the stalemate

August 2015 (3)Isaiah 64:7-12

7 There is no one calling on your name, or stirring himself to take hold of you; because you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand we deserve for our iniquity. 8 Yet, O Yahveh, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O Yahveh, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people. 10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a deserted place. 11 Our holy and glorious house, where our fathers praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our enjoyable places have become ruins. 12 After all this, will you restrain yourself, O Yahveh? Will you keep quiet, and oppress us so severely?[1]

the stalemate

Isaiah laments a long period of waiting for God to act, a period that seems like forever. He describes that awful time using the word oppression – a word that the Israelites are so familiar with. He is equating God’s quietness with the harsh reality of oppression by foreign rule. In his mind, they are one and the same. The very reason these foreign rulers can have dominion over the Israelites is that their God has refused to intervene.

Isaiah knows that God is good, and he knows that God can intervene. That is why this long period of silence and lack of demonstration of God’s power is so intolerable to him. Isaiah also knows that this intolerable time is not Yahveh’s fault. He freely admits that this time of God’s hidden face is directly due to the people’s own sins. Sin creates distance, and distance creates more sin. What can happen to overcome such a stalemate? Stay tuned. The New Testament is coming.

LORD, we are calling on your name. We are stirring ourselves to take hold of you. We come to you through the Way that you have provided – Jesus Christ, your Son and our deliverer.


[1] verses 7-12 are verses 6-11 in the Hebrew.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a Christian missionary and church elder.
This entry was posted in commitment, dependence upon God, future, Isaiah, prayer and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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