Through God’s Spirit, the prophet Isaiah saw a desperate future time in Israel’s history—the Babylonian invasion and captivity. This led him to pray this prayer as a gracious way of teaching us how to lay hold of Him and His power in times of great spiritual need.
The mood of this prayer is Isaiah’s overwhelming sense of the desperate situation of God’s people. He feels as if God is up in heaven and not even noticing what is happening (63:15). God’s former power is not being experienced: “Where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds?” His former mercies are not known. Isaiah boldly complains that God is emotionally cold toward him!
- This is the situation of many Christians
- The only solution to come out of the cold situation is to cry out to God and ask Him to help us that we would experience truly the power of
- God’s power is tremendously available to us; to experience it, we need to come close to Him!
The Need for Isaiah’s Pleading (63:15-19)
The nation Judah was in a predicament—God allowed the people to wander because of their sin and disobedience, and they will be duly punished by the Babylonians.
- In such situation, Abraham and Jacob, the Patriarchs, were unable to help them.
- The LORD is their Father!
- Jehovah is their one-and-only Redeemer; only He could help them.
- Israel is always the LORD’s possession
Isaiah’s Plea to God to Come Down (64:1-5)
Isaiah is calling God to tear the clouds of heaven and come down. At His coming, the mountains will melt down.
- These things will definitely happen at the Second Coming of the Lord (Rev 1:7; 2 Pet 3:10).
- When the Lord comes down, those who have rejected God will tremble at His presence (v 2).
- On the other hand, God will meet with and help those who truly rejoice in Him and faithful to Him (v 5).
Isaiah’s Recognition and Confession of the People’s Sin (64:6-9)
Isaiah acknowledges the real sinful condition of the people. The people had fallen short of God’s righteous standard. They were totally depraved.
- Sin is never to be taken lightly or ignore. True Christian would acknowledge his sinfulness and sincerely confess it before God and repent of them and ask God’s mercy and forgiveness.
- Their sin will take them away from God, like the fading of a leaf or being swept away with the wind.
- Because of the depravity of their nature and the complexities of their sin, the people had forgotten God
- Isaiah therefore openly confesses the sin of the people before God, and asks the Lord to act with mercy and forgiveness.
In spite of their sinful condition and in spite of the weakness of their strength due to sin, the prophet reminds Jehovah that He is their Father (v 8).
- There is hope in spite of their deplorable condition.
- God was still their Father; and as such, He still loved them and could intervene on their behalf.
- Their relationship is further described in the form of a potter and the clay.
Isaiah’s Plea for God’s Mercy (64:9-12)
The prophet implores God not to be angry nor remember their sin for all eternity.
- The prophet is pleading for God’s mercy.
- He recognizes that God’s judgment is just, but bringing his people to the mercy of God.
- He reminds the LORD the covenantal relationship. The cities, Zion, Jerusalem, and the Temple all burned with fire
- The prophet is asking God not to judge them with all of His strength and to the full extreme.
There is a real need for true revival. The church should sincerely pray to God, “Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down!” There is no shortcut for revival—it will only happen if we confess our sin and turn to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”