Senin, 29 Februari 2016

Seek the Lord while He may be found

Isaiah 55:1-13

Sermon by Rev. Cynthia Londah-Kekung S.Th.

Sunday Worship, February 28, 2016

To experience happiness is one of the goals in this life, but many times, our happiness derive from ourselves. The poor wants to be rich, those who have enough want more, and the rich wants to have more wealth. No one is ever satisfied, and no one will enjoy life that is fulfilling if they live like that.

This instance was experienced by God’s people who were in Babel since 605 AD, which were actually in fact past the time of crisis under the ruling of Khoresi, who was a Persian king. Khoresi took over Babel in 538 AD, and allowed the Israelites to live free as the others in the society did. They had a source of income from their hard work that they’ve done, they had money and were able to purchase their necessities accordingly. But even all those things did not satisfy them. Something was missing; something was blocking their satisfaction.

Through the Word of God that was related from Isaiah there are messages that say:

-Return to Canaan. Whenever the people receive salvation, and are able to enjoy life in exile, it will not satisfy them. Their hard work will go to waste. The phrase found on verse 2, “what is not bread” shows that material things will not satisfy the needs of the people. Why, because when God’s people had freedom, they forgot that they were the people of God. Babel was not their homeland, and their exile in Babel provided them with a free life without captivation, and an established lifestyle, but even with those, they did not experience a satisfying life. They actually had a fertile land that was able to fulfill their lives’ needs. Canaan was their homeland, a homeland that was able to produce grain, grapes, and milk from their stock. They also received all this independently, because Canaan was filled with milk and honey (Verse 1). God called His people to come back to Canaan and experience its goodness, and God had prepared it all for them.

-Strengthening David’s kingdom. God promised to strengthened David’s kingdom and his lineage, 2 Samuel 7:16 says, “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” The change of pace in Babel from suffering to life that is fulfilling is not the ultimate goal. Babel was a place for God’s people to learn, so that they would be able to establish and support David’s kingdom. Every bit of experience from life in Babel is a witness for the nations about the might of God. Consequently, every nation will come to David’s kingdom. The strength within one nation is actually within God’s hands. That was why other nations that approached David’s kingdom had come to presence with God. This is God’s will for His people. Truly the time spent in Babel is an invaluable experience for God’s people. We can conclude that the satisfaction and security in life do not lie on material things, but it is found when we meet God. Bread, grapes, and milk are physical food that we need in order to survive as humans, but God had prepared something that surpasses those things. That is why, seek God. Everyone should be willing to leave behind their evil ways, and live in the ways God had intended. God forgives every one of our sins, finding God is something that will undeniable satisfy our wishes as humans.

We have many needs and wishes in this life. We give thanks to God who faithfully showers us with His blessings. But why do people still feel gloomy in their lives. This gloominess is not only felt by those who own very little, but it also applies to those who have a lot. There are many theories that support the notion that our wants and needs will escalate without limits. This particular lifestyle is something that actually makes humans less and less civilized, and we end up preying on each other. The satisfaction through material needs will not really fulfill our desires, because as stated above, we will continue to seek something beyond what we have. We are living in a world that is full of turmoil. There are many variables that have the power to threaten our lives, such as: loneliness, hunger, was, work, sickness, death, life partners, and many anxieties that are intangible. These variable are often too strong, and make us feel helpless, that we give up hope and unable to look toward the future. Often times these difficult situations appear in our lives, and require us to change our own perspectives in order to overcome these situations. There are many ways for us to overcome these situations. Often times the weight of the situations are so heavy that we lose hope and forget the amount of power God has over everything. God has many ways for us to overcome these situations. Sometimes He provides ways that are outside of our own imaginations that are able to lift us out of our small little corner and put us in a place where we can feel joy in His freedom.

Therefore similar to the Israelites in Babel who were freed from captivity, but did not feel any sense of satisfaction in their lives, the Word of God today tells us to seek God, as He is still willing to be found. Seek God for He is near!

The Word of God that was written by Isaiah is often heard during this time of year as we are in Lent as Jesus was fighting for our faithful lives in every obstacles and challenges that we encounter individually and with the people around us.

We are invited to seek God as He is willing to be found, and to call on Him as He is near, because there is a plan for peace and joy that will never be achieved through this world.

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6) means that there will be a time where God will shut His door, and will not be willing to be found.

That is why the Word of God today reminds us to not waste any time. Let us use our daily lives to continue to seek God. To seek God is an important decision for every believer. To seek God is to realize our limit and hopelessness, that we will search for God through our humbleness. To seek God is also to hope and prioritize God alone because there is a plan for peace and joy that will never be achieved through this world. Amen. 

The Rumengan Sisters praising Lord at Sunday Worship, February 21, 2016