Summary: Isaiah has just recounted some past experiences with God when He moved & acted on behalf of His people. He now pleas with God to remember that He is their Father. It is a call for their God of power & love to take action on their behalf. In spite of the
ISAIAH 63: 15-19
YOU ARE OUR FATHER
Isaiah has just recounted some past experiences with God when He moved and acted on behalf of His people. He now pleas with God to remember that He is their Father. It is a prayer elicited out of their sorrow and desertion. It is a call for merciful intervention. It is a call for their God of power and love to take action on their behalf.
In spite of the fact that their rebellion has cause God to turn against them, they still are His people, and in that they place their trust.
I. OUR REDEEMING FATHER, 15-16.
II. STRAYING FROM THE FATHER, 17.
III. RESULTS OF FATHERLESSNESS, 18-19.
Verse 15 is a plea for God’s presence and activity. Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation. Where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The stirrings of Your heart and Your compassion are restrained toward [withheld from] me.
The heavens reveal the glory of God and His glory is seen in His position over the universe. His glory is also revealed by His mighty deeds (40:5). God created His people to bring Him glory by their actions and noble character ( 43:7). God’s glory is experienced by His people in His presence (Ps. 26:8; 27:4; Ezek. 9:3; Hab 2:14) as they worship. God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. ) .
The lament is that God’s zeal for His people and His mighty miracles on their behalf are gone. He seems far away in the heavens. No longer does He seem concerned for His people. Even the feelings and compassion of His heart are not moved by their condition. Because their sin has distanced them from God, He no longer seem willing to help the sinner return to Himself, the Good Shepherd.
You too may experience such feelings. You may expressed them in faith and humility before God as the saints before us have done again and again. God will receive soul-baring honesty.
In verse 16 we find the justification for the pleas of verse 15. For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not recognize us. You, O Lord, are our Father, Our Redeemer from of old is Your name.
What is the basis for the expectation that God should have feelings of affection and compassion toward them, or even us? It is because God had brought them into existence. They were His children.
It is a solemn thought that they were and we are God’s spiritual children. God’s relation with His own is even deeper than the deepest relationship of a parent and a child.
To emphasize the fact of their despairing condition and that human help would not do they reference their father Abraham. They were so few and weak that neither Abraham nor Israel would recognize them. Though Abraham might deny His children, God cannot.
So they appeal not only to fact that God had fathered them, brought them into existence, but also to His saving nature. Their hope was God’s historical revelation of Himself as their Redeemer. He is Our Redeemer from ancient times. By that name we have come to know Him and once again want to known Him.
They are saying, We have offended You; but we are still Your children. We have wandered from You; but we are still Your own, bought with a price. Your name "Our Redeemer" is not a temporary one; it is from everlasting to everlasting, therefore look on Your poor children again. Leave us not, or we perish. [Spurgeon]. If God does not graciously, benevolently initiate action on our behalf, there is no hope for His people.
II. STRAYING FROM THE FATHER, 17.
Verse 17 begins revealing some tragic consequences of straying from God and His Word. Why, O Lord, do You cause us to stray from Your ways and harden our heart from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage.
As the people come to their senses they confess the failing of human initiative to either desire the ways of God or to walk in them. They realize they cannot break out of the pattern of sin on their own (Jn. 6:44). Without the enabling grace of God we will stray from God’s ways and our hearts will be harden in our sin.
Isaiah has seen the addictive power of sin and the stubbornness of rebellion. He has proclaimed God’s Word to them with all his strength and watched them turn away in contempt (5:19; 30:9-14). He realizes that the only hope is for God’s power and affection to change God’s people. We are so callous and uncaring that unless we can in some small way connect with the passion and power of God there is no hope. Intercession is the passionate entering into the needs of others and storming the gates of heaven with them until we touch God and are changed. [Oswalt, Isaiah 40-66, 614]