Rend the Heavens
Isaiah 64:1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
I. The Prayer that is Worded – 63:7 and following…
The prayer starts back in chapter 63.
· The prayer Acknowledged the Savior’s Redemption – 63:7-9
· The prayer Admitted the People’s Rebellion – 63:10
· The prayer Appreciated the Father’s Remembrance – 63:11-19
But the prayer that is worded in chapter 64 starts out with “Oh that whou wouldest rend the heavens…”
The windows of heaven being shut was always a result of God’s judgment.
2 Chronicles 7
· 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
The prayer for God to rend the heavens were significant.
In the Bible, amazing things happened when God opened up the heavens.
A. Picture of Unlimited Access
When God opens up the heavens, it is a picture of God’s imminent blessing.
· Malachi 3:10 was a promise to those that tithed that God would “…open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
B. Picture of Unmistakable Affirmation
· 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
· 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
The heavens being opened at the baptism of Jesus Christ produced a confirmation in the hearts of those around.
C. Picture of Unequalled Approval
· 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
· 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
As Stephen was being rejected and stoned to death, God opened the windows of heaven to confirm in the heart of Stephen that despite the mobs of angry people, God recognized him and honored him.
When Stephen was outnumbered by those that hated God and God’s word, God opened the heavens and demonstrated to Stephen that He was with him and that He was standing with him.
II. The Presence that is Wanted
Of all the applications that we could make of God rending the heavens, there is no mistake why this prayer was being prayed in Isaiah 64:1.
The rending of the heavens was a prayer that demonstrated a desire for God’s presence.
The presence of God is mentioned in verse 1, 2, 3
· 1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
· 2 As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!
· 3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from the presence of the Lord.
· Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
When Jonah disobeyed God’s command to go to Ninevah, he fled from the presence of the Lord.
· Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
One of the keys to having a revival is when God’s people stop running from the presence of God and request it!!
God wants to reveal Himself; He wants to manifest His presence.
The problem is most people are not interested in God’s presence.
Recently, I have been appalled at the ignorance of many Christians concerning the presence of God.
The argument is that since God is omnipresent, asking for His presence is unnecessary.
Yet, in multiple places, the Word of God clearly separates the presence of God from the manifestation of His presence.
God is everywhere all the time all at the same time.
Yet God’s presence is not always manifested in an obvious and personal way.
Why would the people of God be praying in Isaiah 64:1 for God to come down if that were not the case?
III. The Proof that is Warranted
A. The Moving that is Requested
Twice we find the phrase “that the mountains might flow down at thy presence.” (vs. 1 and 3)
What a statement! What a visual image!
The reader is reminded of the supernatural effect that God’s presence has.
There can hardly be a greater demonstration of God’s power and presence than for mountains to flow down.
FLOW DOWN: to be worthless, be vile, be insignificant, be light
Over and over again in Scripture, we find that when God shows up, mountains quake.
When God met with the people in Exodus 20:17, 18, the mountains quaked.
· Nahum 1:5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
B. The Manifestation that is Revealing
Make no mistake; when God shows up, He changes things.
When God comes down, He changes people.
When God rends the heavens, and comes down, there will be indisputable evidence.
There will be no question; there will be no debate.
Everyone around will have to acknowledge that God has shown up!!
God never comes on the scene and leaves things the way they are!
What we need is God to come down and for Him to make a difference.
C. The Mountains that are Removed
The application this morning is simple: When God rends the heavens and comes down, He changes things.
He changes things that have been there forever.
Things that have been in place for years; settled and in stone.
God can change things that nobody thought could ever be changed.
God rending the heavens can cause the mountains to crumble.
Those mountains can be a picture of many things in our lives.
· Mountains of lifelong habits.
· Mountains of secret sins.
· Mountains of hidden activity.
· Mountains of weights and besetting sins.
· Mountains of unconfessed bitterness and anger.
· Mountains of Satanic strongholds.
· Mountains of character flaws.
· Mountains of wrong thinking.
· Mountains of unbiblical theology.
· Mountains of unresolved marriage problems.
· Mountains of relationship issues.
· Mountains of ministry challenges.
· Mountains of unanswered prayers.
· Mountains of overwhelming odds.
The list could go on and on.
Why do we pray for God to rend the heavens and to come down??
That the mountains might flow down at His presence.
We not only WANT God, but it goes much deeper.
We NEED God to rend the heavens!