The Jeshurun Man - Christian Excellence

Bible Book: Isaiah  44 : 1-3
Subject: Christian Living; Christian Growth; Excellence; Men

What does God have planned for my life? I am not talking about specifics at this point; I am speaking generally when I ask that question. What does God want for me? I didn’t ask what God expects from me or what He wants from me. I am asking what God wants FOR me. This is a critical question because it carries an important thought that I want you to get deep down inside your heart and mind today. This is the thought – God is FOR you. Sometimes I think people get the sense that God is out to get them. The opposite is true.

Listen to what Paul wrote in Romans 8:31-32, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” NIV

God spared not His own Son in redeeming you, so how would He withhold any good thing from you? You have love from above! God loves you and He is for you. So, what is it that God wants FOR you? He wants you to be all that you can be! That doesn’t mean He wants you to have all you want to have, for that may not be best for you. He wants the best for you.

Look at Isaiah 44:1-3:

“Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant,
And Israel whom I have chosen.
Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring..." NKJV

When I read Isaiah 44:1-3, I see a progression of possibilities. In this passage God is speaking of the nation of Israel. He calls the nation by three names and he uses the name of a man to illustrate His point. In seeking to understand the use of these three names, we come to understand something of the heart of God – and if we look closely, something about ourselves.

I'm speaking today specifically to men. This passage can be applied to any Christian, but I want men to pay close attention to God's Word in this message. Our churches, homes and nation have never needed godly men more than we need them right now. Regarding men, I was interested in what one woman said some time ago about her husband. Asked to describe her husband she said, "He is 40 around the chest, 42 around the waist, 98 around the golf course and as nuisance around the house!"

If that dear lady thought her husband was a nuisance, she should see him through God's eyes. The picture of manhood as being a beer guzzling, woman battering, condom carrying, vulgarity spewing, family-deserting good-ole-boy must be sickening to the heart of God. God is looking for some knee-bowing, Christ-exalting, woman-honoring, family-loving, church-attending men in whom His Spirit resides and reigns!

But, the Lord is not only looking for a few good men; He is looking for young people, men and women, senior adults and people of all ages to “Be All That You Can Be.”

Note two important, key elements in this passage that speak to God’s goodness and our progress.

I. The Convicting Reminder of what God has Done

This passage speaks of God’s goodness toward His people. It is critical that we remember how good God has been to those of us who believe upon Him. To remember His goodness can convict us of our complaining, laziness, sinfulness, pride, selfishness, and a host of other weaknesses. There are five reminders in this passage concerning the goodness of God toward His own.

A. He has Chosen Us

"Whom I have chosen."

He chose us to be His servants. We may be poor servants, and even evil servants, but by His grace we are His servants! We are not His servants because we chose Him, but because He chose us.

In 1 Peter 2:9 Peter reminds us that we are a “chosen” people. Peter tells us that we were not a people but now we are a people. In other words, till we were chosen, we were as dead men walking the earth. Paul tells us that we were dead in our trespasses and sins before we came to Christ (Ephesians 2).

This is over our heads. This is beyond our understanding. It convicts us in our souls when we think that we have been chosen to belong to the God of heaven and be His servants though we are so undeserving.

B. He has Elevated Us

Have you ever thought just what a human life is? We are so much of this and that. We are a composite of chemicals and elements from the earth. We came from dust and we will return to dust. We are, in essence, so little. Our life is so short and brief. Yet, God has elevated us to be called His own. He has promised us a home in heaven. He has made us children of the Most High God. Reflect again, in the light of the text, upon the ennobling influence of grace.

The people are first called Jacob, but only in the next line are they called Israel. They go from being deceiving Jacob, to the praying Israel. God’s desire is to lift our lives up from this sin-stained world. All who belong to Him are to be elevated above our earthly nature to a heavenly, spiritual nature. He desires to move us from a Jacob like attitude that an Israel like attitude. You do know, of course, that Jacob had his name changed by the Lord. He is Jacob when he was the cheating, conniving character; however, God changed his name to Israel once he had repented and learned his lesson!

C. He has Sustained Us

He made us. He sustains us. He keeps us by His power. He will not let the enemy have us. We are marching to Zion!

D. He Loves Us

Notice that we have another name in this passage - the name Jeshurun. Now this is a unique name, indeed. It speaks of God’s endearing love for His own. It is a word which speaks volumes. It means “righteous one.” It might as well be called “precious one.” We call our children “precious” long before they can act precious. Why? We see them through eyes of love.

Jack, Cathy, Jason and Leslie were in my driveway the other evening. There in the car was the little baby girl, Chloe. One of them, I don’t remember who, asked, “Would you like to see a precious little girl?” Indeed, I did want to see that little one and so I looked inside the car at that baby. There she was. She was beautiful, of course. But one thing I know. She has not lived long enough to prove herself precious. But she is precious. To her daddy, she is precious. To her mother, she is precious. To her grandparents, she is precious. But she can’t do anything to prove that she is precious. Then, why is she precious? Because she is looked upon through the eyes of love. Even when she gets older and does some things that are not so precious, she will still be precious – because they will see her through the eyes of love.

