The past two days I’ve been reading Isaiah 59.
It is such a powerful chapter to me, because it answers so many questions. The most obvious would be ‘why has God forgotten us?’ This questions is posed by the world. Usually the secular world and carnal Christians. The answer begins in verse one: ‘See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear, Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God.’
The verse is wonderful. I can see Isaiah speaking directly to the heather of his day. The Israelites loved their Gods. They loved doing things their own way and only called upon God in a time of crisis or extreme hardship or abuse. But it goes to show that God is alive. He hears. He sees. And God is still in the miracle business. But it should be made clear that Isaiah was speaking to stiff-necked people. There are some Christians who are just the opposite and have great concerns and ask God for his intervention in saving people. And God does not. I am one of them.
In October 2002, my father died from Dementia. This disease is in the Alzheimer’s family. I prayed very hard for dad to be healed. God didn’t. I did the same for my sister, my aunt, cousins, etc. No good. I knew that I had no ‘sin’ in my life, as the ancient Israelites did, that ‘sin’ being idols and forgetting God. (I’m not trying to cop a holier-than-thou attitude. I’m only trying to show some actions that weren’t pleasing to God and he held back on his blessings from his people. In my case, God chose to answer, it just wasn’t the answer that I thought it would be. God does say: ‘no’ on occasion. Why? I don’t know. Like a lot of people, I’ll be asking that question. Perhaps when Christians are gathered together, we’ll automatically know the answer. We’ll just have to wait and see.
In Isaiah 57 God talks specifically that ‘my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts. ‘ That might be a start of an answer. I just have to trust God and I do. For many people (secular and Christian) that turns them off. At that point they become very angry. My father did when my mother died of cancer. It happens for a lot of people. I can only pray for them. I can not supply them an answer. I believe that it gets down to faith. But if it is that, then I pray that those people have just a small ounce of it and that God will sooth that terrible hurt and begin from there. God doesn’t ask me to climb a mountain, in terms of great things that must be done, say like Moses leading a nation. He does ask for just a small grain of sand in faith. And he’ll do the rest. Amen.