Do you know God works for you? Prophet Isaiah has seen this. When reading the Bible prophets, we must remember that the prophets are humans, and have personal lives and sentiments too. They receive revelations and prophecies from God but they too have their own characters, needs and wants. When they recorded what they received from God, they used proper terms to indicate that it is God who is speaking. When they talked to God or prayed to God, they stated clearly that too.
Today we read and ponder on the last part of chapter 63 and the whole of chapter 64.
Isaiah still thought of God as someone who had abandoned the Jewish people. He repented for his nation for rebelling against God. He pleaded that God was their Father. He asked for forgiveness of the people’s sins. He was an intercessor because Jesus was not yet born at the prophet’s time. His focus was on the temple and the holy city of God, the sanctuary of God. He knew God’s heart was on the holiness of these.
Did God answer his prayers? Yes. In chapter 65 God will answer. In the history of the salvation of God, yes, God has also answered. He has sent the Savior He promised to prophet Isaiah. Jesus has come to earth as a human and has completed God’s plan of salvation for all mankind including the Jewish people.
Should Christians pray the same kind of prayers? Jesus is our intercessor and Jesus has given us the salvation and healing we need (1 Peter 2:24). God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ (Ephesians 1:3). By dying for us, Jesus has secured us the super-abundant life He promises to His believers (John 10:10). Jesus is sitting at the Father’s right side (Ephesians 1:20), interceding for us (Hebrews 7:25). The Holy Spirit too intercedes for us with words that cannot be uttered in our languages (Romans 8:26). Salvation and healing are done deals in Christ Jesus. Jesus has broken the power of the devil (who had the power of death) and has set us free from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Key verses: Isaiah 6410 Your holy cities are destroyed. Zion is a wilderness; yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin. 11 The holy and beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed.
12 After all this, Lord, must you still refuse to help us?
Will you continue to be silent and punish us?
Isaiah 63:15-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
A Prayer of Penitence (Prayer for Mercy and Pardon)
15 Look down from heaven,
And see from Your habitation, holy and glorious.
Where are Your zeal and Your strength,
The yearning of Your heart and Your mercies toward me?
Are they restrained?
16 Doubtless You are our Father,
Though Abraham was ignorant of us,
And Israel does not acknowledge us.
You, O Lord, are our Father;
Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.
17 O Lord, why have You made us stray from Your ways,
And hardened our heart from Your fear?
Return for Your servants’ sake,
The tribes of Your inheritance.
18 Your holy people have possessed it but a little while;
Our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary.
19 We have become like those of old, over whom You never ruled,
Those who were never called by Your name.
Isaiah 64 New King James Version (NKJV)
64 Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence—
2 As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
3 When You did awesome things for which we did not look,
You came down,
The mountains shook at Your presence.
4 For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
6 But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
7 And there is no one who calls on Your name,
Who stirs himself up to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us,
And have consumed us because of our iniquities.
8 But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
9 Do not be furious, O Lord,
Nor remember iniquity forever;
Indeed, please look—we all are Your people!
10 Your holy cities are a wilderness,
Zion is a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful temple,
Where our fathers praised You,
Is burned up with fire;
And all our pleasant things are laid waste.
12 Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O Lord?
Will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?
Hebrews 2:14-15 New Living Translation (NLT)
We have become fearless. Our greatest fear has been removed.
14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.