Derek Kidner gives Isaiah 63:7-64:12 the title, The crying needs of Zion, and describes the passage as “one of the most eloquent intercessions of the Bible, as he surveys the past goodness of God and the present straits of His people.” He writes that Isaiah begins in verse 7 by “…doing the work of a ‘remembrancer’ (cf. 62:6); his resolve, I will recount, is literally ‘I will bring to remembrance’.”1
and the LORD‘s praises as High God,
all that the LORD has done for us
and his great goodness to the house of Israel,
all that he has done for them in his tenderness
and by his many acts of love.”
Isaiah recounts God’s mercy and love in His care for Israel, and then goes on to tell of Israel’s rebellion.
The NASB calls chapter 64 of Isaiah’s prayer, a Prayer for Mercy and Help. In verses 1-4 below, look at the context of the word kindling.
Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,
That the mountains might quake at Your presence–
As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil–
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome things which we did not expect,
You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.
For from days of old they have not heard
or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
Throughout the Bible God is called a consuming fire. When Isaiah asks God to make His presence and name known to His adversaries, he compares it to fire kindling brushwood. You use the dry and broken branches of brushwood to start a fire or else you clear it out to prevent a fire because brushwood catches fire easily and burns immediately.
The chapter closes with Isaiah’s moving confession of sin and plea for mercy and help.
In the midst of adversity and discouragement remember Isaiah’s prayer. Remember the order of Isaiah’s prayer. The work of a ‘remembrancer’ comes first. Let the Bible remind you of who God is, and remember His goodness in your life. Look honestly at your own life and plead for mercy and help. Remember He is to His adversaries as a consuming fire is to brushwood.
May God kindle the brushwood in your life and act on your behalf!
Fire/Flame Textures: FreeFoto.com Cropped. (Site has been deleted since posting).
TNEB: The New English Bible with the Apocrypha (Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press: 1961, 1970). In TNEB Old Testament when Lord is written with small caps, LORD, it indicates the original Hebrew word is Yahweh, God’s personal name.
1Derek Kidner, “Isaiah,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., (Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove IL: 1970) 623.
Copyright ©2010 Iwana Carpenter