From slavery to freedom

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In the book of Isaiah, we encounter a profound chapter that reveals both the brokenness of humanity and the incredible love of God. Isaiah 59 paints a vivid picture of a society entangled in sin, injustice and spiritual separation. Yet, even in the midst of darkness, God’s love shines through, offering hope, redemption and restoration. Here, we will dive into this chapter and explore how God’s love motivates us to seek Him and be agents of transformation in the world.

Even though there is the barrier of sin—“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear” (Isaiah 59:1 ESV)—we are not left to die! These words remind us that no matter how deep our sin or how distant we feel from God, His love and power is not limited. His hand is not too short to save us, and His ear is not dull to our cries for help. We can find comfort and motivation in knowing that God’s love surpasses any barrier we may face. Even when we reap the consequences of sin—“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 ESV)—we have hope. Sin creates a separation between us and God. It disrupts our connection with Him and hinders our prayers from reaching His ears. However, even in the face of these consequences, we must remember that God’s love remains constant. He longs for our repentance and desires to restore the broken relationship caused by sin. 

It is God’s initiative of love as seen in verse 15—“The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice” (Isaiah 59:15 ESV)—that brings about redemption and restoration. God’s love for justice and righteousness is revealed in this verse. He sees the brokenness in our world, the injustices that grieve His heart. His love motivates Him to intervene on behalf of the oppressed, to bring about change and restoration. As His children, we are called to reflect His love for justice and actively seek ways to make a difference in the world around us. The Redeemer’s promise gives hope: “‘And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,’ declares the Lord” (Isaiah 59:20 ESV). Amidst the darkness, God gives us the promise of a Redeemer who will come and bring salvation. This Redeemer is Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God’s love for us. Through His sacrifice, we are offered forgiveness, redemption and the restoration of our broken relationship with God. This promise reminds us of the unfailing love God has for His people.

Isaiah 59 showcases the depths of human brokenness, the consequences of sin, and the longing for justice and righteousness. But more importantly, it reveals the unwavering love of God that transcends our failures and shortcomings. His love motivates us to seek repentance, to be agents of justice and righteousness, and to embrace the redemption offered through Jesus Christ. As we reflect on this chapter, let us be encouraged by the fact that God’s love is not limited by our circumstances or the darkness around us. Let His love motivate us to extend grace to others, actively pursue justice and share the hope of the Redeemer with those who need it. In embracing God’s love, we find the motivation to live lives that reflect His character and bring transformation to the world.

This message is an excerpt from a sermon that appeared in the Papatoetoe Seventh-day Adventist Church (NZ) email newsletter on June 8. 

Pastor Victor Kulakov is NZPUC Discipleship pastor and Papatoetoe church elder.

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