Faithlife
Faithlife

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What are you waiting for?

Have you ever been really disappointed? When someone’s broken a promise to you?
maybe a friend who didn’t come through on something, or they said they’d be somewhere and they didn’t show
a friend who promised to be your friend, but things changed and you aren’t close friends anymore
maybe you loaned someone some money and they promised to pay it back
maybe a job promised a promotion that still hasn’t come through
your spouse said they would do something, or spend more time with you, or stop doing something, and they haven’t - or maybe have even broken your marriage vows.
You were disappointed, maybe even upset.
But think now of a conditional promise. Say your mom says, If you complete all your chores this month, I’ll take you out to a huge steak dinner.
If we make budget this year, we’ll all take a vacation to the Caribbean
Your grandma says, I’ll pay for your college education if you keep all As and Bs in school.
There’s two things about a conditional promise that could go bad. The conditions could not be met, (you don’t get your chores done, or you don’t make budget, you get a few Cs)
OR the one who made the promise may default on their promise, things might happen out of their control so they can’t do what they promised. (something unexpected happens, circumstances change)
If you meet the conditions of the promise, and the one who promised doesn’t follow through, we are really disappointed, or frustrated.
We tend to stop trusting people if they make a few promises that they break.
In , God makes two promises to his people: One unconditional and one conditional promise.

God IS glorious enough to always fulfill his promises, and we should wait for him to fulfill all his promises to us.

