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Monday, August 7, 2017

Sermon Title: Yes Lord, We Wait For You!

Preacher: Rev. Timothy Osborne

Isaiah 25:1-12  Look It’s Yahweh! We Waited, God Helped!

What a song of praise Isaiah is crooning here! He exalts Yahweh who has done wonders, feats planned long ago as part of God’s trustworthy plan. In that day we will see that what God intended, God in fact did. Yahweh protected the poor. God was a refuge for the distressed. The Lord sheltered the needy from heat and from storm. God has planned to do supernatural things in our everyday life. God never forgets. Yahweh always proves faithful. This is our bedrock hope, why we wait on God in trust. However, in verses 2-3, 5, 10-12, it is clear that God’s faithful wonders are actually the devastation of others. If you’re anything like me, you find yourself asking, what is that about?

The answer is that Isaiah 24-27 is an end-times picture of God’s promised judgment and redemption of all of creation. In fact, this section is sometimes called Isaiah’s Apocalypse. It’s not technically apocalyptic literature, but is quite reminiscent of Revelation. It starts in Isaiah 24 with Yahweh’s righteous destruction of the rebellious world regimes so that the Lord alone will be King over the Earth. They reap devastation as the consequence of their rebellion against God (Isaiah 24:5) and Israel rejoices (Isaiah 24:14-16a). Isaiah 25 is a song of praise depicting the Lord’s victory celebration for the people God has redeemed. Through the lens of the New Testament we see this is the messianic banquet. Death has been destroyed, the grave is overcome (1 Corinthians 15:50-57), and our tears are wiped away (Revelation 21:4). Isaiah 26 describes the life of one who trusts in God by waiting for the Lord in the meantime. Isaiah 27 depicts the final defeat of supernatural evil and God’s people are finally a fruitful vineyard.

This glorious picture is essential for us. It helps us see what is real but often feels blurry. God has already won the victory on the cross and inaugurated new creation through the resurrection of Christ but not yet fully consummated it. We live in the already but not yet. In this middle time we must cling to the promise Isaiah 25:9 They will say in that day, “Behold, this is our God! We waited for him and he helped us! This is Yahweh! We waited for him! Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”[1] It is not yet “that day” so we must wait. We wait for the Lord to help us. We wait for God to meet us each day. We wait not for an action, or a time or an event. We wait for a person, for the Lord Himself. We fix our firm expectation on Jesus. The Lord will help those who rely on Him, protect those who hide in Him, fight for those who hope in His goodness. In that day we will see that all our waiting was more worthwhile than ever we knew.

Oh Lord Jesus give us eyes to see you in all of your glory and goodness. Grant us hearts to believe that what you have promised you will do. Oh Lord, we wait for you, walking in your ways. Your name and your fame are the desire of our hearts. Be the expectation of our days. Have your way in us. In your name,  Amen.

[1] Author’s Own Translation