Give Him No Rest

Isaiah 62:1-12

Prophet Isaiah lived before blogs, Twitter, on-demand publishing. Time and environment where anyone with library card can write to potential audience of billions. Isaiah primarily a preaching prophet; what we have in 66 chapters – sermon transcripts. Possible exception chapter 6, personal testimony. 40 years of prophetic preaching ministry distilled into 1292 verses, 36120 words (in English). Key points and principles Holy Spirit directed him to record for future generations.

Covered broad range of cultural / theological issues: nation incredibly blessed by God; patient forgiving God; people steeped in rebellion and idolatry; remnant of believers graciously protected and preserved; deliverance from captivity, salvation from sin, future blessing beyond description. It’s all there. Looking far into future, Isaiah saw glory of God at work among redeemed people. Saw fulfillment of promises God had made; promises for our age and age still to come.

Easy to think: God promised deliverer; he came, declared his identity, completed his work, went back to heaven, end of story. Now both God and we just hang on till the end. Not exactly. Gen. 2:2 tells God “rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Doesn’t mean God’s been on vacation for few thousand years. Jesus said, “It is finished” but he’s not on holiday either. Work of creation, work of redemption completed, yes. But, more work to do. No rest even for God, just yet. If you are genuine child of God, think as we work through text how much of this applies directly to you, describes what God has done in your life.

A. no rest v.1-2a

the means

loud proclamation

his word going forth – public preaching / teaching of Gospel

man’s rules & regs governing speech no barrier to God – God speaks, will be heard

ongoing activity

no relaxing, no diminishing of intensity until goal is achieved

the end

glory of his people

righteousness and salvation

Holy One of Israel determined to make his people holy

and witness to the nations of God’s great acts of deliverance

no such thing as secret service Christian

God intends world to see, take notice of what he has done

B. new name v.2b-5

name in Bible/Jewish culture more than label (2b)

usually given by one with authority – this case, God himself

often reveals much about individual – e.g., various names for God

new name replaces old name and its associations

change of nature and character (3)

crown – sign of royalty

important: crown of beauty/glory

God doesn’t work to minimums, close enough for gov’t work

all God does is work of art, beauty, displaying his glory

diadem – sign of sovereignty

his people will show his rule over their lives

what they do, how they live explainable no other way

in the hand of the Lord – not on his head

work is not completed, …yet; still adding jewels to his crown

translation note – v.4 better expressed this way:

“You will no longer be called Deserted, and your land will not be called Desolate; instead, you will be called My Delight is in Her, and your land Married.” (HCSB)

change of status (4)

from “deserted” to “delighted in”

formerly ignored, now object of special attention …in a good way, way of blessing and nurturing

change of relationship

from desolate, alone, neglected, unfruitful, without hope for future – to protected, provided for, surrounded by family

radical change

one in whom God delights, over whom God rejoices

God has done the work, made the difference, accomplished the change necessary

delight and rejoicing are genuine, not company face put on for show

but….. not everyone meets necessary conditions for God to delight in them

means there’s more work to do – work God must do – but not do alone

C. new work v.6-10

pastors (6a)

watchmen on the walls

protect and encourage those within by proclaiming truth, warning of danger

must be alert – to ones inside slacking off, ones outside sneaking up

petitioners (6b-7)

“You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest” (ESV)

Paul said “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17)

God never tires of reminders of his promises

keep on without resting until

the work of building the church is complete

individually and corporately

at home, in families, here with brothers and sisters

unreached people; work of our missionaries; labors of sister churches

preparation (10)

make the place ready; enlarge the tent; remove the roadblocks; make the destination obvious

do what it takes so the sanctuary is big enough for all the worshipers

promised blessing (8-9)

guaranteed promise: sworn by his power

so long as God is God and is omnipotent, what he promises will be done

those who labor with God

enjoy his presence – receive his blessing – give him praise for what he has accomplished

D. divine results v.11-12

look who’s coming (11b)

salvation – deliverer

the one of whom prophet spoke in Isa. 53:10-12 – would see his seed, prolong his days, see the labor of his soul and be satisfied.

look who’s with him (11c)

“the Messiah is here described as coming to his people, bringing with him a vast multitude of strangers, or new converts, the reward of his own labours, and at the same time the occasion of a vast enlargement to his church.” J A Alexander

look what God has done (12)

holy – made his people like himself

redeemed – paid the penalty to redeem them from sin

desirable – made them desirable to himself and others

loved – restored to loving relationship

all brought about by what Suffering Servant accomplished when “he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors”

Whew! Guess we need to get busy. God doesn’t sleep, our job to give him no rest. At every possible opportunity, must be pleading with God, reminding God, praising God. If not happy with forward progress of Gospel in the world, where to look first? People of God – are they doing the work God has given? Basically God is saying here: if you want me to build my kingdom, build my church, pray continually and fervently and persistently that I do it. Expecting Christ’s church to grow without prevailing prayer is like expecting Sally to win a race on square wheels. She might eventually get to the finish line but not in 1st place.

May God stir up in us desire for fervent prayer; may we do our part, in prayer for work of the Kingdom at every possible opportunity. May we give God the praise as we see him work in answer to our prayers.

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