Isaiah 62-64: Rend the Heavens
September 24, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Isaiah 62-64, Proverbs 30, Luke 24:36-44, Hebrews 13:1-8
Beautiful words, but what do they mean?
We start by hearing of God’s care for his people. “For Zion’s sake,” “For Jerusalem’s sake” (62:1); God gives himself for the sake of his people. This atoning, substitutionary, redemptive focus goes throughout these chapters. We are told that his people will have a “new name” (62:2). “Delight,” “Married,” “A City Not Forsaken” (62:4, 12). And for this end we are to seek his kingdom with all that is in us, “Give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem” (62:7). Seek first the kingdom of God. Or, as William Carey famously said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
Somehow—and here in these pages it is not as clear as it will be in the New Testament—God’s wrath, and his salvation, are working together as an expression of his covenant love (Isaiah 63). God is “speaking in righteousness, mighty to save” (63:1). But God is also treading the winepress “in wrath” (63:3).
In the end, God himself must find a way to solve the problem of his justice and also his love for the rebellious people that he has made: “so my own arm brought me salvation, and my wrath upheld me” (63:5). Nowhere but at the cross do love and justice mingle. God remembered the days of Moses, he remembered the rescue of his people (63:11)—not that he had literally forgotten, but the prophet sees God as about to act again in that powerful way of redemption, in a greater way, once more to save his people. And so he prays:
“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence” (Isaiah 64:1)
Given, as he has now discerned, that only God can save, it then drives us to the place to ask God to intervene. Take the time today to ask God himself to intervene in any of the problems that you face. The day that begins with prayer is more likely to end fair, than the day the begins prayerlessly. Make it your rule to take the difficulties you face first to God in prayer.
It is amazing how many matters are solved by the simple remedy of asking God to solve them. Seek him, and ask him to “rend the heavens and come down” for that situation or the other, that person or that neighbor who needs to be saved, or needs God’s intervention in a new way in their own lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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