In these final chapters are prayers for mercy and forgiveness from a God who is silent (Is. 64). Those pleading confess their sin and praise His deeds (64:4-7). God will spare His true servants (65:1-10). The rebirth of His nation and His promise (66:7-9,22).
Most of the northern kingdom people were carried away captive by the Assyrians during the reign of wicked King Pekah (Is. 7:1; II Kin. 15:27-29). Having witnessed the destruction of the northern kingdom before he came to the throne, undoubtedly godly King Hezekiah of the southern kingdom was greatly encouraged by the prophet Isaiah. Sadly, after Hezekiah's death, his son Manasseh became one of the most wicked kings in Judah's history (21:9).
During this time, the Word of God, as proclaimed by Isaiah, had been ignored and now a heartbroken God spoke through him these pitiful words: I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts (Is. 65:2). Although God had reached out to them, they had ignored and insulted Him. They had gone their own ways. The Lord continued: I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears (dread, terrors) upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not (66:4).
The Apostle Paul quoted from Isaiah 64:4 to encourage the Corinthian church: It is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him (I Cor. 2:9). The magnificence of His wisdom and glory are now revealed to us as we read His Word. Paul went on to state that believers in Jesus as the Messiah also receive the very thoughts of Christ through the written Word of God. Through Isaiah, God declared future things which were later bestowed through the Messiah upon those that love Him. At any time, in any place, we may pray to our loving God. While we have an opportunity to serve Him, we should determine to make His will the priority in our lives.
To the small minority who remained faithful then, as well as to the minority of faithful today, Isaiah is saying: Hear the Word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His Word; Your brethren that hated (despised) you, that cast you out for My Name's sake . . . shall be ashamed. . . . For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river (Is. 66:5,12).
Thought for Today:
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him (Ps. 103:11).
As the Creator of new heavens and a new earth (Is. 65:17; 66:22; comp. John 1:1-3; II Pet. 3:13). As the One whose glory will be declared among the nations (Is. 66:18-19; Rev. 5:12-13).
64:3 terrible =awesome, revered greatly, greatly to be feared; 64:11 are laid waste =have been destroyed; 65:14 howl for vexation of spirit =cry out in misery; 66:6 voice =sound.
Pray for Staff: Barbara Bivens • Government Officials: Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN) • Country: Turkey (64 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe • Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic • Official resistance to Christian witnessing • 79% Sunni Muslim; 20% Alawi Shi'ite Muslim; .2% Christian; .04% Jewish (25,000); .09% Armenian Orthodox; .02% Syrian Orthodox; .02% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to the Lord with sincere lips (Ps. 17:1).
Optional Reading: 1 Peter 3
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:12