First Presbyterian Church of Blackwood
21 E. Church Street
Blackwood, NJ 08012
Sermon Notes (Father’s Day ~ Sunday, June 19, 2022)
Rev. Dr. Mouris A. Yousef, Pastor
“Yet you, LORD, are our Father!”
Isaiah chapter 64 is a prayer to God to come down and deliver His people from their troubles. Isaiah was praying for God’s mercy and grace to be shown to the nation of Israel even in the land of captivity, the land of their exile, in Babylon. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,” prayed the Prophet Isaiah 64:1. There have been sometimes in our lives when we cry the same cry. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, Lord God.”
I truly believe that our times today are not better off Isaiah’s. We are captivated and exiled in our own land. We worship the idols of our times. We feel and see the pressure of today’s culture. We are tired and ready to give up. Isaiah reminds us today to seek the Lord more earnestly; to pour our hearts before Him; to have confidence in our God and to always remember His faithfulness.
Why should we be confident that the Lord is near? Why must we hold fast onto our hope? How to stay anchored and secured in times of distress? Why should we be assured that no matter how tough life gets, there is a God in heaven that we can count on? Isaiah 64 offers us two things upon which our confidence is built:
First: The Faithfulness of God
Part of our confidence is in knowing that our God is faithful. He is trustworthy. Part of our confidence is in knowing that the Lord has acted in the past. He has shown Himself to be a God we can trust, a God we can count on, one who is faithful to His promises to guard and keep and deliver His people. That’s how the prayer continues in Isaiah 64.
Isaiah 64:3-4 state, “When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down; the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.”
This is a prayer of remembrance, remembering the faithfulness of God and how God has acted in the past. The prophet Isaiah ponders the mighty deeds of old that the Lord did for Israel; the Exodus from Egypt and the awesome presence of the Lord at Mount Sinai and through their journey in the wilderness. “No eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.”
It’s also interesting to notice that in all Isaiah 64, Isaiah refers to God as “Yahweh”. Yahweh is not one name of God’s many names in the Bible. It’s the God of the Covenant. He is the never changing God in an ever-changing world. “Yahweh” is an important name of God. He is the God of the Covenant.
Second: The Fatherhood of God
The second foundation for our confidence in this life is the fatherhood of God. Isaiah never said that we have earned God’s favor. He never said that we deserve God’s loving kindness and care. He never said that because we are faithful to the terms of our covenant with God, therefore God should be faithful too. Rather, Isaiah acknowledges the sin of His people. In verses 5-7, he says, “We sinned … we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name or attempts to take hold of you, for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.”
Isaiah, therefore, offers his plea based on the fatherhood of God to the nation of Israel. He says in Isaiah 64:8-9, “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.”
God’s Fatherhood should be greatest source of security and stability. It’s a great reminder that of the privilege of our immediate access to Him. The story is told of a Roman Emperor who was entering Rome after winning a major battle. Leading the victory procession, the emperor and his troops were received with shouts of joy and so much excitement. The streets were lined with cheering people. No one was allowed to join the procession but those who have participated in the battle. At one point on the triumphal route, there was a little platform where the queen and her family were sitting to watch the emperor go by in all the pride of his triumph. On the platform, sat also the emperor’s youngest son, a little boy.
As the emperor came near, the little boy jumped off the platform, running towards the emperor’s chariot. “You can’t do that, boy,” a soldier shouted. “Don’t you know who that is in the chariot? That’s the emperor. You can’t run out to his chariot.” The little boy laughed as he said, “He may be your emperor, but he is my daddy.” That is exactly the way the Christian feels towards God. He is our Daddy. The might, and the majesty, and the power are the might, and the majesty, and the power of one whom Jesus taught us to call “Our Father.” Let us continually come into our Father’s presence. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit! Amen!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.