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Isaiah 59 – The Real Revival 以赛亚书 59 – 真正的复兴

Friday, 26th August 2022

Ps Kathy Poon

Section One V1-8 Sin Separates Men from God

V1-2 ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.’ The people of Israel have returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, but when they returned, they saw the desolation of the land, and they had doubt and complaint. What they saw was different from what they imagined, they thought God was not with them anymore, and they decided to create their own revival instead of waiting for God’s timing. They stared to worship the idols and make alliance with the nations around them. They did not have mercy for their own people, and they did not have unity.

A lot of time, when we preach the Gospel and bring people to God, we talk about the blessings, happiness, and abundance from God. But when the blessings don’t come as expected, we then feel like we must create something to show people that we have received the blessings. So, what is true revival? God wants to give the revival to the people, who are called by Him, but it’s by His way and His timing, not ours. In order to receive this revival, we need to turn to God, repent wholeheartedly from our inner man, our spiritual being, be humble, and be obedient. All the outward actions would not matter because they will not last.

V3 ‘For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity.’ Our sins separate ourselves from God, therefore we must repent before God continually. God has already redeemed His people of Israel from Babylon, but God did not give them the revival, because of their sins. When we are chosen, when we believe in God, and when we are called, God takes us away from our misery, but then we fall back into our sinful life. The things we do or the words we say are full of sins and bring death. Therefore, the revival cannot come to us.

V4-5 ‘No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; he who eats of their eggs dies, and from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.’ Our hearts, our hands, our mouths are full of sins. The real intentions inside our hearts are not pure and our fruits are sinful, which angers God. That’s why we must protect our hearts above all else, we must come straight to God when we realise our hearts are not in the right place, do not let it go easily, because these things will accumulate, and one day, it will hatch out like a volcanic eruption. In every relationship, if we hold and supress our emotions, then they will become the vipers’ eggs, which will one day hatch out and will be difficult to kill. We should come to God every day, to deal with every little emotion we have, to be convicted for sins, for righteousness, and for judgement.

V6-7 ‘Their webs will not become garments, nor will they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.’ When we speak words or carry out actions from our feelings and emotions, then we are very likely to sin and to shed innocent blood. The Bible teaches us to listen quickly but respond slowly. This will help us not to act with our flesh but by the wisdom of God.

V8 ‘The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace.’ There were times when we were in deep darkness, we cried out to God, and He came to save us. But very soon we would go back to our old lifestyle and do not continue to follow God to the end. May God help us to finish well and to never give up on this path.

Section Two V9-15 The Repentance of Men

V9-10 ‘Therefore justice is far from us, nor does righteousness overtake us; we look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness! We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places.’ In the Book of Isaiah, it continues to remind us that the people of God are lack of justice and righteousness, only when we express ourselves from the bottom of our hearts, then we can really receive revival. It’s not about our actions, how we act, what we do, or what we say, but it’s all from the hearts. Our true self will be revealed at home, at work, and in our every day life; and if we don’t have justice and righteousness in our lives, then we will not see light.

V11 ‘We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.’ We cannot just ask for the blessings of God and not receive the righteousness of God. When we don’t live right, then how can we expect God to hear our prayers?

V12-13 ‘For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them: In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.’ When sins are with us, when we are rebellious and disobedient, then we will depart from God. Furthermore, we would use excuses to justify our unrighteous acts.

V14-15 ‘Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.’ When we are not living in the righteousness, the sins will separate us from God, and God will not be with us.

Section Three 16-21 The Arm of God

V16 ‘He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.’ We often question God, that even though we are saved and become believers, why do our lives still go through up and down? God never promised a smooth life, but He will always bring salvation for us.

V17 ‘For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.’ God’s arm of righteousness will come to us, and if we don’t live in His righteousness and truth, then He will deal with us Himself.

V18-19 ‘According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.’ God will deal with His enemies, and in the same way, He will also deal with His people with His arm of righteousness. Because He will not allow the wicked ways of His own people.

V20 ‘The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord.’ This is a promise for the people of God, the affirmation that the Messiah will come to Zion. God will lift out His arm of righteousness, but also His arm of salvation.

V21 ‘As for Me, says the Lord, this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants, says the Lord, from this time and forevermore.’ Again God reminds us His attribute, He is not just righteous or not just merciful, but He is all of them. He has already given us the Holy Spirit and the His Word to pour down to us, to teach us and to disciple us every day. And not only in our generations but the generations to come.

以赛亚书 59 – 真正的复兴                         

2022年8月26日 星期四

Kathy 师母

一、1-8 罪使人与神隔绝

V1 这时的以色列百姓蒙神恩典得以回到耶路撒冷,然而回归后他们看到国土荒凉,发现现实跟理想有很大差距,因为他们想要看的复兴迟迟没有来,就口出怨言,觉得神没有听他们祷告,于是想用自己的双手来创造复兴。他们开始拜偶像,与周边的君王结盟,一部分热忱的信徒虽然表面守神的诫命,但在日常生活中对同胞没有怜悯,彼此伤害。 我们的蒙恩信主后也好像他们一样。我们听了别人传福音,知道会在生活上得祝福,可是信主之后,却看到自己、家庭或财务似乎没有如之前所期待的那样有好的改变,于是像那些回到耶路撒冷的以色列百姓一样心生怀疑,就想用自己的双手去创造我们想要的复兴,比如参加一些课程帮助夫妻关系或理财,好让自己有一些外在的“见证”,结果偏离了上帝本来要给我们的。真正的复兴是神要赏赐给我们这些蒙恩被主选召的百姓的,不是我们表现出那些给人看到的、自以为是复兴的表面功夫。唯有当我们真正愿意在忧伤痛悔中谦卑悔改、在内心里真实转向神,我们的灵才会苏醒,复兴才会从我们里面自然而然地流露出来。

