Isaiah 64




Not content with praying God to look upon them once more with favor

(Isaiah 63:15), Israel now asks for a theophany, or manifestation of the

Divine Presence, such as they have experienced in the times of old, and

such as shall suffice to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies (vs. 1-

4). With profound humility confessing their manifold and grievous

iniquities, they beseech God once more, as their Father and Maker, to have

pity upon them, reminding Him of the desolate condition of Judaea and

Jerusalem, and urging Him no longer to “refrain himself” (vers. 5-12).


Israel asks for a theophany - a revelation of God in

all His glory, in His might against the nations.


vs. 1-2 - Do something O Lord


Such an epiphany would make the Name of

Jehovah known far and wide  - 62 times in Ezekiel

"and they shall know that I am the Lord"


Like the wonders of the Exodus


“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens!”-  God “dwells in the

thick darkness’’ (2 Chronicles 6:1). “Thick clouds are a covering to

himas Hewalketh in the circuit of heaven” (Job 22:14). The Church

would have the covering “rent,” and God show Himself openly, both to His

people and to their enemies – “That thou wouldest come down!” God “came

down on Sinai in the sight of all the people (Exodus 19:11, 20). David

saw Him in vision “bow the heavens and come down; and there was

darkness under His feet” (Psalm 18:9).  That the mountains might flow

down - or, quake. When God descended on Sinai, “the whole mount quaked

greatly (Exodus 19:18). When He appeared to David, “the earth shook and

trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken”

(Psalm 18:7). When He was seen of Elijah, “a great and strong wind rent the

mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; and after the

wind was an earthquake” (1 Kings 19:11). Micah saw the Lord “coming forth

out of His place,” and “the mountains were molten under Him, and the

valleys cleft” (Micah 1:3-4)


v. 4 - negative side of traditional interpretation of Paul's writings – compare

            I Corinthians 2:9







"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as

filthy rags – or as a menstruous garment; (compare Lamentations 1:17b)

and we do all fade as a leaf"


v. 7 - "and there is none" - reminder of Romans 3:10-18


A general lethargy and apathy - men's sins are their masters and exercise a

tyrannical control which they quite often cannot resist.


that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee” -  This expresses

more than mere prayer; it is earnest, intense, “effectual fervent’’ prayer.

Perhaps none among the exiles may have been capable of such supplication

as this, especially as God had hid His face from them, and no longer looked

on them with favor – “And hast consumed us, because of our iniquities

rather, and hast delivered us into the power (literally, hand) of our

iniquities. Men’s sins are their masters, and exercise a tyrannical control

over them, which they are often quite unable to resist (comp. Ezekiel

33:10, “If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in

them, how should we then live?”). God at times judicially delivers the

wicked into the power of their sins (see Romans 1:24, 26, 28).


v. 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"


Thy hands have made us and fashioned us, both as individuals and as

a nation. Thou hast lavished thy labour and thy skill upon us.   Surely

thou wilt not “forsake the work of thine own hands” (Psalm 138:8).


v. 9 - "neither remember iniquity" – God had already made a promise by

the mouth of Isaiah, “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy trangressions,

and will not remember thy sins (Isaiah 43:25 - The captives lay hold, as

it were, on this promise, and entreat that their “iniquity” may be not only

forgiven, but forgotten” - Jer. 31:34



v. 12 – “Wilt thou not refrain thyself for these things?” – vs. 10-11



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                                                ADDITIONAL NOTES


v. 4 - Man’s Ignorance of God’s Goodness to Him.


“For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath

the eye seen a God beside thee, which worketh for him that waiteth for

Him” (Revised Version). A very old weakness of humanity it is to try and

find somebody who may be preferred to God, and this comes out of the

fact that God is so very imperfectly known, or else is so very strangely

misunderstood. A hint is here given us of the reason why there is so much

misunderstanding of God — he has to be waited for. It is quite true of Him

that He is always working for us; but it is also true that He is often a long

time in the working out of His purposes. Then, because men cannot get

what they want done done quick, they foolishly begin to think that God

cannot do it for them, or will not do it for them. They fail to see the Lord’s

goodness. The point of impression may be, that in all the reviews we can

take of the past, God has surely wrought good things, even if he has been

long at the working. We may, therefore, cherish trustful thoughts

concerning Him, and be quite willing to leave the unfoldings of all the

future in His supreme control.



      long time of preparation before He could manifest His Son, and,

      through Him, teach the world the Divine fatherhood!



      things were always long in coming. Canaan was forty years away from

      Egypt. Restoration was seventy years away from judgment.



      hardest work nowadays is to hold fast the conviction that the Church is

      sanctifying, for the process seems so long, and the waiting-time is so




            has not had to learn the lesson of the goodness of God in what He holds

            off, out of our reach, and makes us wait for and work for long? Do not

            let us, then, ever mistake God. It is ours to wait for Him, and to wait on

            Him, but we may hold the good cheer of this faith — He is surely

            working for every one that can wait for Him.” – (see Romans 8:28)


There is no standing steady for any of us who keep in our sins. If we

cannot find out how our iniquities can be taken away, we shall be sure

to find that our iniquities will take us away.