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Summary: This message makes a comparison of the backslidden condition of Israel of long ago, with that of present-day America,and makes a plea for seeking God for revival in our nation.

INTERCEDING FOR INTERVENTION

Text: Isa.59: 16 & 19

Intro: Biblical scholars tell us that Isaiah 59 describes the moral degeneracy present during the reign of Manasseh, King of Judah. Along with the tremendous wickedness of Manasseh’s reign came many social injustices that resulted in a general despair, as well as death to many. The reign of Manasseh was so characterized by wickedness that the Bible says of him:

So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.

And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken (II Chron.33: 9, 10).

Eventually God judged Manasseh and his people by sending the Assyrians to afflict them. Manasseh himself was taken in chains to Babylon, where he later sought God’s forgiveness, and was graciously restored to his kingdom sometime thereafter.

Before Manasseh repented, Judah reeled under the weight of a morally and spiritually bankrupt state of affairs. It was this condition that forced Isaiah to explain to the people of Judah why God would not hear their cries for deliverance from the Assyrians. He does this by clearly describing the deplorable spiritual condition of the nation. He then states that God was displeased with their moral failure, as well as the fact that He had found no intercessor among the people—one who would sincerely seek God’s face in prayer for His intervention on their behalf.

As God looks down on our wicked generation, I suspect that He is still displeased that there are so few who are concerned enough to intercede for His intervention. So many people around us are groaning under the burden of sin, and in need of salvation. And yet so few seem concerned enough to seek God’s face for them.

So many of God’s people are hurting, and desperately need someone to care enough to intercede for them before the throne of God. God’s Church shutters under the weight of neglect, unconcern, and spiritual dryness, yet so few are willing to stand in the gap with brokenhearted prayer. HAVE WE BECOME TOO INVOLVED TO INTERCEDE? HAVE WE PERHAPS BECOME TOO BUSY TO BECOME SPIRITUALLY BURDENED?

Dear brothers and sisters, I want us to draw some parallels from this passage today, and see why intercessors are so desperately needed right now. We must be interceding for God’s intervention in the souls and situations about us.

Theme: Like Judah, America desperately needs intercessors because of:

I. THE NATION’S TRANSGRESSION

A. The Separation Of It.

1. The problem was not God’s inability.

Isa.59: 1 “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:”

NOTE: [1] The Bible tells us that, “…there is nothing too hard” for God (Jer.32: 17).

[2] Folks, if God isn’t answering our prayers, it’s not because He isn’t able. It’s not because God is reluctant to hear and answer, since there isn’t one unintelligible whisper that God can’t hear. If God doesn’t answer, there is a definite reason. In my opinion, about 99.99% of the time, the problem is the sin of God’s people.

2. The problem was with the people’s iniquity.

Isa.59: 2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

NOTE: Sin always separates. The problem is that, more often than not, the separation happens ever so gradually.

I live in a small, rural community. There are lots of cattle ranches around here, and, every once in a while, a cow wanders off and gets lost . . . Ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, and chances are he will reply, “Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of grass right next to a hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know, the cow has nibbled itself into being lost.”

Americans are in the process of nibbling their way to being lost. . . We keep moving from one tuft of activity to another, never noticing how far we have gone from home or how far away from the truth we have managed to end up.

Mike Yaconelli, “The Wittenburg Door.”

B. The Symptoms Of It.

1. Notice Isaiah’s description of the people’s deeds.

Isa.59: 3 “For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

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