If we expect God to fulfill his conditional promise, than we have to ask ourselves, how can we meet the conditions.
Let’s look at the conditional promise briefly in
But WHAT are they waiting for?
Waiting for the Lord to do what?
We have to go back to ch 39 where Isaiah relays a story of king Hezekiah,
King Hezekiah was a king of Judah, the lower portion of the nation of Israel. he was a king who followed God, but made some foolish choices as we’ll see.
Read
Think about the despair for the nation this will cause.
they lose their children, they lose their leader, who doesn’t seem all that concerned about this prophecy
In ch 38, Hezekiah got very sick and Isaiah came and told him to set his things in order, for he will die. He begs God to spare his life with bitter weeping, and God does it, promising 15 more years.
Now Hezekiah gets this prophecy that condemns the future of the nation of Judah to exile in Babylon, and he says, the word of the Lord is good.
These two reactions are held in stark contrast to each other demonstrating to the people of Israel that their leaders cannot rescue them. Cannot save them.
If you were an Israelite, what would you need, immediately after receiving this horrible news?
Read 40:1-2
God promises comfort. Your leaders will fail you, but take comfort.
As you know, when you’re devastated, and someone comes along side you and says, it’s ok. It helps a little, but not really that much.
If your pet got hit by a car today, and I walked up to you afterwards and said, "be comforted”, you’d would immediately wipe the tears from your eyes and think, wow, that was amazing.
Of course, you need something more.
And God is going to give something more.
He’s about to give one of the biggest promises in the whole Bible, right here.
right at the beginning of ch 40.
Not simply to say, God will restore you from exile in Babylon, but there is a eternal spiritual exile that God will also rescue you from.
He’s going to say, God will come to dwell with you,
v3-5a
Looking at phone
driving - to stay in your lane.
The KING is coming, the LORD, and he will be unstoppable. Not even the earth itself, mountains and valleys will be nothing when he comes.
And when he comes, all flesh shall SEE the glory of the Lord
Moses saw the back of Yahweh, but no one has seen the full glory of the Lord, and he says, everyone will see and experience this together, not just watch it like a TV show, but be involved in a relationship with Yahweh.
And if you find this promise too unbelievable. Too unfathomable.
Look at what
v5b
God has spoken
God has made an incredible promise, to show himself to his people and we all will see his glory.
Is this for real? Will God really fix this earth so that his glory (like the rays of the sun) will shine in it?
Remember the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. But what good is that?
v10-11
How good is someone’s word?
If a guest walked in today and promised to buy everyone in here a new car, how excited would you get. I bet most of us would be very skeptical, right?
A promise is only as good as the character and power of the person who promised it.
If the person is a notorious liar, and they make that promise, you wouldn’t believe them for a second.
So how good is God’s word. When he says something, should we have confidence that he will do it??
When God says something he will do it.
Look at what God is like:
Look at what God is like:
v6-8
How long?
v12
he is massive in might
13-14 who is God’s teacher? He is infinitely intelligent and wise
v12
15
17
18
19 to an idol? HA! someone creates an idol, sometimes with shoddy work
21-22
25->28
9,000 stars in the sky, and astronomers currently put the stellar population at over 70 billion trillion
every one by name.
Every nation, just dust on the scale to God.
THIS is the GOD that promised to dwell with his people.
And if his promise is as good as his character and power, I think we can be confident that God is glorious enough to fulfill his promise.
This God is not like the grass!
This kind of God endures forever
This kind of God doesn’t have to worry about unexpected circumstances or running out of power, because he ordains it all.
God is infinitely powerful - there is nothing he cannot do and no being that can stand up to him
God is personal - he is not a clock maker who set this world spinning and went on vacation, it his by his power that all things exist. He sustains the world and is involved in the lives of humans.
God is purposeful - he isn’t fickle or random, he is all knowing and knows exactly how to accomplish his purposes.
rather he has been enacting his plan of salvation throughout all human history - that when Adam sinned in the garden and sin passed to all his children and children’s children, God set about on a massive rescue plan, to come save humanity, by taking the punishment for sin on himself, so that people can be united with God.
But
This make the first promise even more spectacular. Not only are we now confident that a God this glorious is able to fulfill his promise, think about what he’s promised, to live with his people forever.
This make the first promise even more spectacular. Not only are we now confident that a God this glorious is able to fulfill his promise, think about what he’s promised, to live with his people forever.
If you find out your neighbor is coming over for dinner, it’s nice, but if you find out that Ryan Braun or Aaron Rogers was coming over for dinner, it makes all the difference!
But if God, the ruler of heaven and earth, the creator of everyone and everything, he wants to live with us??
We know, God is too glorious to fail in his promises.
This kind of God endures forever
This kind of God doesn’t have to worry about unexpected circumstances or running out of power, because he ordains it all.
God is infinitely powerful - there is nothing he cannot do and no being that can stand up to him
God is personal - he is not a clock maker who set this world spinning and went on vacation, it his by his power that all things exist. He sustains the world and is involved in the lives of men. As insignificant as we are compared to his awesomeness, he loves us.
God is purposeful - he isn’t fickle or random, rather he has been enacting his plan of salvation throughout all human history - that when Adam sinned in the garden and sin passed to all his children and children’s children, God set about on a massive rescue plan, to come save humanity, by taking the punishment for sin on himself, so that people can be united with God.
This glorious God, rather than oppressing and enslaving all those weaker than him, look at
This glorious God, rather than oppressing and enslaving all those weaker than him, look at v29
v30
Wait, so he doesn’t give this to everyone? To whom does God give this energy to keep going, to endure to the end?
v31
God promises that a very specific group of people will live forever. They will have everlasting life!
Those who WAIT
WHAT does it mean to wait?
This waiting is not sitting on your porch as you watch wait for the sunset.
This waiting is not sitting down at a restaurant and having to wait for lunch.
Envision an engaged couple before their wedding day.
They are eager, excited, and what are they doing?
preparing. Making sure all the details are in place
you’ve got the dress, and the flowers, the photographer and the caterer, you’ve got the preacher and the tux
That is the sense of waiting in this passage
That you know you’re not ready YET. That you have something to actively prepare for that day.
That everything you do, in one way or another, is in context of that event.
It consumes your focus. You find yourself daydreaming about it.
So we know that God has the power and the desire to fulfill his two promises, to truly dwell with humankind, and to sustain all those who are waiting in preparation for him.
But those people who were waiting in Isaiah’s day, died waiting for God to fulfill his promises. Did God fail? Did he forget?
Well, you may remember a young woman receiving a message from God saying that we was to have a baby, who would be called, “Emmanuel, which means, God with us…he will save his people from their sins.”
Jesus grew up, he died and rose again in power to defeat death, and he promised that one day, he will come again and fix this world. He will establish an everlasting kingdom that will have no end. And he will be our God and we will be his people. And he will dwell with us.
So in the meantime, what do we do?
We WAIT!
But remember, this isn’t twiddling our thumbs expecting an unavoidable event.
We have to prepare.
THIS is where the new testament can be a great help.
How should we WAIT?
- this whole book is about suffering and enduring the trials of life, and in v13 Peter calls us to prepare for action. don’t be docile, but wait with preparation
‘be serious, Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’
v14 -16 you shall be holy for I am holy
v14 -16 you shall be holy for I am holy
He says, be holy, be set apart from the sin and the evil of this world.
v22-23
He says, be holy, be set apart from the sin and the evil of this world.
put away selfishness and greed, put away envy and bitterness, put away lust and idolatry AND eagerly wait for Christ to come.
Because when he comes there will only be two groups of people. Those who are with Christ, who have chosen to trust in him and submit to him. AND those who have not turned to God and Jesus to save them from their sins. God does not save people who do not ask to be saved.
Step 1 : born again - you have to have this new life in Christ
And here’s the thing about a holy God, who is abounding in steadfast love: when his love comes in contact with sin, it displays itself as wrath.
- born again - new life - wings to fly

IF GOD is too glorious to fail in his promises, how do we fulfill the conditions for this promise of God, how do we WAIT for him?

