Summary: One of the hardest struggles we as believers face is the illusion that God is silent and passive, even though it seems like this is the case so very often. But he works on what we might call “Yahweh Time.”
1. Can you be on those perennial late persons and still succeed in life?
2. A British man named Steve Cleary was in his early 50's, retired from the Royal Navy, and had started a second career. However, he just couldn't seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. However, he was a good worker, really clever, so the owner was in a quandary about how to deal with it.
Finally, one day he called Steve into the office for a talk.
'Steven, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a top class job, but you're being late so often is quite a worry.'
'Yes, I realize that, sir, and I am working on it.' replied Steve.
'I'm pleased to hear that, you are a team player. It's odd though, you're coming in late. I know you're retired from the Royal Navy. What did they say if you came in late there?'
'They said, "Good morning, Admiral." '
3.One of the blessings of Camp Emmanuel are the pastors. One of them, Pastor Joe, is only about 3 or 4 years older than me, but he has served his church for 40 years!
4. The senior campers love him—their favorite. We all love Joe, but sometimes people planning other events are displeased with his schedule-keeping. About 20 years ago, we coined the term: “Joe time.” He has his own time zone!
5.Joe is an absolute gem: in non-camp life, he is always on time. He knows the difference between having a heart to see God work (and taking the time necessary to let this happen) and being undisciplined & disorganized.
6. But the idea is not unique. Our great God has His own time zone, too: I call it, “Yahweh Time.” And it has nothing to do with God being undisciplined. Opposite.
Main Idea: One of the hardest struggles we as believers face is the illusion that God is silent and passive, even though it seems like this is the case so very often. But he works on what we might call “Yahweh Time.”
I. The Craving For God To Take CHARGE is a Good Craving (1-5a)
A. Isaiah began a prayer in 63:15 for God to INTERVENE (1-3)
Some people think God works mechanically; Godly people pray and God then does what they ask; if not they did not pray properly or were not godly enough…
B. Isaiah pleads with God to do what He once DID (4)
1. This is essentially an unanswered prayer (at the time)
2. In our country, we are tempted to want a fast, supernatural fix
3. Factor: all same stats as world (families, TV, spend money) too many Christians view the Christian life as a sprint, not a marathon; we thought Promise Keepers was going to save America. Then it was the Purpose Driven Life. Then Passionate Worship. Quality. Faithful godly discipleship
C. Jesus: Thy kingdom come, Thy WILL be done
1. Peter Roussakis pointed out the dual nature of this request
2. The Millennium and the “now” obedience of God’s children in all things
D. God is especially gracious to those who JOYFULLY serve Him (4-5a)
1. Some serve from constraint, habit, pressure, false doctrine (works salvation)
2. Things you love, I don’t not care for; movies; sailing; auto racing
3. If you love something, it is a pleasure: cook, write, solve mysteries
4. If it is true that we enjoy what we love, and if we love God, it should be a pleasure to serve him; if not, something’s wrong. Coerced/pressured?
5. Ok to be afraid or feel incapable in areas… but in all areas?
God works on Yahweh time, not our time!
II. The Reason For National Judgment Was ENTRENCHED Sin (5b-7)
A. God’s wrath PROVOKED by a TRADITION of sin (5b)
B. What was supposedly GOOD was FILTHY RAGS (6)
1. Talking here about behavioral righteousness
2. Paul extends the principle to positional righteousness before God
3. Consequences: fading leaf, blown away
C. Because virtually all are unfaithful, God hides his FACE (7a)
D. He removes restraint and lets sin melt us (7b)
God works on Yahweh time, not our time!
III. God is Still Sovereignly ENGAGED, Even if He Appears Passive, But Won’t RUSH (8-12)
A. He is the POTTER (8a)
B. We are his WORK (8b)
C. Isaiah PLEADS to negotiate with God (9-12)
1. He asks God to TONE DOWN His anger (9a)
2. He asks God to CHOOSE to forget (9b)
3. He reminds God of an OBLIGATION to His people (9c)
4. He asks God to protect His OWN house and city (10-11)
5. He expresses the pain of God’s SILENCE
• Isaiah could state his case and argue a logical argument, and he did; but God’s plans were more involved than Isaiah’s argument;