August 13

 

Read Isaiah 64:1

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Our righteousness as filthy rags; prayer for God's presence; rebelliousness punished

 

Most of the people of the northern kingdom of Israel were carried away captive by the Assyrians during the reign of wicked King Pekah (see Isaiah 7:1; II Kings 15:27-29). Having witnessed the destruction of the northern kingdom before he came to the throne, godly King Hezekiah of the southern kingdom was greatly encouraged by the prophet Isaiah to not let this happen to Judah. Sadly, after Hezekiah's death, his son Manasseh became one of the most wicked kings in Judah's history (see 21:9).

 

During this time, the Word of God, as proclaimed by Isaiah, had been ignored and now God spoke through him these pitiful words: I have spread out My hands all the day to a rebellious people, which walks in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts (Isaiah 65:2). Although God had reached out to them, the Israelites had not responded to 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 spoke, they did not hear: but they did evil before My 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 has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him (I Corinthians 2:9). The magnificence of God's wisdom and glory are revealed to us now as we read His Word. Paul goes on to state that believers in Jesus also receive the very thoughts of Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Written Word of God (see 2:10-16). Through Isaiah, God declared things which His creatures could not comprehend, but these very things were later bestowed through the Messiah upon those that love Him. At any time and in any place, we may pray to our loving God. While we have life and 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 faithful today, Isaiah is saying: Hear the Word of the LORD, you 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 says the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace . . . like a river. . . . so will I comfort you (Isaiah 66:5,12).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

As the Creator of new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; compare John 1:1-3; II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). As the One whose glory will be declared among the nations (heathen, Gentiles) (Isaiah 66:18-19; Revelation 5:12-13).

 

Word Studies:

 

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.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN) · Country: Kenya (29 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: English and Swahili · Religious freedom · 46% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 17% belief in mystical powers; 6% Muslim; 3% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be content with and thankful for the things you have (Hebrews 13:5).

 

Optional Reading: 1 Peter 3

 

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:8