Summary: Most of us go through times when we 'feel' God is not listening to our prayers. From Isaiah 59, this message gives some of the process for this season in our lives.
Dear God, Please Hear Me
(Why God doesn’t answer)
* A young man asked his girlfriend, “Can I kiss you?” and she was silent. Next, he asked, “May I kiss you?” again, she was silent. Finally, in frustration he said, “Are You deaf?” Without hesitation she replied, “Are you paralyzed?”
* Have you ever spoken to God giving Him your deepest request only to hear silence? Have you ever wondered why God is not listening to your prayers? I have. In fact, there have been times when my prayer has simply been “help” and that prayer, at least it seemed to me, fell on deaf ears.
• I can remember praying for a young girl with cancer to recover and she died.
• I’ve prayed for couples who were having tough times to stay together and they got a divorce.
• I’ve prayed for people to respond to a message and accept Christ and they didn’t.
• I’ve prayed for the Saint to win and they lost.
* Have you ever prayed, “Dear God, please hear me?” Again, I have. Honestly, most of the time God answers one of 3 ways. He says, “Yes, your request is holy & is in my will” or “No, this request is unholy & outside of my will” or even “Wait. The timing is not right.” However sometimes, He is silent. While there can be many reasons why this happens, Isaiah writes about this very subject (Text)
* Verse one tells us that it’s not always God’s fault. When things don’t go ‘our way’ we do our best to blame it on someone else, but God hands & ears are working fine. (Read rest of text)
1) The Reasons – Candidly, there are more reason why God might not hear & answer than we have time to mention, but this text mentions 3 specific reasons. Before we call out the issues let’s make a note of the true culprit, “YOU.” In verses 2 & 3 we discover ‘you’ or ‘your’ over a half-dozen times. It’s not someone else, it’s me.
a) Because of Sin – (Vs 2-3) The text says, “Your iniquities, Your sins, Your hands, Your fingers, and Your Lips” have all built barriers between you and God which has made Him hide His face from you. Have you sincerely read these 2 verses? Do you notice the possessive nature of this sin? It’s all about YOU and YOUR. Our unconfessed & unrepented of sin stands like a barrier between God and us. He simply doesn’t listen or hear. The writer brings to light every part of our bodies (I.E. hand, fingers, and lips) to highlight that it is what we do & how we speak that serves to hinder God from hearing us. We may not think too badly about sin, but God does. Sin is the reason that God had to send Jesus to the cross to die. Sin is not overlooked by God. Not my sin, not your sin, not your best friend’s sin, NO ONE’S SIN! Sin is a barrier, a wall, a fortress, or better said, “ear plugs” to God.
b) Because of Shallowness (Vs 4) Verse 4 is a continuation of the last half of verse 3 which speaks about lying! Look at the indictment! No one makes claims justly or speaks honestly. The writer says, “These people are spinning tales like the Washington politicians.” This past Thursday we saw the VP debate.
* After the debate everyone in the political camps try to ‘spin’ the evaluation to put their candidate in the best light. Here is the sad part: We have become so accepting of the ‘spin’ – that there is now something called the ‘spin room’ where all the pundits go to ‘spin’ the truth. Now watch how God word exposes the impact of ‘spin.’ First notice the change of pronouns from “You” to “they”. They, the ones who are the spinsters, trust in empty & worthless words – thus they reveal their shallowness. When anyone trusts in vain, empty, & worthless words they are headed for trouble & iniquity. Part of this judgment is the absence of God in their life and their ear.
c) Because of Stubbornness (Vs 5-8) - Once again we see a change in the pronoun. It began as you and is now ‘they.’ When we become so stubborn that we allow our sin to continue publicly (or privately) and we refuse to come back to our Lord for cleansing and healing we invite a sequence of undesirable things to happen in our lives. (Review verses 4b-8) “They” (the word Isaiah uses) are so stubborn that ‘they’ will not repent, relent, or return to God. Instead of returning to God, where they know they should go, in arrogance they run after evil & rush to crucify some innocent soul – and then they wonder why God doesn’t hear them.