I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be 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 65:1 ESV
Isaiah 64 is a plea for God to come down and be among us. The prayer is fervent, heart-rending, and intense. It includes national confession and acknowledgement that the dire state of affairs in the country is fully deserved because of the apostasy of the people. Yet as the prayer ends at the end of chapter 64, the petitioner cries out, “After all this, Lord, will you hold yourself back? Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure?” Isaiah 64:12 NIV84
- What is God’s response in Isaiah 65:1?
- What elements in contemporary US culture are not seeking God? How does God feel about them?
God continues his pleas:
“I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices; a people who provoke me to my face continually … who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.” Isaiah 65:2-5 ESV
- Secular thinkers believe that human beings live exclusively in the time/space frame of reference. They reject the concepts of eternity and infinity. They push God away, because they believe that human beings have evolved sufficiently to be their own moral guides. How does God treat them?
- Secular thinkers say, “I don’t need God. I can figure out for myself what makes me feel happy.” In other words, “Do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.” How can Christians respond to that mindset?
- God who created heaven and earth stands holding out his hands to a dark world, calling “Here I am,” to people who ignore him. What does this vision of God require of the church, Christ’s hands and feet on earth?