Isaiah 64:1, 2b-4, 5b-6, 8-9 - Oh that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence ... to make Your Name known to Your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things that we did not look for, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides You, who acts for those who wait for Him ... Behold, You were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away ... But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand. Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all Your people.
Long ago I had a job which went very badly for me, and I was desperate for help. So I put the first line of this passage in a place where I would see it daily—"Oh that You would rend the heavens and come down!"—because that was exactly how I felt: "O Lord, come quickly. Come now. Help me."
It's natural for us to take refuge in God when other people are treating us badly, or when we can't understand why everything we do makes matters worse. Of course we plead with the only One who knows the full truth, the One who has the ability to set things right.
But what about other times—times when we actually created our own mess? We are the ones who did this or that sin, and now the results of our bad behavior are raining down on us. Can we cry out to the holy God for help when we ourselves are so unholy?
Yes, even then. Isaiah does it in this very passage. He admits the truth. He says, "In our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? ... We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."
But he doesn't end there. He calls out to the only One who can save us: "But now, O LORD, You are our Father ... Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all Your people."
How can he call God our Father, though God is holy and we are not? Only through Jesus. Only through the Son of God who gave Himself for us, who lay down His life on the cross so that we might become the children of God through Him. Only through the One who rose from the dead for us, so that we might share in His life and live at peace as God's people forever.
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, when I am in trouble, come quickly and save me! Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When you ask God for help, does it make a difference if you caused your own problem or not?
2. If so, how?
3. If not, why not?
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