July 2: Isaiah 64
Joshua 4; Psalms 129–131; Isaiah 64; Matthew 12
In this chapter Isaiah prays one of the most moving prayers ever recorded. It begins in 63:15-19. Though God had been gracious to Israel (63:7-14), now He hardens their hearts (63:17). Behold the sovereignty of God, even over the hearts of His people: He “makes” them wander from His ways. Why would He do that?
Because they sinned in a deeper and more important way, upstream from their present sins. Paul spoke of the same in Romans 1:24: when men invert the universe and reject their Creator and instead worship created things, God “hands them over” to their lusts. Thus homosexuality is both a sin and evidence of God’s wrath for sin already being poured out. Because of our sins, He makes us wander further from His ways.
Is there any hope in such a predicament, when both the heart of man and the heart of God are pushing us away from Him? Yes, but only one hope: the kindness and mercy of God (64:9). Thus Isaiah pleads with God, that God in His sovereignty would reverse course and come down in awe-inducing power (1-2). But he asks this not just for ‘them ones out there,’ but for himself, and his people (5-7). They are part of the problem, not just the nations. Isaiah himself is part of the problem.
And so Isaiah calls upon the character of God, that He is predisposed not to wrath but to grace, not to judgment but to relenting (8-12). Their only hope - and ours - is God.