Summary: What do you do when the church sinks to the level of the world, leaving its high calling, quitting the path of being a separated people, & becoming like those whom God does not know? After the entreaty to remember the pitiful spiritual condition of His pe
ISAIAH 64: 1-12
THE MADE RIGHTEOUS PLEA
[Exodus 19:16-19 / Mt 24:36-44 / 1Corinthians 2:9]
What do you do when the church sinks to the level of the world, leaving its high calling, quitting the path of being a separated people, and becoming just like those whom God does not know? After the entreaty to remember the pitiful spiritual condition of His people we now have an appeal for an overwhelming demonstration of God’s power. It comes as a prayer bursting up like a volcano through the hearts of gracious men who no longer could hold in the agonizing cry.
The prophet appeals so longingly to God because unless God does come down the people will not return. The people’s are so distance from God they will not return without God’s presence coming in power.
This prayer reveals the hope of the church and brings the solution for her many ailments. If His people will confess their sins and turn to Him, God would rescue them from their tragic condition. Yahweh works wonders for those who in righteousness wait for Him.
I. DEMONSTRATE YOUR POWERFUL PRESENCE, 1-3.
II. HONOR THE PLEA OF THE RIGHTEOUS, 4-5a.
III. CAPTIVES OF OUR SIN, 5b-7.
IV. RESCUE AND RESTORE US, 8-12.
Isaiah’s ardent plead for the manifested presence of God begins in verse 1. Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence—
"Rend the heavens! and come down!" Having already called on God to see how bad the situation is (63:15), the prophet now pleas for God to come down and shatter their serious situation. Tear apart whatever barrier is separating us from You! Come down and shake the mountains, the most solid foundations of the earth.
It’s as if Isaiah is asking, "Why have You let the situation get so desperate? Why have You not already intervened? Feel the heart cry of God’s prophet for God’s direct intervention in the affairs of man and church.
In verse 2 the prophet gives the manner and effect with which He wants the Lord to come down. As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil— To make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!
God’s manifested presence is so intense that it is like a consuming fire that burns everything in its path. Make Your name known by making the mountains shake and the nations tremble, he advised the Lord. Reveal Your nature to the nations by the wonders of Your presence.
Throughout the Bible (Gen. 3:24; Ex. 3:1; Acts 2:3; Rev. 20:9) fire is closely associated with the presence of God. If God were to come among us and apply His fire to our unclean lips and hardened hearts as He had with Isaiah (6:1ff); the trash of our lives would be consumed in flames and the lukewarm water of our souls would burst into a rolling boil. The result would be that God’s adversaries, those who has trampled down His worship (63:18), would realize His name, who He truly is. Then they would tremble.
In verse 3 Isaiah relays to God that their plea is not beyond Him, that He has done it before when He was separating out a people for His own possession. When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.
Isaiah wanted God to behave as He had in the past. Recalling God’s appearance at
Mt Sinai, (Ex.19:16-19) Isaiah longed for a repeat performance. When God met Moses there was lightening flashes, rolling thunder, bellowing smoke, and quaking earth. Such disintegrating events would get man’s attention.
If God were to met with us today, His glory and holiness would overwhelm us. That is the way it will happen when Christ Jesus comes again (Mt. 24:36-44).
[But God had already told Isaiah that He Would be doing something new; "Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them" (42:9). The something new was Jesus! God did indeed come down. But not in Isaiah’s lifetime. He came in the unassuming form of an infant.
Many of us can remember a situation when God acted in an amazing way and like Isaiah we want God to do the something again. But perhaps He has something else in mind. As you celebrate God’s humble descent to earth, be aware that He came to change our hearts, not just our circumstances. God’s answers to our prayers may exceed our expectations ]
II. HONOR THE PLEA OF THE RIGHTEOUS, 4-5a.
Verse 4 reveals that God’s past actions have taught that there is no God like Him. For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. [For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him. KJV]