering about the future
b. Job the classic example
c. This happens sometimes within us: Satan battling for our minds

3. The Spirit:

a. The one who cries within us Abba Father, who makes us alive, speaks to us about Jesus, teaches us all things, one the disciples were commanded to wait for...
b. The Spirit of the LORD: (Yahweh)

4. Some examples of Satan’s attacks:

a. When overwhelmed with guilt... "God can’t love you"
b. When overwhelmed with doubt... "God only answers the prayer of faith"
c. When overwhelmed by loss... "God has forgotten you"

B. The struggle with the outside

1. The early Christians: began with the persecution led by Saul of Tarsus... but the Spirit of the LORD raised up a standard and Saul was saved
2. The reformers were persecuted and killed, but the Spirit of the Lord raised up a standard and the Word of God and coverts multiplied
3. 19 century England: 6 students were expelled from Oxford for praying. Christianity seemed as though its light would be extinguished... but the Spirit of the Lord raised up a standard and the six began to preach in the open air...
4. Persecution of Believers in China
5. Today more Christians are being killed than at any time in the history of the world. Even after the world has experienced Satan’s best shots and it seems that all is lost, Rev. 12:15 tells us that "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever." How will this happen? One word from the mouth of Jesus (Rev. 19).
6. This is a constantly repeating theme: "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." (Rom. 5:20)
7. Isaiah 9: 2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
"The Battle Belongs to the LORD"

II. The Standard

A. "Standard" literally means: to flit or vanish away, means to chase or deliver or to lift up a standard
B. Standards of battle: Banners with the names of their God, Created to cause fear in the hearts of the enemy..

1. The picture here is of large flowing banners that cause fear in the hearts of the attackers
2. This is used as a metaphor for armed resistance
3. The context here teaches us that their is nothing we can do ourselves but His hand is not shortened that He cannot save but it was our sins that have separated us from God. In the day of deliverance, it is God’s work that saves us(16-17)
4. The only thing they do is reverence the Name of the Lord and His glory (the same thing): where do you put your trust?

C. The Standard of God

1. His Name, His character, and His own work
2. His Son... in the midst of a flood, what is it that fights against the enemy, the nature of Jesus within us. It is His concern to fight and ours to follow the standard bearer (Jesus) and keep our eyes on the standard (Jesus).

  • Note in verse 16: no man is found to help us
  • In verse 17 God Himself stands up: "For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak."
    "The Battle Belongs to the LORD"
  • He will judge His enemies verse 18 (which are ours, also)
  • The Redeemer comes to those who turn from transgression (i.e. repent)
  • He establishes a New Covenant with His people: His Spirit is upon them and His Words are on their lips.