December 12, 2021

Online Worship for Advent Three, Sunday December 12, 2021

Passage: Isaiah 25:9
Service Type:

Sermon for Advent Three – Sunday December 12, 2021
Calvary/Marquette ● Soli Deo Gloria

Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

Isaiah 25:9 (ESV)
9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”**

In the Name of Jesus, the Christ,
Whose humble first coming we celebrate,
Whose glorious second coming we await,
Dear Fellow Redeemed by means of His Blood –

There are moments in life where time seems relative. When you touch a hot pan on the stovetop, a second can seem like an hour. When you hold your spouse’s hand, an hour can seem like a second.

 There are some things for which we would gladly wait, if we could, even postpone. We would gladly put off or postpone a stressful meeting, a surgery, pain, suffering and death. All of these things cause us anxiety and fear, and we would gladly put them off, even postpone them.

 There are also other things for which we have difficulty waiting. They are usually joyful, happy things like family reunions or a lunch with friends. We so look forward to holiday celebrations that they seem to take forever to arrive and once they do arrive, they seem not to last long enough. We are left earnestly wanting more time.

On the Sundays in Advent, we have been making preparations for Christmas.

While some prepare by decorating the outside, we asked the LORD to renovate our hearts. We asked that the Spirit of God grant us contrite hearts and penitent minds that seek God’s forgiveness in Christ, for only then will they be fit dwelling places for the Lord Jesus.

While we prepare by purchasing gifts for one another, we asked that the Spirit of God lead us to rejoice in God’s Gift of His Son. After all, He is the one perfect gift that we all truly need.

Now we wait. We wait for the hours and days to tick away until we gather to celebrate the Savior’s Birth. We also await the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus and the Day upon which we will join all believers to rejoice in God’s Salvation in Christ.

May God the Holy Spirit bless us through the Word. We ask that He bless us and pray, “Sanctify us by your Truth, O Lord, Your Word is Truth.” Amen.

The Prophet Isaiah is best known for the comforting promises of God that He was given by the Spirit of God for believers of all ages. We are reminded nearly every year that --

Isaiah foretold the Virgin Birth of the Savior, the Son of God’s entrance into the human race (Isaiah 7:14).
Isaiah foretold the miracles that would accompany the Savior’s First Coming (Isaiah 35:3-6).
Isaiah foretold the suffering of the Savior and His vicarious atonement (Isaiah 53).

But the Prophet Isaiah also brought dark and difficult words foretelling the Judgment of God against those nations and cities that had troubled His People during her history.

 The LORD promised judgment for Assyria, saying (Isaiah 14:25)–
“...I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him underfoot; and his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden from their shoulder.”

 The LORD said to the Philistines (Isaiah 14:30) –
“ ...but I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant it will slay.”

 The LORD foretold the nation of Moab’s demise (Isaiah 16:14) –
“In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”

 The LORD said of Egypt (Isaiah 19:4):
“...I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord GOD of hosts.”

 The LORD foretold Babylon’s fall, saying (Isaiah 21:9):
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the carved images of her gods he has shattered to the ground.”
Finally, the LORD pictured the ultimate Judgment to befall the entire earth. The Prophet Isaiah spoke these words of doom and gloom, picturing the destruction of the Last Day (Isaiah 24:19-22):

19 The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken. 20 The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again. 21 On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. 22They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished.”

When we hear these words of Judgment we may tremble with fear. When we think of God’s Righteous Judgment and our conscience points out our sins, we may want to put the Day of the LORD into that category of things that we’d like to see wait, be postponed for a while. This is a natural reaction driven by our own hitting the brake when you see the policeman, even when you aren’t speeding!

The LORD God knows us better than we know ourselves. For after the Prophet foretold Judgment and Destruction, the LORD changed the message of the Prophet to comfort the hearts of the people of God, those who trust in the Promised Savior.

The Prophet Isaiah pictures a banquet hosted by the LORD with His people dining on the richest of foods (Isaiah 25:6):

“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.”

The Prophet Isaiah pictures the dark cover of sin as having been removed from the nations. Then the Prophet promises that the LORD will take out that great divider of people, the last enemy, death. He speaks with words that remind us of the 21st Chapter of Revelation (21:4; Isaiah 25:8):

“He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.”

While we may not want the Judgment part of Isaiah to come, we surely would welcome the banquet. We may tremble at the earth’s destruction, but we look forward to the end of death, of crying and pain.

The thing is...the Judgment has to happen first...before the end of death and the eternal banquet to follow. There is no celebration of birth...until the child is born. There is no wedding reception until after the wedding. There can be no eternal sinless celebration until after sin is forever removed and death destroyed.

As Children of God about to celebrate Jesus’ Birth...we look forward...past death and grave...past the judgment to the great celebration that we so want to join now. Even as we wait...impatiently...for the celebration of Christmas and then we await the dawn of the great day that will never end...described in these words:

9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”**

In the course of our lives, we receive both proper names and nicknames. Our parents carefully chose our proper names. Our friends and the events in our lives have led to descriptive titles and nicknames (some descriptive, some deserved, some not).

In this single verse, two of the most common names of God are used, both are proper and both are descriptive. When the great day of eternity begins, the assembled host of believers will declare:

“...this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.”

The name translated; “God” in the first half of the verse is the same name used in the first verse of the Bible (Elohim). It is a name of God that especially emphasizes God’s power.

Our Creator is described by this name and the same is described here as the one with power to save. We cannot save ourselves; it is for us to do what we don’t do very well, patiently WAIT on Him, to RELY on HIM, to TRUST in HIM, to come and to save us. He who once created our first parents and then Promised in the Garden of Eden to send one to Save...will come for us to take us to what is called the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’ (Revelation 19:9) the Great Banquet of Life Eternal.

We look forward with hope to that Day because of the other name of God used in this verse. It’s capitalized (LORD) so that it stands out in the English. It is the name that God first revealed to Moses at the burning bush (Yahweh or Jehovah).
It’s a name that reminds us that He was, is, and always will be the Eternal God. It is the name that especially emphasizes the mercy and love of God.

Our Lord Jesus used this name of Himself. He declared himself to be the God of mercy and love, who comes to bring salvation to the world. We WAIT for His 2nd Coming with power and glory to usher in the eternal day of the LORD. We just have to wait for it.

Waiting...we aren’t so good at waiting. We are often impatient. We think that it’s been perhaps 2,025 years since Jesus’ first coming. It’s been just under 2,000 years since the Apostle John said that He’s coming quickly (Revelation 22:12). Still, it’s been barely half the wait that Adam and Eve would have endured (2 Peter 3:8-9):

“ not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

Time is relative.
Christ is faithful and His promises reliable.

9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

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