By Michael Julian
Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, Kenton
Focal Passage: Isaiah 59:1-13
Isaiah 59:1-5: Having begun with the nature of God and then having moved to the existence and purpose of man, this next essential follows suit. What went wrong? How did man, created by God with a purpose and a divine stewardship, find himself wrecked, ruined, and ravaged by sin?
The question is both haunting and daunting. Haunting because man’s sin now separates him from his Creator. Disobedience to the Creator’s word introduced the pervasive cancer of sin.
All men suffer this reality. And remember, man encompasses male and female. But it is also daunting because man stands unable to reconcile himself to his God. Hopelessness abounds. Separation and isolation grate upon the heart and mind. But, praise be to God there is a remedy.
As Isaiah is drawing to a close, these last chapters march us toward repentance, revival, and God’s future kingdom. Here, we must pause and deal with the nature of sin.
Though their sin is great, the Lord is fully capable of providing salvation. His arm can reach the lowest sinner with grace and mercy. His ear can detect the faintest whimper for forgiveness.
With much sadness, we see in this text that God has turned his face away from Israel. They had blood on their hands and lies dripping from their mouths. Innocents were being harmed. They were meditating and pondering on how to concoct injustice. God’s Word meant very little to them. How they were wrecked, ruined, and ravaged by their sin! And oh how that wrecked, ruined, and ravaged the community and the spiritual condition of the nation.
Isaiah 59:6-8: As we are prone to do, man will try to cover himself spiritually with clothes of his own making. This is futile and foolish. We seek to dress ourselves in the very best of our pious works. We assume we can tip the scales in our favor.
Isaiah would later address this when he discloses that all of our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment due to our uncleanness. The mouth and pen of Isaiah erupt with fire against the sinfulness of God’s people. Peace is absent from the picture. Justice is non-existent. They have chosen to stand deliberately in opposition to God and His ways. We must find God’s pathway to peace. That is our only remedy.
Isaiah 59:9-13: Light is available. A pathway to peace, justice, and salvation exists. What they needed to practice they knew nothing of, and what they didn’t need to practice they knew everything about, to their shame. When you refuse to honor God and His Word, this becomes the standard by which people live. But sinful man’s standards fall woefully short of God’s righteous standard. Hopelessness remains. Unless the remedy is applied.
This is why we emphasize the gospel. This is why we preach Jesus crucified, dead, buried, resurrected, ascended, and coming again. For all of Israel’s spiritual turmoil, the Lord stood ready to lead His people into a glorious future. That future is realized in Jesus, for all who repent and believe in the gospel. See your spiritual need. Recognize the spiritual need of those in your sphere of influence. Then apply the remedy, Jesus Christ. B&R