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Sermon – Isaiah 28:5
The Flowers for the Crown


Audio Sermon

The Flowers for the Crown

In that day the Lord of hosts will become a beautiful crown and a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people” (Isaiah 28:5)

George MacDonald (1824-1905), a Scottish preacher and teacher who was considered one of the most original of nineteenth century thinkers by his contemporaries, wrote this poem:

"I said: 'Let me walk in the field;'
God said: 'Nay, walk in the town;'
I said: 'There are no flowers there;'
He said: 'No flowers, but a crown.'"

"I said: 'But the sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din;'
But He wept as He sent me back,
'There is more,' He said, 'there is sin.'"

"I said: 'But the air is thick,
and fogs are veiling the sun;'
He answered: 'Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone.'"

"I said: 'I shall miss the light,
and friends will miss me they say;'
He answered me, 'Choose tonight,
If I am to miss you, or they.'"

"I pleaded for time to be given;
He said: 'Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in Heaven,
To have followed the steps of your Guide.'"

"I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said: 'My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?'"

"Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light Divine,
The path I had feared to see."

That poem is our story.  We draw back from giving ourselves to the Lord because we fear what might happen.  He may send us someplace we don't want to go and we might lose control, which is exactly what we need to do!  When we let Him have utter control, we will discover that the place we did not want to go is the place we should have been, all this time.  If you win (in relation to God) you lose.  If you lose control and give yourself to Him, you win.

The poem, in another way, is the story of our Savior.  He was in the paradise of God and did not need to experience the awfulness of this "nest" we have fouled.  He was completely without sin and remains so - forever!  The Innocent One gave up everything and died for the world.  All those "sacrifices" in the Book of Leviticus were advance "pictures," parables of what the Son would do for you and me.

Christmas!  We think of the baby in the manger, and we should!  The Lord of Lords, King of Glory, gave up even His ability to speak, to control bodily functions - everything; that He might become utterly a part of this human race.  He and Mary cooed at one another, in Bethlehem, one night so long ago.  He was a human child and she had just birthed the Savior of all mankind.  As Isaiah the Prophet had foretold, so long ago, "Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (God with us - Isaiah 7:14).  If you don't think such a thing occurred, you’re looking with only human understanding.  It truly happened because of the power and love of God.

Millennia before, He had stretched forth His Hand, and the interstellar vastness of outer space came into being, but now He was carried, for He could not walk even a step.  Did He play with His toes?  He who had breathed comfort into the hearts of Abraham, Moses and David - could He lift His blanket to ward off the cold?

The "crown" Jesus took, when He left the "flowers" of eternity, was a crown of thorns.  There were not only thorns in the “crown” when He was on the cross, but also thorns in the words of those who spoke against Him, and in the many actions taken against Him.

Coming from eternity, He brought us the "flowers" of His love.  Are you receiving His gift, right now?  Do you love Him?  Or, secretly, are you irritated because of something “unacceptable” in your life?  Inside, you KNOW God is sovereign in all things.  He could change your life in an instant.  Why is it not changing?  Have you ASKED Him?  If not, you should.  Have you asked Him and He did not answer?  Perhaps HE wants something of YOU, and that is why the answer is delayed.  Do you have pride, thinking that somehow YOUR solutions are better than HIS?

There is a cross for you, also, and it is the key to receiving the crown.  Look prayerfully at what He did on the cross, and you will begin to see the flowers of His love.  Reach out to Him who had become a Babe in a manger, the Man of sorrows on the Cross of Calvary who died for your sins.

In Isaiah 28:1, and forward, we read. “Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards… and to the fading flower of its glorious beauty…”  Our works and efforts will fail, but “The Lord of hosts” Himself has “become a beautiful crown” (Isaiah 28:5) – for you.

Lord, thank You for becoming a human child, a Man, and our Savior, the Substitute who died for the sins of the world.  Thank You for becoming our cross and our crown, making us acceptable in the sight of a Holy God.  Our flowers are fading, but Yours are forever, and we are made new in You.  Forgive us our sins.  We praise Your Holy Name, and place our faith in You now.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
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"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

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Friday Study Ministries
P.O. Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131 USA