Look at how Peter describes the people of God.
v22-23
Born again - you have to have this new life in Christ
this is what he was describing in , that you would be able to effortlessly soar and run without growing tired.
- born again - new life - wings to fly
These are metaphors. We aren’t going to be sprouting wings, but we will be given new bodies.
We are given eternal life with God.
This new life, being born again may be familiar to you, but sometimes we don’t think about how strange it sounds.
Walking into a hospital and taking a newborn from his mother and saying, he’s not yet done, he needs to be re-born.
Remember how confused Nicodemus was when he was asking Jesus, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
Jesus answers Nicodemus,
you don’t understand? being a teacher of the law?
You must be born of a woman and also of the Spirit.
Don’t be shocked, you don’t even understand where the wind comes from, I don’t expect you to understand heavenly things like being born of the Spirit.
But this eternal life is so uniquely different from what we experience, it is more like a physical rebirth than trip to the supermarket.
It is a big deal.
Choosing to follow Christ, to receive as Peter puts it, the imperishable seed inside you, is the biggest decision you have ever made or will ever make.
Because on that choice hangs your entire life.
Christianity isn’t a weekend hobby. It’s not just a religious experience that fills some need.
Being a Christian means that we’ve submitted to the God of the bible,
our creator
We look at our sin, and say, yuck
We look at God and say, that’s who I want to be with.
So we trust that the sin we’ve done that separates us from God, is appeased when Jesus innocently died in our place.
And when we make that choice, to Believe that the Bible is true, and to follow the Jesus in the bible,
God makes us alive! We are reborn. we become a Christian.
and NOT with a temporary, religious fix, but with the stuff of eternity: imperishable seed, that can’t be destroyed or forgotten.
And if this sounds fantastical to you. Like something out of a fiction book, look at
v24-25
God has promised to come again. And when God says something, he will do it.
Are you waiting for him?? Have you bowed your will to Christ and said, God, I want to be close to you forever, please take away my sins and make me your child. You’ve promised to save anyone who asks you.
God has promised to save anyone who asks him.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
our lives follow up and we strive to live holy lives.
Lets’ wrap this all together.
We looked at Isaiah’s illustration of our spiritual exile pictured in Judah being captured and taken to Babylon, but God immediately offers hope through the promise that he will come to dwell with his people and will give them eternal life, and he backs it up with this impressive resume of his greatness in might and wisdom.
And he says to us, wait for me.
Wait in preparation by living lives that are holy and set apart from sin.
Eagerly anticipate Christ’s soon return.
It could be today!
If it is today, I pray that you have been born again by asking Jesus to take your place on the cross that you deserved when you sin against the Holy God.
God isn’t like the grass. He will fulfill his promises.
So how are you waiting?
Are you living like an expectant bride? getting things in order for that great day?
Take a look at how you spend your time. money.
where does your energy go?
Are you so busy filling up your life with the stuff that keeps your heart from thinking about God and anticipating him?
Are you spending time with God’s people, not just eating and having a good time, but talking about the things of God?
Is your marriage or your romantic relationships centered on the message of the Gospel?
THIS is what life is all about.
Jesus is coming back.
Let’s get ready.
What are you waiting for?
promises
Isaiah gives us an illustration of temporary exile in Babylon as a picture of out eternal spiritual exile from God.
God the promises that he will come live with us and gives an impressive resume on how spectacular he is.
God has also promised that he will sustain his people and eventually give us this eternal vigor and endurance. if we WAIT
GO GO
our lives follow up and we strive to live holy lives.
Remember he says’ WAIT for the Lord with eager preparation. When we’ve been This is how people act who have been transformed by the power of God.
v22
Obedience to the truth: love one another
We could spend sermon after sermon talking about this kind of love.
Who could make this kind of promise? They will have renewed strength.
Who can say that his word endures forever?
personal (my God)
powerful
purposeful
Walking into a hospital and taking a newborn from his mother and saying, he’s not yet done, he needs to be born again.
Jesus answers Nicodemus,
you don’t understand? being a teacher of the law?
You must be born of a woman and also of the Spirit.
Don’t be shocked, you don’t even understand where the wind comes from, I don’t expect you to understand heavenly things like being born of the Spirit
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