Summary of passage: Isaiah 63:15-19: Isaiah appeals to God: Look down from heaven and see us. You are our Father, our Redeemer. Why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere you? Return for our sakes. Our enemies have trampled down your sanctuary. We are yours from of old (the Old Covenant).
Isaiah 64: Isaiah is still pleading with God for His people: Oh, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you like in the past (Exodus). You are the only God who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him and who do right. But we continued to sin and you were angry. So how can we be saved?
All of us and our acts are unclean. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you for you have hidden your face because of our sins. Yet, you are our Father. You are the potter; we are the clay. Do not be angry forever and remember our sins for we are your people. Your sacred cities have become a desert and desolate. Your temple has burned and everything lies in ruins. Will you hold yourself back and continue to punish us because of our sinful nature (who we are)?
11a) For God to look down from heaven and behold His people and return to them since the people are His. Isaiah reminds God He is their Father and Redeemer and asks God why He has left them.
b) The people continue to sin against God. All of them are unclean and all their righteous acts are like filthy rags. Their sins consume them. No one calls on God or strives to lay hold of Him.
c) 63:15: For God to look down from heaven and see His people.
64:1: God would come down to help and the mountain would tremble before Him
64:2: To come down to make your name known and cause the nations to quake before you like in the past (Verse 3–a reference to Exodus 19:18 when Mount Sinai shook)
d) To remember who He is, who His people are, and what Zion has become. “You are our Father. We are the clay; you are the potter. We are your people. Your city is a desolation and your temple is ruined. Will you hold yourself back and always punish us for our sin?”
e) Personal Question. My answer: I appeal based on who He is–His goodness and faithfulness–and how He’s my Father who has promised to never forsake me and to walk with me all the days of my life. I ask Him to look down and come down in every area of my life and others’. I need Him everywhere and so does everyone else.
12) Personal Question. My answer: God answered with the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. Isaiah asked, “Because of our sinful nature, will you always punish us for who we are?” Otherwise, we would forever be separated from God without His gift of Jesus.
Conclusions: Isaiah recognizes the quandary the people are in and appeals to God to rectify it: we are forever unclean due to our sinful nature. We will forever fail. So what do we do, God? How can we stop your anger due to our inherent sinful nature and regain your favor? We are your people and you are our God. Remember that, God, and save us.
As we know, God had this all worked out through the blood of Jesus Christ. But, I’m wondering if Isaiah knew? He prophesized about the Redeemer, the Savior, the Anointed One but did he truly understand what Jesus would mean to the people? This passage would make you think otherwise. It’s like Isaiah knew but he didn’t know. Does that make sense? He had an idea but the true depth of what God had planned Isaiah just couldn’t fathom or grasp.
It’s fascinating to ponder life in OT times. Besides the hardships involved. But if you were a believer in the One, True God, what would your ordinary life look like? Constant sacrifices and atonements. Constant rules and regulations. Amidst constant failure as a human being. It doesn’t sound very cheery to me.