|It Seems to Me: Please Rend the Heavens!||ICON_SEP Print ICON_SEP|
|Written by Pastor Steve Ellison|
The United States of America in 2017 is in desperate need of reform. The list of critical issues is beyond number. Virtually all of the things gone wrong can be traced back to human misbehavior. Real and lasting reform will take place only when God rends the heavens and comes down. Isaiah 64 is a cry from the heart of Isaiah regarding his nation, Israel. We would do well to pray a similarly. Isaiah 64 describes our situation well, “Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence — As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil — To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! 3 When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.” (NASU) Isaiah knew that his country needed nothing less than the appearance of Almighty God in divine glory, power, and might. Isaiah recognized what we ought to recognize. The appearing of God has one purpose which is to make His glorious and awesome name known to the whole world so that the whole world will tremble at His holy presence. This appearing of God is the solution to our problems. No solution can be found until God shows Himself.
Isaiah 64 goes on in painting a terrible portrait of Israel (and the U.S.), “4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. 5 You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. Behold, You were angry, for we sinned, We continued in them a long time; And shall we be saved? 6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.” Isaiah points out the obvious: there is only one true God and He alone rules and reigns. Israel (and the U.S.) has sinned and continued in sin for a very long time. Isaiah declares that God welcomes those who acknowledge Him, but immediately laments that there is none who calls on God or arises from their apathy in an effort to know Him. Oh, that the sad and pitiful state that Isaiah next describes did not describe the current state of my country, but tragically it does. God has hidden His face from us and He has delivered us into the power of our iniquities! Our iniquities surely deliver fleeting pleasures but those same iniquities make a terribly cruel tyrannical dictator over us.
Isaiah 64 does not leave us completely devoid of hope, “8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” Will the church in the U.S. in 2017 agree with God that we belong to Him and cry out to Him to shape us so that He will be revealed in us? Our iniquities have a power over us that must be broken. God wants to do a mighty work in us. God is able. He is simply waiting for us to acknowledge Him.