Tonight, I have the privilege of meeting with the Journey kids during our AWANA program at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. The kids are learning about worldviews during this section of their book. This week, we are going to take a look at Isaiah 44. God teaches about worldviews all throughout the Bible. All of us have a worldview, even if we do not realize it. The idea of worldview is defined as a “particular philosophy of life” a “conception of the world lived out in daily life“. A worldview is often inherited from parents and shaped by society. Even politics is impacted by worldviews. Politics is the battle for worldview application in daily life. Every single political party has a worldview. The Bible teaches us to have a worldview. The Biblical worldview is best summed up in the 10 Commandments. God shapes our worldview in the first 4 Commandments. Then, we live out that worldview in our daily lives in Commandments 5-10. Jesus defines the Christian worldview in the Greatest Commandment in the Bible. When we love the Lord with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength that is the same as the first 4 Commandments. When we love our neighbor as ourselves, that is the same as Commandments 5-10. So, when Christians oppose the sinful action of abortion, we are living out our worldview of the value of human life. When Christians oppose Gay Marriage, that is because we are living out our worldview of marriage being between one man and one woman. When Christians oppose Drag Queens reading to children at public libraries, that is living out the worldview that opposes the sexualization of children.
Even those who do not know God still have a worldview. In the Old Testament, several idols were described by God and understanding these idols helps us see the worldview behind them. There is the Ashtoreth. This is the female deity of the Phoenicians She represents fertility. Part of the practices that she promotes is sexual immorality. This is the living out of a worldview in daily life. The Biblical worldview opposes sexual immorality. There is Molech. He is the deity of the Ammonites. He represents infant sacrifice. He would definitely be popular among the people who practice sexual immorality because a result of sexual immorality is unwanted pregnancies. There is a reason that the sexual revolution and the legalization of abortion in America go hand in hand. The final idol that I would like to consider is Chemosh. He is the deity of the Moabites. He represents violence and war. Obviously, the Christian worldview opposes violence and murder yet there are many worldviews that promote violence. When criminals are not punished for their actions, violence reigns in a society. This is why worldviews matter.
I. Knowledge of God shapes our worldview
If we examine the first 8 verses of Isaiah 44, we quickly see that God shares insight of His character with us which will help shape our worldview.
1 “But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, And Israel, whom I have chosen:
2 Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3 ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants;
4 And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water.’
5 “This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’S ‘; And that one will call on the name of Jacob; And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the LORD,’ And will name Israel’s name with honor.
6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.
7 ‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.
8 ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’ ” (Isaiah 44)
All of the bold and underlined words and phrases are the ways that God describes Himself in these 8 verses. First, He introduces Himself as Jehovah, the self-existent One. He has life in Himself and He does not need anything outside of Himself to survive. This is completely different from us as humans. We depend on time, space, and matter to exist. He created time, space, and matter so He exists outside of them and is not dependent upon them. This sets Him apart and His worldview apart from all other worldviews. Since He created everything and is over everything, He is King or Ruler. He is able to determine which worldview is the best, unlike all the rest of the worldviews. God is also Redeemer. His worldview leads to our redemption unlike all other worldviews. If you break all other worldviews down to the nuts and bolts, they all teach that we seek redemption by working our way back to God. God’s worldview is that He comes to us to redeem us because we cannot work ourselves back to God. God reveals Himself to be the One who was there at the beginning because He created the beginning. He will be there at the end because He is outside of time. Not only that, but His worldview makes sense because His explains the origins of things accurately and with authority. Finally, we see that God describes Himself as the Rock, the foundation. His worldview makes sense because it will never change. Worldviews come and go but God’s remains. When we come to know God as He reveals Himself in His Word, that helps shape our worldview because we inherit His worldview. What about those who have a different worldview than the Bible, is that okay as long as they are sincere in their belief of that worldview?
II. Sincere worldviews can be futile
Not all worldviews are created equal. In fact, when you have two worldviews that make absolute claims, yet contradict one another, they both cannot be right, from a logical perspective. A person can be sincere about his or her worldview, yet, that worldview can be sincerely wrong, or as the Bible explains it, futile.
9 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame.
10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit?
11 Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame.
12 The man shapes iron into a cutting tool and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary.
13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house.
14 Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow.
15 Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it.
16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.”
17 But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.”
18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend.
19 No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!” (Isaiah 44)
God presents a worldview in the above passage that is futile. Why is it futile? It is futile because it does nothing for the person who holds to it, even if he is sincere. Why would nonBiblical worldviews be popular among people if they are futile? It is because they allow sinful man to practice his sin and calm his conscience at the same time. Look at the worldviews of the ancient world. Their gods were just as sinful as the people were.
III. God proves His worldview is superior
The best way to convince people of the value of a Biblical worldview is to use the evidence that God presents in His Word and in human history.
21 “Remember these things, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me.
22 “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
23 Shout for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; For the LORD has redeemed Jacob And in Israel He shows forth His glory.
24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone,
25 Causing the omens of boasters to fail, Making fools out of diviners, Causing wise men to draw back And turning their knowledge into foolishness,
26 Confirming the Word of His servant And performing the purpose of His messengers . . . (Isaiah 44)
The Biblical worldview presents forgiveness of sins and redemption to sinners. No other worldview offers that. Again, all other worldviews teach man that he has to so some kind of penance to attain forgiveness or, he has to work his way to God in order to get God to forgive him, if He will even do it. God is the Creator who stretched out the heavens and formed the earth. Since He is the Creator, He is able to establish the correct worldview that is not futile. Finally, the best way that God proves that His worldview is the best is by laying things out in His Word and then confirming His Holy Word each and every time. Which worldview do you follow? What is your view on crime and punishment? What is your view on violence? What is your view on abortion? What is your view on sexual immorality? What is your view on forgiveness and redemption? Do you try to work your way to God? Do you think that you have to earn God’s forgiveness? Do you follow a worldview that calms your conscience while allowing you to practice sin freely?