The remnant of Israel in the day of Christ’s vengeance will bewail their sins,
thereby justifying God in all their afflictions,
owning themselves unworthy of His mercy and thereby preparing for the deliverance He has promised them.
1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
2 As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!
3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.
4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
9 ¶ Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
10 Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.
12 Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?
Isaiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Isaiah 64 – A Cry for Pardon
The great past, Isaiah 64:1-5. We are introduced to the prophet’s oratory and hear the outpourings of his heart. As he recalls the story of bygone days, he asks that God would do as He had done. It is as easy for God to rend the heavens as for us to tear a piece of cloth: and great mountains of difficulty dissolve before Him, as a pyramid of snow in a thaw. God works while we wait. When there is no sign of His help, He is hastening toward us. If you go out to meet Him, He will quicken His pace, and run to embrace you. These are God’s ways and in them there is everlasting continuance. See Malachi 3:6.
Confession and prayer, Isaiah 64:6-12. The leper, the foul garment, the fading leaf fleeing before the autumn gusts—such emblems become us. If our righteousnesses are black, what must not our sins be! We need Him who comes not with water only, but with water and with blood. See I John 5:6. Perhaps our greatest sin is our prayerlessness. We do not stir ourselves up to it. God cannot refrain His mercy, if we cannot refrain our tears! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Isaiah 64:5—Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness.
Even when visiting judgment upon the unrighteous, God remembers mercy for his people. He meets them as daily Helper and as eternal Savior. But He always comes towards them down one pathway; and if we would encounter Him, we must tread it. It is the path of waiting expectancy (Isaiah 64:4); of rejoicing obedience; of holy remembrance. In these paths He meets us most graciously, working for us, and revealing things which from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, nor seen.
This meeting of his servants has ever been one of the ways of God. It was his daily habit to meet Adam in the dewy glades of Paradise, and talk with him. As Melchizedek of old met Abraham after a great conflict, so Christ comes upon his people after many a hard duty and severe contest with evil, and ministers heavenly refreshment. As He met Mary at the sepulchre, and Peter in the garden, and the two that walked to Emmaus, and the disciples in the grey dawn by the lake, so He meets us still.
To be thus met by God is a glad Christian experience. At morning prayer it gives strength and joy for the entire day; at eventide it is an inestimable consolation and encouragement. Often Christ will encounter us when treading some lowly path of daily duty, and or ever we are aware, we shall be called up into his chariot. Those whom He meets He will accompany in the way; those whom He accompanies He will succour and sustain.
It is very consoling to be told that in these ways of our dear Lord there is continuance (Isaiah 64:5). He is not spasmodic nor changeable. On and on for evermore, without the shadow of turning He will meet and bless us. —Our Daily Homily