Read Isaiah 64 -- 66
In Today's Reading:
Our righteousness as filthy rags; prayer for God's presence; rebelliousness punished
Most of the northern kingdom of Israel was defeated and carried away captive by the Assyrians during the reign of wicked King Pekah (Isaiah 7:1; II Kings 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.
During this time, the Word of God, as proclaimed by Isaiah, had been ignored and now God spoke through him these pitiful words: I spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts (Isaiah 65:2). Although God had reached out to them, they had not reached out to Him. They had gone their own ways. The Lord continued: I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears 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, and wrote: But as it is written: Eye hath not seeen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him (I Corinthians 2:9). The magnificence of His wisdom and glory are now revealed to us as we read His Word. Paul goes on to state that believers in Jesus also receive the very thoughts of Christ through the written Word of God. Through Isaiah, God declared things which were beyond the comprehension of His creation, but these very things 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 time to call upon His Name, 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 faithful today, Isaiah is saying: Hear the Word of the LORD, ye that tremble at His Word: Your brethren that hated 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 (Isaiah 66:5,12).
As the Creator of new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; compare John 1:1-3; II Peter 3:13). As the One Whose glory will be declared among the nations (see Isaiah 66:18-19; Revelation 5:12-13).
64:3 terrible = awesome; 64:11 are laid waste = have been destroyed; 65:14 howl for vexation of spirit = cry out in misery; 66:6 voice = sound.
BP Staff: Rick Hash · Pray for Global Focus and Dr. Larry Reesor · Government Officials: Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN) · Country: Nauru (11,000) in the central Pacific · Major languages: Nauruan and English · Religious freedom · 57% Protestant; 24% Roman Catholic; 10% Buddhist and Chinese folk-religionist · Prayer Suggestion: Realize that prayer is one of the ways God uses to strengthen you in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:18).
Optional Reading: I Peter 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:9