Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down
Isaiah 64 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,
That the mountains might quake at Your presence—
2 As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
3 When You did awesome things which we did not expect,
You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.
4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
5 You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
Behold, You were angry, for we sinned,
We continued in them a long time;
And shall we be saved?
6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7 There is no one who calls on Your name,
Who arouses himself to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us
And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.
8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand.
9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord,
Nor remember iniquity forever;
Behold, look now, all of us are Your people.
10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness,
Zion has become a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful house,
Where our fathers praised You,
Has been burned by fire;
And all our precious things have become a ruin.
12 Will You restrain Yourself at these things, O Lord?
Will You keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?
When we look upon the evil of our time, when we see the immorality and lawlessness; that our society and culture stands under the judgment of God’s declaration in Isaiah 5:20: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! We might come into agreement with The beginning of today’s text, which says: Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence— As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil— To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! We should consider carefully though whether we would say yes and Amen to the prophet’s words. In Matthew 24:27 Jesus says: Just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. In 2 Peter 3:3-13 it says: Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Indeed, God will rend the heavens and Jesus will come again. The mountains will quake and the world will feel the fire of judgment. Nations will tremble at His presence. But, what sort of people ought we to be in holy conduct and godliness? Rather than calling for God’s judgment, should we not instead be those who are fulfilling God’s wish that none would perish; that all would come to repentance? Before we seek for the Lord’s return, should we not first fulfill the commandment and commission that He gave when He left? Matthew 28:18-20: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Mark 16:15: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Acts 1:8: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” In Matthew 24:9-14 Jesus says: “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. We should not be surprised at the lawlessness of our culture and society. Rather than calling for judgment though, we should endure and preach the good news of the kingdom of God.
In the text, the prophet says: But now, O Lord, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord, Nor remember iniquity forever; Behold, look now, all of us are Your people. We respond saying:
who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’