Read: Isaiah 64:1-12; 65:17-25
For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins. Isaiah 64:4-7
Isaiah is crying out to the LORD on behalf of the Jewish people who have turned their backs on God. He asks for mercy, and in the end (65:17-25) God talks of a day that is coming…
As Isaiah calls on the Lord for mercy, he declares 2 amazing truths. First, God works for those who wait for Him. When we cultivate patience in our lives, and turn our hearts toward Him, wait for Him in the directing of our lives, wait for Him in prayer, and wait for Him in those in-between times in our lives, God does meet us, guide us, speak to us, and give us peace in the waiting.
And all the while He works on our behalf. Waiting is a powerful spiritual practice and it pays huge rewards as we stay faithful to Him.
Then in vs.7 Isaiah describes the condition of the Jewish people. No one is turned toward God or is even sorry for the sin in their lives. He describes their condition as having been turned over to their sin. The apostle Paul refers to a similar concept in 1Timothy 1:20 and 1 Corinthians 5:5, where he talks about turning someone over to the devil.
And this is the second spiritual truth: sin, un-dealt with, un-repented of will eventually take us over. It is kind of like an addiction, which numbs us to God and all things good. It does eventually lead to spiritual and ultimately physical bondage and death. Isaiah saw this in his day, Paul saw this in his day and we see the same principle at work today.
When we stop seeing sin as sin in our lives, or choose to ignore it, it takes us over, sometimes gradually, sometimes rapidly. It cuts us off from our heavenly Father, and leads us to places we never wanted to go. Broken relationships, broken families, broken hearts, broken lives and lots of shame and guilt.
So, 2 questions to wrestle with here. First, how are you doing at waiting on God? Do you find yourself growing impatient and questioning if He is working on your behalf? Spend some time waiting on Him in prayer, and let Him know you are waiting on Him for direction and guidance. If you are type A resist the temptation to get ahead of God and wait on Him today, invite Him to speak to you, and take time to listen.
The second question is this: is there a sin in your life that you are ignoring or have grown numb to? Are you far down the sin road and utterly out of control? If so turn to God and stop playing games with sin. It will take you over and it will destroy you. In 64:7 the prophet says that God turned away and turned them over to their sin because they weren’t turning to God and asking for help and mercy. So if you are on the slippery slope of out of control sin, turn to God now and repent. Turn from your sin, and turn to God. If you need help getting free from the tangle of sin, ask someone to help you. There is no time for pride in a life and death situation. God is merciful, and there is no situation that he can’t redeem or sin that He can’t forgive, so there is hope for you. But today you must call on His name and plead with Him for mercy and help.
God – please help me be patient in the waiting and give me eyes to see you working on my behalf. And LORD rescue me from my sin, forgive me for it, and help me to walk away from it. Please don’t let me be given over to it. LORD – your way is the way I want to go, make my life pleasing to you… In Jesus’ Name, Amen.