Lesson 23
Isaiah 64:1-12

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 1-2) "O THAT THOU WOULD REND THE HEAVENS AND COME DOWN." The church prays for the triumphant and glorious return of her Lord to the earth, as promised in Jn. 14:2-3; Acts 1: 11, I Thess. 4:16 (a) to accomplish His purpose, covenant, and redemption of His people, and (b) to vindicate His church and expose and destroy the antichrists.


(Vs. 3) The Prophet may refer to the judgments of God upon EGYPT, which were unexpected and not looked for, or the giving of the law at Sinai, or other mountains which "FLOWED DOWN AT HIS PRESENCE" (Judges 5:4-5; Psa. 68:7-8).

(Vs. 4) Here is a passage quoted by Paul, the apostle, in I Cor. 2:9. The fearful JUDGMENTS OF GOD against sin and the enemies of God are unheard of, unseen, and beyond the understanding of men. Even so, THE GLORIOUS, ETERNAL, UNSPEAKABLE BLESSING OF HIS GRACE IN CHRIST to those who love Him and wait for Him are neither heard by the outward ear, nor seen by the eye of flesh, nor understood by any son of Adam! These include:

These things are purposed by the Father, prepared by the Son, and revealed by the Spirit to those who love Him, who certainly will wait for Him! And unless the Lord gives men ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand, divine truth will remain unknown to them (I Cor. 1:10-14). By His sovereign grace and will the Lord has been pleased to reveal Christ in us (Gal. 1:15).

(Vs. 5) This verse and the ones which follow flow from the heart of GOD'S PROPHET IN ISRAEL and from God's preachers in the church today; for the conditions which existed in Israel (who professed to be God's people) exist today! Some know the Lord, rejoice in Him, and long for His presence; but most in religion are strangers to grace and workers of iniquity (Matt. 7:22-23).

(Vs. 6) We are not unclean now; but we have been, as all men, unclean and impure before God. Even our righteousnesses and so-called good works are as filthy rags in His sight. The only righteousness acceptable to God is Christ's righteousness; and any duty, work, or goodness done by men in the best manner possible are filthy rags before God. WITHOUT CHRIST "we fade as a leaf falls from the tree;" IN CHRIST- "his leaf also shall not wither (face) and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psa. 1,3). WITHOUT CHRIST "our iniquities have taken us away" and separated between us and God (Isa. 59:2). IN CHRIST our sins are all put away (Isa. 53:4-6).

(Vs. 7) This was true of most of Israel (Heb. 3:15-19) and is true today. "THERE IS NONE THAT CALL UPON THY NAME, NONE THAT SEEK THY FACE" (Rom.3:9-12).

(Vs. 8) "BUT NOW, O LORD, THOU ART OUR FATHER!" There is a remnant according to the election of grace (Rom. 11:3-7; Rom. 8:14-17). He is the potter and we are the clay (Rom. 9:16-23). out of every tribe and nation He has chosen a people, given them to Christ, and adopted them into His family.

(Vs. 9) "BE NOT WROTH, NEITHER REMEMBER INIQUITY FOREVER." NOT TO REMEMBER SIN IS TO FORGIVE IT (Heb. 10:17). "WE ARE THY PEOPLE," not only by creation but by covenant. All whom God gave to Christ are His redeemed people (Deut. 7:6-8; I Pet. 2:9-10).

(Vs. 10-12) The cities of Judah and of David are in ruins, the temple is destroyed, Israel is a wilderness. Almost every remembrance of the true God is gone from Israel, and RELIGION TODAY is a wasteland without a true message! The question! "How long will the Lord be silent, hold His peace, and not plead His own cause and the cause of His people?"

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.