Isaiah 59:21 (NKJV)
21 “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”
There was once a boy who imagined that when he was 18, when he reached the age of majority, he wouldn’t have to do any of the things his parents had taught him to do when he was young. This boy was particularly irked that his parents made him brush his teeth each evening. Getting the toothbrush out of the drawer, squeezing the tube, brushing for a minute – it was all such a nuisance, so time consuming. And what was the value of it anyhow? He just ate the next day and got his teeth dirty again. What’s the point.
Eagerly the lad awaited his 18th birthday. His 16th came and went; his 17th came and went; and finally, his 18th birthday arrived. He was free. He got a job, moved out of his parents home, and commenced his long coveted practice of not brushing his teeth.
Ah, he thought with pleasure on his first night in his new apartment, this is the life. no one to tell me what to do. no more brushing my teeth at night. Joy and gladness wrapped their way around his heart. And joy and gladness stayed with him – for a time. But soon the consequences of his decision began to be felt. His teeth took on a decidedly brown appearance; he found it hard to get a date; his teeth began to ache from the cavities that filled them. In the place of joy and gladness came doubt; in the place of doubt, frustration; in the place of frustration, anger. Until the day he found himself facing the mirror, extracting his long-neglected toothbrush from the drawer, scrounging for that toothbrush tube with the dried paste around the top, squeezing the requisite amount onto his brush and scrubbing with all his might. But try as he might, he couldn’t get those stains off and he couldn’t fill those cavities.
Many have imagined that the purpose of the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon the people of God was to free them from the burden of God’s law. Such people are foolish and naïve, totally misrepresenting the relationship between the OT and the NT. Our text today makes this plain.
“As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”
The Spirit was given not to free us from the law but to make our hearts free to obey it. The problem isn’t the law; the problem is ourselves.
So, children, have you reckoned with the corruption of your hearts? Have you considered that God gives His Spirit precisely to enable you to obey your parents? Adults, have you reckoned with the corruption of your hearts? Have you considered that God gives His Spirit precisely to enable you to love and cherish His ways?
Reminded that we frequently pit God’s Spirit against His law, that we frequently imagine that maturity means freedom from responsibility rather than the love of the same, let us kneel and let us confess our sins to God.