Sermons

Summary: Exposition of Isaiah 58

Isaiah 58

When God Doesn’t Answer

Where’s the Results? Vs. 1-3a

Check Your Motives Vs. 3b-5

The Right Approach Vs. 6-7

Prayer the Breaks Through Vs. 8-14

Intro: Is anyone there?

Do you ever try to call anyone anymore?

I’ve given up trying to call people under the age of 60… they just don’t answer

What’s really funny is when you text someone and you can see they got your text and they tell you they didn’t see it

Read Isaiah 58:1-3

Transition:

There is a new day dawning in our country and in the church

With the affirmation by the Supreme Court of Obamacare and Gay Marriage all the rules have changed

The individual liberties afforded by the constitution are no longer there

What ever the government deems right for you is what will happen

I’m not going to be a doomsday person in this but the stakes to follow Christ just got higher

You could open the lompoc record one morning and see a picture of me being led away in handcuffs because I refused to officiate a gay marriage at this church

My religious beliefs don’t mean anything and can be illegal

Does that change how I’m going to live… no

But I think that God is bringing a winnowing fork to his church

And all of those people who are nominal Christians are going to fall away

It’s just going to be too risky to follow Christ

I believe God is seeking for those who are true to Him

No longer are we going to be able to go through the motions of being a Christian

Looking the part but living a different way isn’t going to fly

Interesting that Israel went thru the same thing

They were going thru the motions and using God for their own purposes

As time went along they were wondering where all the benefits were

Isaiah shows us this morning why God doesn't answer sometimes

Where’s the Results? Vs. 1-3a

Isaiah describes perfectly the believer who doesn’t understand why God doesn’t answer

Vs. 1 Lift Up Your Voice

God tells Isaiah to Cry aloud, lift your voice like a trumpet

This isn’t a normal prophecy, The message isn’t normal

God speaks loudly and directly. His people need to hear their transgression - but will they hear?

Sin has been a common issue thru the whole book, but this sin is masked as good

God is trying to get the attention of the religious people who are impressed with how they live

I can tell you that Scripture says over and over this is the hardest group top reach

They think they are better than everyone else so they are not open to conviction

Yet they are frustrated because they aren’t getting anywhere

Vs. 2 Delight to Know My Ways

First, God describes the appearance:

They seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways.

On the surface, it seemed that God’s people loved Him and were devoted to Him.

They had the reputation of a nation that did righteousness, and the looked like people who would take delight in approaching God.

They did everything right… or so it seems

Better yet these are consistent temple attenders who loved being taught the Word of God

They would be perceived as mature Christians in today’s society

Yet their faith was a facade

Vs. 3 Why aren’t we seeing Results?

So they go and ask Isaiah why nothing is happening when they do their religious rituals

“Why have we fasted . . . and You have not seen?”

With this spiritual veneer, they felt God was unfair to them.

“LORD, we have fasted, but You still don’t answer our prayer.

Don’t you know that we seek you daily, delight to know Your ways, do righteousness, and take delight in approaching You?

All these good deeds should afford us something right?

Yet You do not answer our prayers!”

What gives?

Why aren’t we seeing the results that we should be seeing?

Solomon has some sage advice

Prov 1:28-29 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,

Isaiah backs it up further

Is 29:13 And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,

We can’t give God lip service and expect Him to constantly answer and give us attention

Check Your Motives Vs. 3b-5

Why Doesn’t God answer? Check Your motives

Enough with the image; now God exposes the reality.

The reality was that His people didn’t fast with the right heart, and did it only as an empty ritual.

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