Bible Reading: Isaiah 59:15-21
“He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him” (Isaiah 59:16).
If we step back and take a look at our grim reality of sin and study its effects and reality in our lives, we will know that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, and there is nothing anyone or anything else could do to save us. Sin is evil. It traps us. The harder we try to get out, the deeper we fall. Our blindspots are endless, and we will always end up falling in aspects we thought unthinkable. Where is our hope?
It’s only in God alone. God is Holy and just. He is the only righteous one. He puts on the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation, puts on the garments of vengeance for clothing and the cloak of zeal, and goes out to war against sin. Not only does God forgive sin, but He opposes it with all His might. Isaiah 42:13 says, “The LORD goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.”
God will go out to fight against all the sin. He will go and repay all the evil deeds of sin so that justice may be accomplished. He will pour out His wrath to all His enemies, and He will repay all those who rebel against Him. He will make Himself known over the whole earth so that every man who rebels against Him will fear Him and know that He is the LORD. He will make sure that His glory is made known over all the lands so that all people will see His glory and acknowledge Him. Our God is a Holy God. He is a God of justice and vengeance. He is jealous of righteousness and His own glory. Sin cannot and will not take His place. Rebellious sinners will never take over His throne.
This posits a second issue for us because not only are we lost in sin, we are on God’s wrong side. We are the rebels who have tried to denounce God. God’s Holiness and wrath are coming against us. There is no one who can escape, and His justice will come. What then do we do?
Our hope is in Christ. A God of Holiness and justice is also a God of love. Because of His mercy, God sent His Son to earth. He is the Messiah, the Redeemer who comes to save God’s chosen people. In the Old Testament, despite all God’s presentations of Holiness, in small and meek passages, God reveals again and again in continuous faithfulness that He will preserve His people, His remnant. Isaiah 59:20 says, “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression”, declares the LORD”.
God’s remnant does not only consist of Jews. Isaiah 56:8 says, “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant - these I will bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples”.
God’s promise for salvation and redemption is for us if we turn to Him from our transgressions. Moreover, v.21 reminds us of God’s everlasting faithfulness in this commandment. God’s Spirit, who was at work in God’s Word that Isaiah spoke, is still at work today. God promises that His Spirit will never depart from the mouths of His Servants throughout all generations.
This is the hope we need in our generation today. Many are lost, and we ourselves may have fallen into places we thought unthinkable. Sin is grim. However, God’s promise of redemption is forever, and so it is for us now if we humbly want to return to Him. Our sins are cleansed in Christ. We have been made right with God through Christ. Trust in Him!
Also, the more we look around, the more we see how lost our generation is. What is our hope that people will return to God? God’s Spirit is still at work in the mouths of His servants today. When God’s Word is preached faithfully, and God’s Spirit works, God will not fail to bring souls to repentance. God’s covenant is that this will be happening forever, including now. Do not lose heart. Trust in God because He is faithful.
Lord, thank You for who You are. You are Holy and just and right. Yet, You love us and sent Your Son to bear Your wrath for us. Help us to understand Your love and trust in You. We pray for our generation. Many are lost in sin, and we ourselves have fallen into sin. Please forgive us and show us a way out. Bring a revival in our hearts and our generation. In Jesus’ name, amen.