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Sermon #RV23

Revival Sermon: Wrestling for the Power

A Sermon on Isaiah 63:15-19


Isaiah 63:15-19 ESV KJV
Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and beautiful habitation. Where are your zeal and your might? The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion are held back from me. For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; …

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Sermon Description

Has God turned His back on the church? Why does it seem that the people of God are powerless today? In this sermon on Isaiah 63:15–19 titled “Revival Sermon: Wrestling for the Power,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds upon a prayer of Isaiah in which the prophet recognizes the character of God and reviews the history of His people. In the prayer is found hope for the people of Israel, but more importantly, the Christian finds hope for themselves. Dr. Lloyd-Jones covers the characteristics of Isaiah’s prayer to show what prayers should contain. He notes the prayer’s urgency, importunity, emotion, and pleading. Isaiah is wrestling with God in his prayer—pleading for the nation of Israel, deeply aware of their sins and yet boldly petitioning God to have mercy. Isaiah begins by worshiping God, and then he notes his subsisting relationship with God. He asks where God’s strength and mercy are to be found. Finally, he pleads with God to look again upon His people and have mercy on them. Dr. Lloyd-Jones takes time to carefully explain some difficult words of the prayer in which Isaiah asks why God has hardened their hearts.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The prophet Isaiah is praying for the nation of Israel that has been defeated and the people carried away into captivity.
  2. The supreme need is the presence and face of God. God seems to have turned away from them.
  3. The characteristics of the prayer are urgency, strong emotion, pleading, reasoning and wrestling with God.
  4. The first petition is "Look down from heaven and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory". They need God to look upon them again.
  5. He starts by worshipping and adoring God - recognizing God's holiness and glory. We must start with God.
  6. He reminds God of the relationship between them - where is God's zeal, strength and compassion towards them as in the past?
  7. His plea is for God to look down, return to them and soften their hearts. Though they deserve judgment, he asks for mercy.
  8. God had caused them to err and hardened their hearts as punishment. He asks God to stop dealing with them judicially.
  9. His arguments are: God is their Father, not Abraham or Jacob; they are God's inheritance; God has no relationship with their adversaries.
  10. Though they are sinful, they are still God's people. He asks God not to keep turning from them but to return, have mercy and arise to deliver them.

Revival Sermons

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.