This is how God looks at us. He sees us through the eyes of love. He sees those who belong to Him as precious because He loves them. O, what wonder there is in the love of God.

But this begs the question: How can I become the precious child He sees me to be? God answers that in this passage. How can I be all that I can be? He answers that clearly. Note what follows.

II. The Comforting Reminder of What God Will Do

A. He will Pour out the Water

The “water” of this passage speaks of the Spirit of God. Life requires water. Growth requires water. Where water abounds, life and growth abound. For us to grow to become what we should be and could be, we must have the flow of God’s Spirit upon our lives. We need to recognize that we can only do for God what God enables us to do. But, God will enable us to do all that He intends for us to do – if we are willing!

B. He will Pour out the Water upon the Thirsty Ground

The willing part comes from having a “thirst” for God. We must desire to be all that we can be in order to have the power from God to accomplish it. If we are willing to rest where we are, we will receive no more than we have!

C. He will Pour out the Spirit upon the Descendants

Even those who follow us can be blessed by our own efforts. Our children, both in the flesh and spirit, can be blessed by our obedience and goals. When we love God and seek Him with all our heart, the blessing can pass down to those who come behind us.

Now, review the picture here. Jacob was a conniving, scheming, egocentric individual. In spiritual terms, he was carnal and worldly. He tricked his father into giving him the blessing which belonged to his brother Esau. He had already caught his brother in a weak moment and traded him a bowl of soup for the family birthright. He thought he could do things his own way. God visited him at Bethel but Jacob still had some growing to do in his soul. In essence, until Jacob's name was changed to Israel, until he wrestled with the angel on his second journey to Bethel, he remained a somewhat carnal, self-centered individual.

Many Christians in our day are exactly where Jacob was in his day. They are selfish and immature. There are men and women here today, and young people for that matter, who are backslidden from God because you are not willing to turn things over to God. Your own efforts to get you what you want in life are actually denying you the things that would bring your life real meaning. It is God’s plan and will for you and for me to become all we can be – to move from being a “Jacob” Christian to a “Jeshurun” Christian. It is God’s will that we become the precious Christian God has planned for us to be.

III. The Commitment Required To Experience What God Will Do

Look at Philippians 3:12-16 and note the following: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” NIV

There it is! There is the Jeshurun life. There is the ideal Christian life. You can apply this to my life and yours and ask if we are Jacob, Israel or Jeshurun.

To become A Jeshurun Christian is to take two steps.

A. A Step Toward Power

We must realize that without God’s power we can do nothing. We must have His Spirit empowering us. That is what He told us. It is not that I can do a few things without His help. It is not that I can do some things without His help. I can do NOTHING without His power working in and through me.

B. A Step of Pursuit

We must seek to become what we were designed to be. Paul was that kind of Christian. He had one goal and that was to fulfill the will of God. He longed to be near Christ and like Christ.

O, that every believer, man and woman, could see this reality. We settle for less than God meant for us to be. Churches do the same thing. Ministries do likewise. God has great plans for us. When we settle for what we have, we get no more. When we agree in heart and soul that God has more for us, we take the beginning step toward finding that something more!

Look in Old Testament at the poor woman who had run out of oil. Look in 2 Kings 4:3. Note that he told her to borrow vessels for oil and God would fill them. He told her to “borrow not a few.” She retrieved all the vessels possible from neighbors and every vessel was filled with oil. The oil only stopped when her capacity was limited.

Dear friend, that is God’s plan for you and for me. God has blessings equal to our faith and equal to our obedience. Far too many of us are stuck in the Jacob gear or Israel gear and we need to shift up to the Jeshurun gear and watch what God would do.

Read Hebrews 12:1. We must lay aside the weight that does so easily beset us and run with patience the race that is set before us.


A father and his small son strolled down the street in Chicago past the place where a skyscraper was being constructed. Glancing up, they saw men at work on a high story of the building. "Father," said the little boy, "What are those little boys doing up there?"

"Those are not little boys, son. They're grown men."

"But why do they look so small?"

"Because they're so high up," his father answered.

After a pause the boy asked, "Then, Father, when they get to heaven there won't be anything left of them, will there?"

It's so true. The nearer we come to Christ the less others see of us and the more they see of Christ.

"Two natures struggle in my breast:

The one is foul, the other blest.

The "new" I love ‑‑ the "old" I hate,

The one I feed will dominate." (From Our Daily Bread)

High in the Alps is a monument raised in honor of a faithful guide who perished while ascending a peak to rescue a stranded tourist. Inscribed on that memorial stone are these words: HE DIED CLIMBING. A maturing, growing Christian should have the same kind of attitude, right up to the end of life.