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Summary: In this very familar passage in Isaiah 40 are the answers to 4 questions that most people have when called to wait on the Lord.

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"WAITING ON THE LORD"

TEXT: ISAIAH 40:27-31

INTRODUCTION

WHO HERE LIKES TO WAIT?

NOT MANY OF US DO, BUT NEVERTHELESS WE FIND OURSELVES DOING IT AN AWFUL LOT OF THE TIME... FREQUENTLY THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND COUNTLESS TIMES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK WE FIND OURSELVES WAITING..

WE WAIT FOR TRAFFIC LIGHTS TO TURN GREEN...

WE WAIT FOR TRAINS TO PASS BY...

WE WAIT FOR THE BANK LINE AND THE GROCERY LINE TO MOVE....

WE WAIT FOR THE TOAST TO POP UP AND THE WATER TO BOIL.

WE WAIT FOR THE MOVIE AND THE BALL GAME TO START...

WE WAIT FOR PHONE CALLS AND WE WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO SHOW UP...

WE WAIT FOR BUSES TO COME, PLANES TO LAND AND CAR LINES TO MOVE.

WE WAIT FOR OUR TURN IN DOCTOR’S OFFICES, DENTISTS OFFICES, BARBER SHOPS AND BEAUTY PARLORS... AND WE WAIT FOR THE NEXT WEEKEND, VACATION OR DAY OFF....

WE ALL SPEND A LOT OF OUR TIME IN LIFE WAITING AND WE REALLY DON’T LIKE WAITING FOR THINGS. -- BECAUSE WE ARE A PEOPLE OF INSTANT GRATIFICATION WE WANT EVERYTHING AND WE USUALLY WANT IT NOW...!

TODAY AS BEGIN A STUDY ON THE SECOND HALF OF ISAIAH -- OUR MESSAGE IS NOT ABOUT WAITING IN LINE, BUT WAITING ON THE LORD....

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH WAS WRITTEN DURING THE TIME WHEN ISRAEL WAS DIVIDED INTO 2 KINGDOMS; ISRAEL IN THE NORTH AND JUDAH IN THE SOUTH. A TIME WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE WERE BEING PUNISHED BY FOREIGN NATIONS BECAUSE THEY HAD TURNED THEIR BACKS ON GOD.... THEY HAD CHOSEN THEIR OWN WAYS AND HAD FASHIONED THEIR OWN GODS.

AND AS THE PROPHET ISIAH WROTE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 7TH CENTURY BC, A LARGE PART OF JUDAH’S POPULATION AND ALL OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL WERE IN EXILE IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE.

SENNACHERIB HAD MARCHED IN AND STRIPPED JUDAH BARE, HE CAPTURED ALL OF THE FORTIFIED CITIES OF THE LAND, AND HAD ALMOST CAPTURED JERUSALEM ITSELF IN 701 BC. THIS WAS WHEN HEZEKIAH WAS KING, BUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AN ANGEL OF THE LORD DELIVERED THEM FORM THE ASSYRIANS HANDS (IS 36-39).

ISAIAH, AS WAS HIS CUSTOM IN DARK AND DIFFICULT TIMES, LOOKED TO THE FUTURE FOR COMFORT WHILE ENDURING THE HARDSHIPS OF THE PRESENT. AND ISAIAH COULD SEE ON THE DISTANT HORIZON A GREAT DELIVERANCE FROM EXILE, AND BEYOND THAT AN EVEN GREATER DELIVERANCE, A DELIVERANCE FROM SIN...

THE SECOND HALF OF ISAIAH IS WRITTEN TO PEOPLE WHO HAD ALREADY BEEN AND WERE LIVING THROUGH SOME DIFFICULT TIMES... AND IF THAT WAS NOT BAD ENOUGH THESE PEOPLE HAD MORE TOUGH TIMES COMING JUST OVER THE HORIZON - BABYLON & DESTRUCTION OF THEIR NATION....

IT WAS TO THESE PEOPLE THAT GOD THROUGH ISAIAH GAVE US THE WORDS OF OUR TEXT; SOME OF THESE WORDS ARE VERY FAMILIAR TO US -- BUT TODAY AS WE PLUNGE THE DEEPS OF THEIR BEAUTY WE WILL SEE THAT THEY ARE FAR RICHER THEN WE EVER IMAGINED...

(EVEN AS I WRITE THIS INTRODUCTION -- I LOOK WITH EAGER EXPECTATION WHERE GOD WILL LEAD ME -- AND WHAT HE WILL TEACH AND SHOW ME)

ISAIAH 40:27-31

(VS 27); LISTEN TO VERSE 27 AGAIN,

"WHY DO YOU SAY, O JACOB, AND COMPLAIN, O ISRAEL,`MY WAY IS HIDDEN FROM THE LORD; MY CAUSE IS DISREGARDED BY MY GOD’"

NO SPECIFIC INFORMATION IS GIVEN AS TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THIS COMPLAINT.... POSSIBLY IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULT TIMES THE PEOPLE HAD SUFFERED UNDER WICKED RULERS, AND FOREIGN NATIONS....


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