Selah Moment –
Our Sunday morning scripture reading has taken us through the story of ancient Israel’s often tense relationship with God. The book is filled with betrayal, judgment, and promise of a future hope. God’s people had chased after other gods, rejecting the covenant God had made with them. Judgment followed their fickle love. The nation would be devastated by invading armies, and conquering generals would rule over God’s elect. When the nation is characterized by humility and fidelity toward God, they enjoy peace and the richness of
In Isaiah 64, the prophet prays for God to change the attitude of His people (1-2). He wishes that God would come down from heaven in such a way that the mountain would shake, the forests would erupt in flame. A dramatic appearance of God as He had done on Mount Sinai many years before on the way out of Egypt might awaken His wayward people from their treacherous choices and adulterous ways (v3).
We may know people who we love and care for who are seemingly oblivious to their plight. They are facing trouble and real judgment with the path they have chosen, and we cry “if only God would come down and wake them up.” Despite God’s patience and opportunities to see them repent, they continue in their sin. Just like Israel, all of us are characterized by at times tepid love and distracted glances. Our focus for the Lord and His purposes is tested by the desires of our own heart and the business of the world. Our own vision for life may not include God’s revealed plans for us in His Word (v 6, 7).
The prophet is driven by real hope as he considers the God’s character and past actions. God has always acted on the behalf of those who trust in Him (v 4-5). He acknowledges the past and ongoing transgressions of Israel that has brought them under judgment, but is encouraged to recall the relationship that God has with His people (v 9). Israel belonged to God. They were created by Him and destined for a holy purpose.
Just as Israel was created by God, so God’s elect people today have been called by Him. God foreknew His people, directing and orchestrating the means to bring us into relationship with Him (Romans 8:28-30). Despite our fickle nature, God’s love is based on His character and purposes for us. Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross to bring us into this family relationship. This purpose will still include trouble and correction, but is based on relationship of persevering covenant love. If you are in one of these trials, even self induced, recall to mind the truth of your standing. You are His and He will not remain angry forever. So let’s live a humble life of repentance, seeking this loyal, persevering God with our whole heart, waiting for His work, acting on our behalf.