A God who acts on behalf of those who wait (Isaiah 64:4)

INTRODUCTION: This is part of a series of articles intended to offer encouragement for the follower of Jesus as they persevere through 2022 and “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). This post focuses on a verse from Isaiah.

For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him. – Isaiah 64:4

In the prophecy of Isaiah are contained some of the most astonishing words in the entirety of Scripture. Isaiah paints powerful pictures of the glory of the LORD and of His awesome might. He is God, and there is no other! He will not give His glory to another. He holds the oceans in the palm of His hand. And the LORD is the sovereign ruler of the universe, calling all the stars by name. Yet this One who is the Most High is also a Savior and a Redeemer. He is the One who will send His Servant who will be born of a virgin and will be pierced through for our transgressions. The LORD’s Servant will justify the many because He will bear their iniquities. Thus, the LORD will wrap His people in a robe of righteousness. The LORD is the Creator God, the Most High, the Holy One of Israel, and yet Isaiah tells us that this Most High God has compassion on His people. When He saw that there was no one to intercede, His own arm brought salvation to Him. He is the One who speaks in righteousness, mighty to save. This is the awesome God that Isaiah’s prophecy reveals. He is a God like no other, the Creator of the universe and yet the Redeemer for all those who turn from transgression in Jacob.

Before we read Isaiah 64:4, then, it is good to understand who the LORD is who makes this astonishing statement through the prophet. Now consider the verse.

“From days of old.” The beauty and power of Isaiah’s prose is breathtaking. This phrase could have simply been rendered, “never.” The phrase means, “From the beginning of time until now, and even till eternity future.” When Micah is speaking of the Messiah, of His birthplace (Bethlehem) and of His origin, the prophet says, “His goings forth are from long ago, from days of eternity” (Micah 5:2). This is the same force as “from days of old.” We will settle on “from eternity past.”

They have not heard.” Who is the “they”? “They” means anyone who has ever heard anything with their ear and anyone who has ever seen anything with their eye. “They” includes every human being who has ever lived. No one in the human race has ever heard or seen a God besides YHWH (the LORD) who acts the way He does. The LORD is utterly unique, more majestic and powerful and holy than can be imagined with the human mind. He has no rivals, He has no equals, He alone is God.

But the most startling part of this verse is yet to come. No ear has ever heard, and no eye has ever seen a God besides the LORD “who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him.” The LORD, the sovereign ruler of all the universe, the One who threw the stars into place and the One who created all that we see “will act on behalf of the one who waits for Him.” How can this be? Through the prophet, the LORD declares that He is available to act on behalf of anyone who will wait for Him. David “waited patiently for the LORD,” and the LORD inclined to his cry. Again, in another place David tells us that we are to “wait for the LORD, be strong and let your heart take courage, yes, wait for the LORD.” The LORD is the One true and living God who will act on behalf of anyone who will cry out to Him and wait for Him to answer. There are no other conditions placed on this offer. The LORD has authorized His prophet to announce this astonishing offer for anyone with faith to accept it. Look to the LORD and cry out to Him, and then wait expectantly for His answer. He has committed to act on behalf of anyone who will wait for Him. We have a God who will move heaven and earth on our behalf if we will simply cry out to Him and wait for Him in faith.

SDG                 rmb                 1/5/2022                     #480