73 Isaiah / Part 2 (22)

Prayer of the prophet

Isaiah 63:15-64:12
Ephesians 3:14-21
T From his deep suffering

 It is from 63:15 to 64:12, but only 新改訳 divides a paragraph at 14a for some reason and adds this towards text 14b. I thinks that 63:7-14 is a faith confession of Isaiah and 14b gives glory to the last.

 Now, we will hear a message of Isaiah. It begins, "Look down from heaven, and see from Thy holy and glorious habitation; where are Thy zeal and Thy mighty deeds? The stirrings of Thy heart and Thy compassion are restrained toward me."(15), but, perhaps it seems prayer of prophet Isaiah. This prophet's hot thought to the Lord, question, suit, praise, and confession, these things overflowed and surged to here. And all these things became his prayer.

 Please permit me that I divide it too much, but at first, I want to pick up a question repeated four times. At the beginning of Verse 15, it follows after pray; "Where are Thy zeal and Thy mighty deeds? The stirrings of Thy heart and Thy compassion are restrained toward me."; but, this might be Isaiah's hot thought to God. There is a person who expressed here with "Confession praise that the bowels can be twisted". This is rightly prayer, and it is confession, and it will be praise. Such a thought extends to the whole this text. Three times of questions to continue; "Why, O Lord, dost Thou cause us to stray from Thy ways, and harden our heart from fearing Thee? ... We have become like those over whom Thou hast never ruled, like those who were not called by Thy name."(63:17-19), "Thou dost meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, who remembers Thee in Thy ways. Behold, Thou wast angry, for we sinned, we continued in them a long time; and shall we be saved?"(64:5), "Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised Thee, has been burned by fire; and shall our precious things have become a run. Wilt Thou restrain Thyself at these things, O Lord? Wilt Thou keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?"(64:12); and these become a suit and a pair. Especially, as for the fourth, order is reverse, and he postponed a question, and this prayer was completed.

 From these questions and suits, this prayer is praise and confession to the Lord, but, I have heard this was appeared out of his deep suffering. In particular, it is felt that it cannot help telling about depth of his suffering when he closes this prayer by a question, "Wilt Thou keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?".

U Suffer a pain

 While piling up the crime of Israel to himself, Isaiah confessed Israeli crimes many times till now. It becomes a stance as his prophet. When confession in Verse 16 is right his confession which came out of such a stance, we will be able to hear it, don't you? "For Thou art our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not recognize us, Thou, O Lord, art our Father, Our Redeemer from of old is Thy name.", and this "us", it hints same tribe Israel with Isaiah. There is it, "though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not recognize us,". This "Israel" will be Jacob. "Even if it is said that you are not people Israel of selection of God", but, it seems to be said that our love to God does not change. This prophet would be agonized in that the Lord did not hear his prayer. Surely now, there is missing step as people of God in Israel; and a pain of this prophet seems to reach in that thought. Because of that pain, his prayer might be anguished further more.

 To suffer a pain. Would not it have been said by Jesus in Sermon on the Mount? "And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or, how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out your eye.' and behold, the log is in your own eye?"(Matthew 7:3-4) It seems that we of the present age are lacking here most. When some problem happens, it seems that we roll other people and judge up it and become commentators, and can not bore oneself to ache and to be hurt, and particularly, we are going to never recognize that we have problems. We have many complaints to a husband, parents, a teacher and brothers, and love vanishes somewhere. This is a big problem of myself, not other people's affairs. If we share a pain (love a person) of somebody, this present age will become easy to live very much in.

V Prayer of the prophet

 Perhaps Isaiah feels that few days have been left for oneself. It seems that it passed 50 years from the time called as a prophet on young day, and he has already exceeded 70 years old now. But, he stands before God and does intercession for Israel desperately. Isaiah repeated such prayer many times till now. There was time of silence sometimes from Chapter 39 to Chapter 40 and before approaching Chapter 60, but, as for it, it is imagined that was time of his prayer which began to pour God a soul. He wanted Israel to recover as people of God somehow, but, in spite of such his desperate wish, the Israeli situation became bad. There are people thinking that this prayer is a thing of a nameless prophet of after ages than Isaiah and they prayed for recovery from "Babylon captivity". "Thy holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised Thee, has been burned by fire; and all our precious things have become a ruin."(64:10-11), and this scene would be Jerusalem destruction by Babylon (he would watch it in revelation of God). However, in fact, what really did "the dilapidation", he considered it was the heart of Israeli and their faith to God. It was their sin. It is said thus, "Thou wast angry, for we sinned, we continued in them a long time;"(64:5).

 However, Isaiah repeated thus, "For Thou art our Father"(63:16), "Thou, O Lord, art our Father"(63:16), and "But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father"(64:8). From here, it seems this prophet thinks that people of God take 2 responsibilities. Under the situation that is said "Even if people do not recognize us", and "Even if God will avoid us", a citizen of God takes responsibility to continue confessing that "you are our father". In other words, it is consciousness of this prophet that Israel is made to stand in front of two, of the person and God. Will it be the same of neither Israel nor us of the present age? For people of faith, it is becoming reality now.

 The way of speaking "Father" will be the confession that we are made use of in love of God. It was faith of this prophet. And there is a continuance in this confession to "be Father". It is said that "Thou art our Redeemer" in 63:8 and "All of us are the work of Thy hand" in 63:8. It seems a double meaning is put in "Father", and one of it is Father for the people whom God created it carefully heartily on the old days, and another one is new creation of God done through forgiving of the crime by the cross of Jesus. And now, only this new creation of God would be a wish of Isaiah. Therefore this prophet prayed, "Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord, neither remember iniquity forever; behold, look now, all of us are Thy people."(64:9). This prophet is waiting for an appearance in the near future of Redeemer of the Lord Jesus impatiently and heartily. Because it is his and our love and hope.