Not Like Us
Isaiah 55:6-9
Grace greater than we can possibly imagine
#grace
Published June 25th, 2021
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Main point summary
No matter what you've done, don't hesitate to come to Yahweh in repentance and faith because his radical grace is beyond our comprehension.
Discourse
editing
OT
Isaiah 55:6-9
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o “Seek the Lord
Stop pursuing the things of this world and look for Yahweh
while he may be found;
The door to repentance isn't open indefinitely, so don't waste this opportunity
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call upon him
Like a drowning man going under the water, cry out for God to save you
while he is near;
Do it before he turns away from you
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let the wicked forsake his way,
What this will look like is the formerly wicked turning from sin and walking on a righteous path
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
It will look like a formerly unrighteous man turning away from treasuring his sinful thoughts and thinking the Lord's thoughts after him
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let him return to the Lord ,
In short, if you will turn and come back to Yahweh
that he may have compassion on him,
You will receive his loving embrace
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and to our God,
Come back to God
for he will abundantly pardon.
Because he will completely and utterly pardon you
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ideaexplanation
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
While this kind of forgiveness may seem crazy to us, Yahweh doesn't think like us
neither are your ways my ways,
Yahweh doesn't act like us
declares the Lord .
Says the Lord.
p For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
You know the gap that exists between the ground and the stars above?
so are my ways higher than your ways
That's nothing compared to the gap between my ways are than your ways.
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
That's nothing compared to the gap between my thinking and your thinking.
comparison
discourse
Notes
There are two realities that we cannot stop ourselves from knowing: There is a God who is infinite in power, and we have sinned against him. With this knowledge fixed in our mind, it seems like going to him would be a terrible idea. To prodigals on the run, Isaiah 55:6-9 gives us the reason why we can safely return to Yahweh: Not only is this God infinite in power, but he is infinite in his ability to forgive. Yahweh is not like us, and therein lies our hope What to do Isaiah begins by telling us what to do when we realize our sin: Stop seeking pleasure in created beings and cry out to Yahweh to save you. Isaiah was writing to the nation of Judah, a people immersed in idolatry and trusting in idols and foreign alliances to save them. To this nation on the brink of spiritual and political ruin, Isaiah's prescription is to simply drop their idols and to cry out for mercy. When to do it While this mercy is available to Judah at the moment Isaiah is speaking, Isaiah makes clear that the offer is not indefinite. There is a point of no return for Judah as a nation as well as for individual Israelites. Therefore, Isaiah adds urgency to his teaching by calling on Israelites to seek Yahweh and cry out to him right now, not to put it off for another day. Today, Isaiah says, is the day of salvation. Today, you can be forgiven. Don't assume that you'll desire to repent tomorrow, because repentance is a gift from God, and it must not be rejected. How to do it Judah is to return to Yahweh, and they are to do it immediately. What is the manner of their return? How should they approach this holy God? They should approach him in repentance. Don't come to Yahweh, Isaiah says, just to get out of today's trouble, fully intending to return to your sin tomorrow. Approach God in humility and brokenness. Come to Yahweh in the Spirit of David, who said, " Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin!" David was not merely asking to be let off the hook; David wanted to be restored to fellowship with God, and he knew that he didn't deserve it. Returning to Yahweh is not negotiating a business merger between two rival firms. It is one party kneeling before the other in complete submission. Those who approach Yahweh in this posture will not be turned away. 2. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin! Why should we do it? Why should the rebel return, though? If God is so holy and so perfect in justice, why not run for as long and as far as you can before the hammer falls? Isaiah gives us two reasons for prodigals to go home. First, prodigals can return because God promises to abundantly pardon them. However much sin you bring to God, he has more than enough pardon to blot it out completely. As humans made in God's image, we can understand mercy and forgiveness when its set in the context of friendship or family. We can usually forgive those who we already have a relationship with, and we can understand someone who forgives people they like. For the people of Judah, however, they doubtlessly wondered if God could forgive them. After all of their wickedness and rebellion, would Yahweh really forgive people like them? That kind of mercy of didn't make sense to them. That, Isaiah says, is exactly the point. Human mercy has a limit and is often logical. God's radical generosity is beyond our ability to understand.
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