Isaiah looks up to the grandeur of God dwelling in his holy and beautiful home. He calls out for answers because it seems God’s compassionate presence is nowhere to be found. This prophet turns his complaint toward heaven, and, in frustration, he cries out. If only God would tear the heavens and come down! If only God would demonstrate his awesome power here on earth! If only God would stop hiding his face and look on his people with mercy! If only…
2. READ ISAIAH 63:15-64:9
As you read this passage today, imagine yourself as Isaiah, calling out for God to show up.
Look down from heaven and see,
from Your lofty home—holy and beautiful.
Where is Your zeal and Your might?
Your yearning and Your compassion are withheld from me. Yet You are our Father,
even though Abraham does not know us and Israel doesn’t recognize us.
You, Yahweh, are our Father; from ancient times, Your name is our Redeemer.
Why, Yahweh, do You make us stray from Your ways?
You harden our hearts so we do not fear You.
Return, because of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage.
Your holy people had a possession for a little while,
but our enemies have trampled down Your sanctuary.
We have become like those You never ruled over,
like those not called by Your name.
If only You would tear the heavens open and come down,
so that mountains would quake at Your presence—
as fire kindles the brushwood, and fire causes water to boil—
to make Your name known to Your enemies,
so that nations will tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome works that we did not expect,
You came down, and the mountains quaked at Your presence.
From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened,
no eye has seen any God except You, who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You welcome the one who joyfully does what is right; they remember You in Your ways.
But we have sinned, and You were angry.
How can we be saved if we remain in our sins?
All of us have become like something unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment;
all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.
No one calls on Your name, striving to take hold of You.
For You have hidden Your face from us and made us melt because of our iniquity.
Yet Lord, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands.
Lord, do not be terribly angry or remember our iniquity forever.
Please look—all of us are Your people! (HCSV)
Advent is a time of waiting. But often, in times of waiting, we feel ready to cry out to God with the phrase, “if only.” In what ways are you waiting for God to move? Today, feel free to let out your frustration by finishing Isaiah’s sentence in your own words. “If only…”