V2-4 为什么我们会跟神隔绝?就是我们的罪孽,所以我们要不断认罪悔改。神把以色列百姓赎回自己的圣地耶路撒冷,然而他们的罪孽拦阻了复兴。我们蒙神选召、信主,有时我们跟神呼求,神医治了我们、帮助我们解决了当下的问题,使我们从捆绑压制中得释放后,我们又回到老我的罪。我们心里所想的、口所说的话和双手所做的都是带下死亡的罪孽。

V5 毒蛇会从毒蛇蛋生出来,同理,我们的老我心怀鬼胎,做出来的就是罪孽污秽,使神愤怒,所以神教导我们要保守我们的心,因为一生的果效由心发出。当我们心里若有一点负面、情绪化的东西,不要以为事情过去就算了,因为这些东西会累积,有一天要像火山一样爆发,正如那毒蛇从毒蛇蛋中孵化出来。很多夫妻或其他人际关系的破裂也是因为平时点点滴滴小事的累积,最后一发不可收拾。因此,即使心里只有一点点的苦毒怨恨或不开心,我们都要马上带到耶稣面前求主帮助处理,不让任何一点的酵影响我们,而是为罪为义为审判自己责备自己,这样就不会积压到最后被一根稻草压倒,以致得罪神、得罪人。

V6-7 他们很快速的去行恶,并没有经过思考,任意讲自己想讲的话,结果就是“流无辜人的血”,并且“所经过的路都荒凉毁灭”。我们在任意妄为和急躁中会带来罪恶,所以要遵循圣经的教导,快快地听、慢慢地说,以免走向荒凉毁灭的途径。

V8 有时我们在恐惧、悲痛中跟神撕心裂肺地求主帮助我们,等到神真的出手拯救医治我们、带我们来到平安的道路后,我们却又故态复萌,为自己修弯曲的道路,做自己想要做的事。我们没有持守在神给我们这条平安的道路,没有紧紧跟随,也没有跟随到底的心志,所以要求神帮助。

二、v.9-15 人的认罪

V9-10 经文不断提醒我们,神的百姓缺乏公平、公义、诚实。我们需要的不是“亢奋的”外显行为。有热忱的外表并非不对,但我们这样做是否代表我们里面也有这样的生命?我们的敬虔是否是我们的being的自然流露?还是我们觉得靠一些外在的宗教行为我们就能得到一些好处?我们可能有复兴的外表,但在家人面前我们并没有行公平,而是随心所欲、口无遮拦地说出恶言恶语。心里没有公平,却又指望光明,这是不可能的,因为神的公义和救恩是他的两个膀臂,相辅相成、缺一不可。当我们空有敬虔的外表,却没有在生命的每一个领域活出来,我们的人生就如同“瞎子…无目之人…黄昏…死人一般”。我们基督徒若是金玉其外、败絮其中,反而成了外邦人信主的绊脚石。求神帮助我们,神的光不仅照在我们的外在行为,我们里面的生命也是可以赤裸敞开、可以让人审视的。

V11 神的膀臂 – 公义和救恩 – 是一体两面的,我们不能一方面只要神的救恩来赦免我们的罪、拯救我们,但另一方面在对待亲近的家人时在言行上却没有公义。这样,神是不会听我们祷告的。

V12-13 当罪孽、过犯与我们同在,我们也知道生命的哪一个部分还在罪恶、情欲、叛逆之中,我们会随心所欲地说出自己想说的话、想做或不想做任何事都凭着自己的心意、情绪;甚至“心怀谎言”,编造虚假的借口来掩饰或合理化我们犯罪、悖逆的行为。

V14-15 当我们没有在正直、诚实、公义里面的时候,我们就会经历“耶和华的膀臂”是“缩短”的,他的耳朵是“不能听见”的,因为我们的罪使我们与神隔绝。

三、v.16-21 神的膀臂

V16 有些人会期望信主后神让自己一路平顺,结果看到现实不是这样,神没有让他们心满意足,他们就开始怀疑神。其实神将他的百姓救回耶路撒冷,并没有保证他们会顺风顺水。耶和华神上一次伸出的是救赎的膀臂,把以色列百姓从巴比伦救出来,这一次是要伸出公义的膀臂,以对付这些锡安的百姓,因为他“看见没有公平,甚不喜悦”。

V17 我们这些蒙恩的基督徒千万不要作恶到让神为了自己的公义而向我们报仇,而要天天谦卑回转向神,才能经历救恩。

V18-19 神要施行公义,以至于“人从日落之处必敬畏耶和华的名,从日出之地也必敬畏他的荣耀”。如果我们悖逆、回到老我的生活到一个地步,神就要为了自己名的缘故伸出公义的膀臂,不再纵容自己百姓恶言恶行,他不要我们整天只用恩典当借口反复犯罪,让外邦人看见我们的软弱和罪孽而不敬畏神的名。神对付作恶的百姓,人就会赞叹神终于出手了,因为神是公义的神。

V20 这是弥赛亚的应许,再次确定这位救赎主一定会来到锡安,使神的百姓转离过犯。神会伸出公义的膀臂,但也会伸出救恩的膀臂。

V21 神再次强调他膀臂未曾缩短,一个是公义的膀臂,另一个是救恩的膀臂。最后给了我们一个很棒的约:他加给我们圣灵和他的话语 – 圣灵的工作和神话语的大能要天天浇灌在我们这些愿意从里面真实被神复兴的百姓,不仅在在我们这一代,并且是到下一代的下一代,知道永远,这是何等美好的应许!