Since sin entered the world there has been a separation between God and man. Though man is certain we were created for something more than this world, we spend our days worrying about ourselves and do little on our own to look for God. That is why the story of the Bible is not a story of man looking for God, but of God pursuing man. Man is more likely to run and hide from God than to pursue God. It is God who has taken the initiative to have a relationship with us. If not for his pursuit, our state would be hopeless. It was God who pursued Adam and Eve after they sinned. It was God who came to Abram and called him to separate and go to a new land. It was God who went to Moses while he was hiding in the dessert. It was God who sent Jesus to die for our sins.
This Sunday will be my last Sunday preaching in James. The following Sunday I begin a series called “Rend the Heavens” out of Isaiah. We will start with God’s call of Isaiah and then look at his prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah. After Christmas we will continue the series looking mainly at Isaiah 63-65. Isaiah 64 and 65 have been important chapters in my life and some of my favorite to preach through. Isaiah cries out to God in prayer to “rend the heavens and come down.” It was his greatest desire to see God work during a horrible time in Israel’s history. Because of the earthly circumstances, Isaiah felt like God had separated himself from them and he desperately wanted God to return. But God answers his prayer by giving the picture of a loving father with his hands wide open just waiting for his child to run to him for an embrace.
I believe that this is an important message for all of us to hear during a time that our nation struggles through a horrible pandemic. It is easy to feel alone and wonder if God cares about what we are going through. God is still working. He is using these things for His glory. He is pursuing a love relationship with us. Will you have the same attitude as Isaiah when he was called to join God’s plan? “Here I am, send me.” I urge you to invite people with you during this study. Your family and friends need to hear the message of God’s pursuit of them. Do not make excuses for them. Many are looking for hope during this difficult time. They will find what they need when you point them to the one who came to set them free.