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1) The Community Longing for Advent. This text is a (prophetic) prayer of the Remnant of Israel/Judah (in the exile). It is set in a time when, “the Sanctuary” has been “trodden down” by adversaries (63:18). Thus, these longings for the Advent of God were set during those days after the Babylonian Exile, after the Temple and Jerusalem lay in ruins, calling on God for deliverance and restoration. Destruction often precedes deliverance.
2) The Collect Longing for Advent. A “Collect” a liturgical action and a short, general prayer which "collects" the prayers of people in a unified petition.
This collect-prayer or plea begins in Is. 63:15: “Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation.” “For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us” (63:16). It is an example of a central theme in Is. 40-66 in calling for the Covenant Lord to “Return for the sake of Your servants and heritage...” to Zion (63:17). The lament is that “We have become like those over whom You have never ruled” (63:19). The second plea to “come down” arises in chapter 64 v1. God is implored to open up the heavens and come down as in the past (Sinai) when “You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence” (64:3), when He gave revelation and purpose to His people. Prayer precedes deliverance.
3) The Confirmation of Those Longing for Advent. God fulfills His covenant promises but not in an unqualified way. There is confirmation for the pleading remnant: “You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways” (64:5). What is the character of these covenant keepers: a) They acknowledge their perversity famously in the words, “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” v6. b) They acknowledge their powerlessness, “all of us wither like a leaf” v6. c) They acknowledge their lack of perseverance, “There is no one who calls on Your
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