Isaiah 65

BIBLE CHALLENGE


June 10, 2021

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge


"I was sought by those who did not ask; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said: Here I am, here I am, to a nation that was not called by My name."

Isaiah 65



“I was sought by those who did not ask; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said: Here I am, here I am, to a nation that was not called by My name. I spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people who walk in the wrong path, following their own thoughts. These people continually provoke Me to My face, sacrificing in gardens, burning incense on bricks, sitting among the graves, spending nights in secret places, eating swine’s flesh, and polluted broth in their bowls. They say, ‘Keep to yourself, don’t come near me, for I am holy for you!’ These practices are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all day long.” Isaiah 65:1-5


The prayer for revival in chapter 64 is answered in the opening verses of chapter 65. God’s answer to Isaiah’s prayer for revival is of such magnitude that we are meant to learn from it and be thankful. Israel’s near-dead condition would not last for long – at least, not as God measures time.


God’s answers to our prayers are sometimes in terms that surpass our understanding. Even though we struggle to think His thoughts (based on our comprehension of what we have read in the Bible), we must understand that His ways and thoughts are so different than ours, to the point that unless He reveals His thoughts, we could only guess them, at best.


It is possible to see the remaining two chapters (65-66) as the answer to the prayer of Isaiah 64.


“After all this, O Lord, will You hold Yourself back? Will You keep silent and punish us beyond measure?” Isaiah 64:12


The answer, in part, is as follows: God will show Himself to a multitude larger than you can imagine. His people, though they may be in a pitiful condition, at present, will be restored to prosperity. Even though Israel had been chosen as God’s special nation, not everyone in Israel chose the Lord. (i.e., not every Israelite was a true believer)


“For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” Romans 9:6


What distinguishes the true community of God is not the division between Jew and Gentile but between those who “seek” God and those who “forsake” Him. (65:10-11)


When the apostle Paul saw that far more Gentiles than Jews believed in Jesus, he faced a problem for which he needed a Scriptural answer. He found it in Isaiah’s prophecy, and he said so in Romans 10:20-21, where he quoted Isaiah 65:1-2. The obstinate Jews of Isaiah’s day (who were intent on pursuing their own ways) were cut off, whereas Gentiles – a nation who did not call on God – were grafted in. (Romans 11:22-24). Salvation has always come by grace, through faith, whether the believer is Jew or Gentile. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Matthew 21:43; Deuteronomy 32:5-6, 21)