Isaiah 59:1,2 - How Does Sin Separate Us From God And His Blessings.

Isa.59:1, 2; How Does Sin Separate Us From God And His Blessings.

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Isaiah 59:1 (NIV)  Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short 
to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 
Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)  But your iniquities have separated you from 
your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will 
not hear. 

Isaiah 59:1 (NLT) Listen! The LORD is not too weak to save you, 
and he is not becoming deaf. He can hear you when you call.  
Isaiah 59:2 (NLT) But there is a problem--your sins have cut you 
off from God. Because of your sin, he has turned away and will not 
listen anymore.  

51:9 Arm of the LORD:  Symbol of God's power. [NIV SB]

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

Judah's sin was great, but a penitent people will be redeemed by 
the LORD (59:1-21). In that day Zion will be glorious (60:1-22), and 
her people blessed (61:1-11). Then at last the land and her people 
will be holy (62:1-12). [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

59:1-21 Sin's Partition Judged
Isaiah 59 reveals the gospel in the Old Testament: "All have 
sinned" (Rom. 3:23; cf. Isa. 59:2). "The wages of sin" (Rom. 6:23; cf. 
Isa. 59:10). "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 
5:8; cf. Isa. 59:16). The "one mediator" is Christ (1 Tim. 2:5). When 
Christ returns, he will judge the wicked and redeem his people, Israel, 
"those in Jacob who repent of their sins" (Isa. 59:20; "those who turn 
from transgression in Jacob," NASB). [New Bible Companion] 

Penitential psalm  (59:1-20)
Warnings against Sin
The Evil That People Do
Separation from God

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Jeremiah 32:17 (KJV)  Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the 
heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and 
there is nothing too hard for thee:  

Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)  Wherefore he is able also to save them to 
the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to 
make intercession for them.  

Jeremiah 5:25 (KJV)  Your iniquities have turned away these 
things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.  

Ezekiel 39:23-24 (KJV)  And the heathen shall know that the 
house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they 
trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them 
into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. [24] 
According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have 
I done unto them, and hid my face from them.  

Ezekiel 39:29 (KJV)  Neither will I hide my face any more from 
them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith 
the Lord God.  

Micah 3:4 (KJV)  Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will 
not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as 
they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.  

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?

The Lord is powerful enough to be able to save (hand, a symbol 
of power) and compassionate enough to want to (His ear is open to 
hear those who call on Him). [Ryrie SB] 

59:1-8  Israel's predicament is the result, not of God's 
inability to act, but of the nation's sins: lies, dishonesty, evil plots 
(adders' eggs) and efforts to hide what they are doing (webs). [Cambridge 
Annotated SB]  

God has not lost His power; rather He has withheld His power 
because of the iniquities of the people. He has not received their 
prayers because they are vain and insincere. The promised deliverance 
has not come because of the people and their sinfulness. [Believer's 

Sin erects a barrier between man and God. If heaven seems far 
distant from earth, it is because sin has hung a veil of separation 
between man and God. [SDA Commentary] 

God's holiness cannot tolerate sin. Sin offends our holy God and 
separates us from him. Because God is holy, he cannot ignore, excuse, or 
tolerate sin as though it didn't matter. Sin cuts people off from him, 
forming a wall to isolate God from the people he loves. No wonder this 
long list of wretched sins makes God angry and forces him to look the 
other way. People who die with their life of sin unforgiven separate 
themselves eternally from God. God wants them to live with him forever, but 
he cannot take them into his holy presence unless their sin is 
removed. Have you confessed your sin to God, allowing him to remove it? 
The Lord can save you if you turn to him. [Life Application SB] 

"Your iniquities have separated you from your God" Isa. 59:1-2. 
God firmly intends to bless His people. Yet Judah had not 
experienced blessing.  When something like this happens, some people are 
sure to blame God. Isaiah portrayed his contemporaries complaining 
that God's hearing was bad, or that His arm was a bit crippled so He 
couldn't produce miracles as He used to. But that wasn't the explanation. 
The fault wasn't in God but in people. Human sin is the barrier that 
separates us from God.  What the prophet meant is that sin is like a 
one-way mirror. Light passes through it from one side, but is reflected 
back by the other. Similarly sin is no barrier to judgment. That 
passes through easily. But sin is a barrier to blessing. No matter how 
hard we seek blessing, the prayers of sinners are reflected back, 
unanswered. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

Human sin, not God's lack of power or will, separate us from His 
salvation. God promises salvation to those who repent.... Sin separates us 
from God and blocks His answers to prayer. The honest prayer of 
repentance removes the hindrances to answered prayer.... God cannot look upon 
sin in His people; sin alienates us from God. Judah neglected its 
relationship with the Lord and reaped the results--exile. A people who are 
expert in sinning become unconscious of their sin. We can act in 
depravity and think we are God's people because we have lost the sense of 
right and wrong. When we lose all sense of peace and justice, we 
cannot expect God to hear us. Confession of sin to God and hope in Him 
for renewal are the only answers for a depraved people (vv. 9-15). 
[Disciple SB] 

Inspiration declares, "The sacrifice of the wicked is 
abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?" Proverbs 
21:27. The God of heaven is "of purer eyes than to behold evil," and 
cannot "look on iniquity." Habakkuk 1:13. It is not because He is 
unwilling to forgive that He turns from the transgressor; it is because 
the sinner refuses to make use of the abundant provisions of grace, 
that God is unable to deliver from sin. "The Lord's hand is not 
shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 
but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and 
your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear." Isaiah 
59:1, 2.  {PK 323} 

Sin not only shuts away from God, but destroys in the human soul 
both the desire and the capacity for knowing Him. Through sin, the 
whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the 
imagination corrupted; the faculties of the soul are degraded... To the heart 
that has become purified, all is changed. Transformation of character 
is the testimony to the world of an indwelling Christ. The Spirit 
of God produces a new life in the soul, bringing the thoughts and 
desires into obedience to the will of Christ; and the inward man is 
renewed in the image of God. Weak and erring men and women show to the 
world that the redeeming power of grace can cause the faulty character 
to develop into symmetry and abundant fruitfulness.  The heart that 
receives the word of God is not as a pool that evaporates, not like a 
broken cistern that loses its treasure. It is like the mountain stream, 
fed by unfailing springs, whose cool, sparkling waters leap from 
rock to rock, refreshing the weary, the thirsty, the heavy-laden. It 
is like a river constantly flowing and, as it advances, becoming 
deeper and wider, until its life-giving waters are spread over all the 
earth. {PK 233}