Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. 19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Notice the part in verse 21 “this is the way, walk ye in it.” I want to talk about the position of the believer and the call of mercy.
Have you ever had someone turn their back on you while you were speaking to them? God spoke to his people and they turned their backs. They turned their backs on his love for mankind. How much does he love us? Enough to die for us. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son for us. I can’t explain the love of God to us who are unlovable. It is an unconditional love, an agape love, wherein he loves us in spite of ourselves. Romans tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God–For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Malachi 1 shows us about the response to God’s love. Verse 2 says I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? This is an unreturned love. Think of a fellow who does things for a girl to show his love but she doesn’t love him in return. Israel turned its back on God’s love. They turned their backs on the gospel. The gospel is the good news that Jesus saves. Who wouldn’t want good news? They turned their backs on happiness. The unsaved think they are happy, but there are only moments of it. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said things won’t make us happy. He tried wealth, wisdom, wine, women and great works but found in and of themselves nothing brought happiness. Nothing will bring more happiness and satisfaction than having sins forgiven. Jesus told the man with Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. We can go to sleep in peace because our sins are forgiven. They turned their backs on holiness. This comes through Jesus Christ; it is not of ourselves. They turned their backs on heaven. Some make this decision and turn their back on Jesus everyday. God made the way through Jesus Christ and with trust in him we will not miss heaven. In John 6 Jesus asked his disciples if they would also go away as others had. Peter said Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. The people followed Jesus because of his miracles. They followed until things didn’t go well. If God never does another thing besides dying for me, that’s enough. Some turned away because of the fear of men. People say they would get saved but their friends would laugh at them. What you do when you get saved is trade hell for heaven, darkness for light. You better yourself now and in the life to come. It takes a real man or woman to come to Christ and admit they need the Lord. Some turned away because of their love of the world. They didn’t want to give up things of the world and trade them for heaven. When the Lord saves us, our desires change. We don’t miss out. Some have doubts and questions. Some claim to be a Christian but that doesn’t mean they are. Judas claimed to follow Jesus but Jesus called him a devil. On the day of judgment God will declare to the unsaved, depart from me. There are hypocrites in everything. We will all give account to God for ourselves, not for others. Some have doubts about themselves. They’ve sinned too much. They can’t live it. Some say they live a good life already. They still need a Savior. The Lord loved us enough to die. His blood is what saves us and gives remission of sins. Others are procrastinators. In the parable of the 10 virgins, the bridegroom tarried and they slept. When the announcement came that the bridegroom was coming, 5 of them trimmed their lamps and were ready for him. The other 5 didn’t have oil for their lamps. While they were gone to get oil, the bridegroom came and they missed him. The door was shut and they were not allowed to go in. Some are going farther away from God. Like the prodigal son, they go farther away from the father’s house. After wasting his living he found himself at the hog pen. He came to himself and went home. He found the avenue back to his father. Remember sin always takes you farther than you intended, keeps you longer than you want to stay and costs you more than you thought. From the story of Jonah we know that Christians can backslide. Once you start this process of backing off from God it is difficult to stop. It’s like being on a water slide. You go faster as you head down it.
Then we see the call for mercy. Luke 19:10 tells us that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. We were sick, in need of healing. Sin sick. I’m glad the Lord heals. He finds us. In the story about the lost sheep and the lost coin, it wasn’t the sheep or the coin that found their owner. The owner went looking for them. If you lose your wallet, it won’t come find you and say “here I am.’ The mission of Jesus is to find us and save us. We can’t see the Lord. We’ve never heard his audible voice. By faith we believe in heaven. God talks to us everyday through his Word, the Bible. We communicate with him through prayer. Do you remember the day he found you? Just like in the death of Lazarus, he’s never late. He always comes on time. He’s calling for you in his mercy. Listen to him.