“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Isaiah 64, “Praise and Prayer,” V

Christian Living

“Hosanna,” Israel Houghton

“Praise and Prayer,” V, Isaiah 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous acts are as filthy rags; and all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  Philippians 3:9.  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 PORTER (POTTER); and we all are The Work Of THY HAND.  Ephesians 2:10.  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 Beautiful House, where our fathers Praised THEE, is burned up with fire:  and all our pleasant things are laid waste.  2 Kings 25:9.  12) Wilt THOU Refrain (Hold)  THYSELF For These Things, O LORD?  Wilt THOU Hold THY PEACE, And Afflict Us Very Sore?  

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v6, Unclean means the people were unfit for GOD’S PRESENCE.  Filthy rags refers to garments stained during menstruation.  As a leaf signifies the people’s human weakness.  v7, There is no one who calls is a phrase calling attention to the people’s apathy (lack of interest).  Hidden:  GOD IS NEVER REALLY “IN HIDING,” But Does OBSCURE (COVERS) HIS PRESENCE because of sin (1:15).  v8, But now, O LORD:  These Words serve as a contrast to the preceding Section, The Confession Of Sin.  We are the clay:  For being clay in THE POTTER’S HANDS, see Romans 9:20, 21.  v9, Do not be furious claims GOD’S PROMISE  in 54:7, 8.  Nor remember Claims GOD’S PROMISE in 43:25.  Please Look (See) refers to GOD’S “Hiding” Of HIMSELF in v. 7.  v10, cities … Zion … Jerusalem:  The Prophetic Picture of the devastation of the land following the Babylonian invasion is used as a means of appeal to THE HEART OF GOD.  v11, Our fathers praised YOU suggests that the speakers are at least a generation removed from the fall of The Temple.  v12, Will YOU Restrain YOURSELF:  The people use the language of Love to Implore GOD To Act Again On Their Behalf.

Quest Study Bible – v6, “How could something so Righteous be so dirty?”  Isaiah says that the best and most Righteous things we do are distorted and overwhelmed by our sinful nature.  Good Deeds Alone Cannot Counteract Wickedness anymore than dry leaves can resist the wind.  THE BIBLE presents two contrasting views of humanity:  though human beings are made in The Image Of GOD, they are also Vile Sinners.  v8, “Father,”   A Picture Of GOD With Several Wonderful Implications:  GOD GIVES US LIFE, LOVES US, PROTECTS US AND PROVIDES FOR US.  The word Father Depicts The Special Relationship We Can Have With GOD (1 John 3:1).  It also offers us a Better Understanding Of HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS, THE SON OF GOD (Matthew 3:16-17).  v8, “If THE POTTER Shapes The Clay, How Is The Clay Responsible?”  It is hard to blame the clay for the shape it is in.  And if this were the only picture we had of the relationship between GOD and people, it would be difficult to see how people could be held accountable for their condition.  But metaphors (a figure of speech used to refer to another thing) have limitations and cannot illustrate every side of a particular Truth.  THE BIBLE uses many analogies (similarities) to help us Understand GOD:  GOD THE POTTER SHOWS HIS SOVEREIGN CONTROL OF CREATION; GOD OUR FATHER (also in this Verse) suggests a Relationship where children can choose to be obedient or rebellious.  v10, 11, “Did This predict the destruction of Jerusalem and THE TEMPLE?”  Yes.  Isaiah’s vivid language has prompted some to thing parts of this Book were written and added later, after the fact.  They doubt Prophecy can be so Specific.  Others believe that this Book was the work of a single Prophet.  They see no problem with either Isaiah’s Precise Words or use of the past tense to describe the future.  The Hebrew “Prophetic Perfect Tense,’ translated as past tense, stresses the certainty of the coming events.  For more on this use of language see “What service had Jerusalem completed?”  (40:2) and “Why Did GOD Speak As Though Victory Had Already Come?”  (Joshua 6:2).

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v6-12, The People Of GOD, In Affliction, Confess And Bewail Their Sins, Owning Themselves Unworthy Of HIS MERCY.  Sin is that Abominable thing which THE LORD HATES.  Our deeds, whatever thy may seem to be, if we think to merit by them at GOD’S HAND, are as (filthy) rags, and will not cover us, filthy rags, and will but defile us.  Even our few good works in which there is real excellence, as FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, are so defective and defiled as done by us, that they need to be washed in THE FOUNTAIN (THE BLOOD SHED BY CHRIST ON THE CROSS) Open For Sin And Uncleanness.  It bodes ill when Prayer is kept back.  To Pray, Is By Faith To Take Hold Of THE PROMISES THE LORD HAS MADE OF HIS GOOD-WILL TO US, and (lay them (our sins) at THE CROSS);  To Take Hold Of HIM (CHRIST), Earnestly Begging HIM NOT TO LEAVE US; Or Soliciting HIS RETURN.  They brought their troubles upon themselves by their own folly.  Sinners are blasted (withered), and then carried away, by the wind of their own iniquity; it withers and then ruins them.  When thy made themselves as an unclean thing, no wonder that GOD LOATHED THEM.  Foolish and careless as we are, poor, and despised, yet still THOU ART OUR FATHER.  It is the Wrath of a FATHER we are under, WHO Will Be Reconciled; and the relief our case requires is only from HIM.  They refer themselves to GOD.  They do not say, “LORD rebuke us not,” for that may be necessary.  They state their lamentable condition.  See what ruin brings upon a people (or person); and an outward Profession of Holiness Will Be No Defense Against It.  GOD’S People presume not to tell HIM what HE Shall Say, but their Prayer is, Speak for the comfort and relief of the people.  How few call upon THE LORD WITH THEIR WHOLE HEARTS, or stir themselves to LAY HOLD UPON HIM!  GOD May Delay For A Time To Answer Our Prayers, BUT HE WILL, IN THE END, ANSWER THOSE WHO CALL ON HIS NAME AND HOPE IN HIS MERCY.   

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