Isaiah 65 - Day 551 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Isaiah 65:1-9
Commentary (workingpreacher.org): This text has three major movements: God’s patient suffering at the hands of a recalcitrant people (Isaiah 65:1-5), God’s decision to judge (Isaiah 65:6-7), and the merciful promise to save a remnant (Isaiah 65:8-9).
Or, seen from the perspective of God, the speaker, the text moves from grief to judgment to mercy.
The first movement is marked by a kind of absurdity. The God of Isaiah 65 proves to be the kind of God who places God’s self directly into the hands of enemies...
The phrase, “Here I am” (hinneniy) is most often associated with God’s obedient servants, not with God (cf. Genesis 22:1; 2 Samuel 3:5, 6, 8; Isaiah 6:8). But the tone of divine humility struck in Isaiah 65:1-9 is entirely appropriate to the context. With each verse, it becomes increasingly apparent that God was paying a profound price to be in relationship with this people: “those who did not ask . . . a nation that did not call on my name … a rebellious people … who provoke me to my face … who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me … They are a smoke in my nostrils.” The responses of the people to God begin with indifference and end in a crescendo of rejection.
And yet, even while being rejected and scorned, God still says, “Here I am,” with arms wide open. Despite God’s welcoming posture and willingness to suffer for the relationship, the people continue to inflict harm on their God:
Application: Why do I/we wander and stray from the love of God?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner...
Husband, Father, Pastor....
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