Summary: Just as a police car seen in your rearview mirror can cause a careless driver to drive carefully so can God’s presence get the attention of this world. Isaiah thought this to be true, do you? This sermon reminds us what will truly awaken this sleeping wor
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Just recently in Texas I was driving my family back to Melissa’s Parent’s home from Dallas when all of a sudden a car full of teenagers passed us on our right easily driving 90 mph. Okay, your probably thinking to yourself, “Big Deal” New Jersey drivers are the king of speeders, especially on route 17. But what made this particular speeding moment memorable is that the kids passed me on my right by driving on the shoulder. Needless to say the first words out of my mouth were not kind, they never are kind when it comes to people who drive recklessly on the road so we won’t go into what I said at first, but I will share with you what I said next. I said, “Where are the police when you need them?” Now here is a phrase that I am sure you have voiced yourselves from time to time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the people that care nothing about the other drivers on the road, get caught red handed time and time again? Justice! That’s what I want! Justice!
Justice for what you ask? Those speeding kids did not hurt us in any way so I have no reason to own a spirit of revenge but what really bothers me is what COULD HAVE HAPPENED! Those kids COULD HAVE created an accident and we COULD HAVE been involved in that accident. I think to myself that if the police were around, those kids COULD HAVE been stopped and COULD HAVE ALSO learned a valuable lesson and thus never drive carelessly again.
Talking about what COULD HAVE happened doesn’t really change anything except that it gives voice to our feelings. So whenever you see me driving on the road with a scowl on my face you can just say to yourself, with a smile on your face, “Oh yes, Pastor Doug must be thinking about what COULD HAVE HAPPENED again!”
Isaiah is another one who cries out for JUSTICE and whom concerns himself with WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED only instead of longing for the police to show up, Isaiah wants God to do some quaking on this world by way of His Almighty Power and Presence. Listen to how Isaiah begins his prayer. He says, “Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence.” It appears that Isaiah is well aware the effect God has on His people. He knows what COULD HAPPEN when His people see God. They are not apt to turn against Him or remain unaffected by His presence. They are more likely to abide by His Will.
There is an Allstate commercial presently airing that basically says, ‘just as soon as you see the police car, you become a careful and safe driver. You go the speed limit. You obey all traffic laws.’ The presence of a police car is a sure bet that every driver on the road will become a careful and safe driver. Take the police car away and you end up seeing kids driving on the shoulder of the highway at over 90 miles per hour. If the police can change a person’s bad activity just by being seen, then imagine the effect God would have on His people if He made Himself known in a physical way?
WHAT COULD HAPPEN if God appeared as a pillar of fire before hundreds of thousands of people? Do you think all those people would stop, take notice and quite frankly repent right then and there? Here is another scenario. Imagine if you were in the midst of hundreds of atheists, you were the only Christian and you were being given the opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Wouldn’t it be great if while talking about the presence of Almighty God, Jesus dropped down in the middle of your lecture in full bodily form to offer physical proof of His existence? How many of those atheists would suddenly convert?
In a way Isaiah duplicates that last scenario as he surrounds himself with people that seemingly no longer believe in God. He has tried to get their attention and now wonders if there is really any chance of salvation available. In verse five he asks, “Shall we be saved?” If you were in his situation wouldn’t you pray for all those unbelievers to see an example of the Almighty’s Power? Wouldn’t you like to see such people humbled so that as a result of God’s Will, they would be moved to believe and repent? And in our day, WHAT COULD HAPPEN to the mindset of all the people that reject Jesus Christ if God once more manifested His Holy Presence in the form of a huge pillar of fire?