Summary: I feel very strongly that the commencement of Celebrating our Cultural and Spiritual Heritage as African descendants must begin with a recognition and appreciation of the Role of the Holy Spirit in our Redemptive History. For He was and is and is yet to p
“God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.”
Those words shall serve as a catalyst for our chat this morning. I want to use this preaching moment as a vehicle to convey “THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE DELIVERANCE OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD - THE HOLY SPIRIT AS DELIVERER.” The TEXT the Lord has tagged and targeted for teaching this truth is ISAIAH 59:19b.
I feel very strongly that the commencement of Celebrating our Cultural and Spiritual Heritage as African descendants must begin with a recognition and appreciation of the Role of the Holy Spirit in our Redemptive History. For He was and is and is yet to play an ultimate and crowning role in our extrication from all forms of tyranny, terrorism and bondage. Let us now give the Holy Spirit some adoration, praise, recognition and honor for His faithfulness to us. Let’s praise Him now with hand clapping and thanks!!! For it is He and His ministry who is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of God’s glory with exceeding joy.
And so, I want to spotlight and high-lite Four words: DECLINE, DEPARTURE, DANGER and DELIVERANCE. For the Decline of a Great People can be traced back to their Departure from their God. And this Departure will eventually Expose Departees to Danger. And this Danger of ultimate Destruction Discloses the Deliverance of God.
And so, the first two words I want to high-lite are the words DECLINE and DEPARTURE. For I do contend that:
I. THE DECLINE OF A GREAT PEOPLE CAN BE TRACED BACK TO THEIR DEPARTURE FROM THEIR GOD.
For the context of this 59th chapter of Isaiah contains contents of a Particular Class and Race of People who Departed from their God. That 13th verse houses the phrase “departing away from our God.” And it goes on to list the ways in which this people had departed from their God. It says “In transgressing and lying against the Lord …speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.” Those are concrete expressions of what it means to depart away from God. And that sedition, that breaking away, that departure from God becomes even more pronounced when we consider who these people were.
First of all, they were a Class of people who shared the Same Economic and Social Status. From their inception or genesis as a people, they were all endowed with a shared portion of land, property or possessions. They were economic equals, all having a share in the inheritance that was their legacy from their forefathers. Therefore, Socially, they were equals. There was no upper, middle or lower class. There was a network and community of brotherhood and intermingling of the people one with the other. All saw each as their neighbor and treated each as their brother or sister. Their community was held together in the bond of kinship, shared culture and customs. There was only was class - the Blessed Class! In their youth and purity as a people, they were actively aware of their common economic and social level of society.
There were times in our history as a people that we too were actively aware of our common and shared economic and social level of society. A time when none of us or our forebears had very much of the material wealth of this world, but the little which we did have, we were eager and glad to share with those who had less. A time when we would not allow divisions among ourselves into upper, middle and lower class. At that time there was only one class - the Blessed Class! There were times and period in our history when we viewed and treated each other as neighbors and loved each other as brothers and sisters. All of us whether poor or rich, educated or illiterate, professional or common laborer would all intermingle and socialize as one. We shared deeply the same culture and customs. We all belonged to the brotherhood of man!
Not only was this a people who shared a common economic and social level of society, but:
Secondly, they were a Particular Race of People. Their unique identity did not come from a particular ethnicity, but it came from a certain Covenant Relationship which they had with their God. For racially or ethnically, they were Gentiles like all other races of men. For Abraham himself was a Gentile in the flesh before he received the notoriety as a friend of God. It was not a matter of superior genes or breeding or morality or intelligence. It was not a matter of skin color or goodly physical features. It was a matter of the selection of God as manifested in a covenant relationship. No other race of people were so favored with this privilege as Israel.