The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 63 Part 2 and Chapter 64 Part 1


Our next reading is Isaiah 63:7-19 and Isaiah 64:1

The concept of redemption is a very important concept in the Bible. It is only through the redemption of Messiah that there is eternal reconciliation to G-d. It is only through redemption that we can become part of the eternal Kingdom of G-d. Before G-d’s Kingdom is established there must be judgment. G-d is going to move, through Messiah, to bring about His judgment on earth. Once the wrath of G-d has been poured out on, and destroyed, Israel’s enemies then G-d can move to bring salvation to the remnant of His people. 

v7: I will mention: Isaiah is causing us to remember G-d’s abundant grace and the outcome of Him moving to keep His covenantal obligations to His people.

  • Lovingkindness: Literally: Abundant grace. It is through G-d’s kindness to us that we can experience His love. It is through the grace of G-d that we find redemption.
  • The praises: When we remember the grace of G-d (what He has done graciously for us but also how He will establish His Kingdom) it leads us to praise Him. 
  • All that the L-rd has bestowed on us: Through grace, G-d redeems us (makes the payment of redemption) which in turn leads to the blessing of G-d in our lives – the fulfilment of His promises. 

v8: Children who will not lie: G-d expects those who have entered into a covenantal relationship with Him (those who have experienced redemption) to be people of truth. 

  • He became their Saviour: G-d is going to move in His integrity, based upon His truth, apart from anything that’s false, to bring about salvation.

v9: Affliction: This is a word for trouble – all the troublesome things that they have experienced.

  • He was afflicted: Messiah bore what we were experiencing. Not only did He bear what we have borne but He also bore the punishment that should have been ours.
  • Angel: This is a word that can mean both messenger or angel – one who is sent on a assignment. Angels were created. Messiah was never created – He is eternal. Therefore this word is better translated ‘Messenger’ as it is referring to Messiah. 
  • The (Messenger) of His Presence: Messiah was the Messenger of the very Presence of G-d. This speaks to His identity. 
  • Pity: Compassion. Mercy.
  • He bore them (raised them up) and carried them all the days of old: Israel’s existence, through many generations until the last days, is all due to G-d being at work. He had lifted them up and carried them in order that there might be a remnant that makes it to the end. This remnant, who makes it to the end, will look upon Messiah. They will recognize Him as One who came and was rejected. They’ll see the wounds in his hands and side, and they will recognise Him as Yeshua the Messiah. They will no longer reject Him but are going to receive Him. 

v10: They rebelled: This was their previous condition. They had rejected G-d – the Word, commandments and prophecies of G-d.

  • Grieved: Made sad.
  • He fought against them: When we rebel against G-d, we grieve Him and cause Him to turn into our enemy. For the remnant of the people (ie the covenantal people) we need to remember that G-d fighting against, being an enemy of, is a temporal condition and not an eternal one. 

v11: He remembered the days of old: He remembered their history. 

  • Moses: Moses is mentioned a couple of times in this passage because he is seen as a typology for the Redeemer (Deut 18:15-19) When Moses is mentioned the context is that of redemption. 
  • His people: Referring to the people that Moses led through the wilderness. 
  • The shepherd of His flock: Moses was the shepherd of the flock in the wilderness. 
  • Holy Spirit: Whenever the Holy Spirit is mentioned, we need to think about redemption (Isaiah 59:20-21). The Spirit is given as the sign of redemption.

v12: Right hand of Moses… glorious arm: The ‘arm’ is a sacrificial word which is related to Passover. Moses did a work at the first Passover – instructing the people regarding G-d’s command in respect of the lamb and what they were to do with its blood (Exodus 12).

Note: What this verse seems to be suggesting is that through the work of Moses (who was a typology of Messiah – therefore we can see this as an example/foreshadowing of the work of Messiah) G-d’s name was made eternal. What we see in the activity of Moses, his faithfulness, is the same principles that we’ll see for the Kingdom of G-d to become a reality (ie be established). The people had to submit to Moses’ instruction in order to position themselves to come out of Egypt. In the same way, we need to submit to Messiah’s instruction (the gospel message) to come out from our sin and be known as a new people, a Kingdom people.

v13: Deep: Written in the plural and speaking of deep waters.

  • As a horse in the wilderness that they may not stumble (fail): Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit (how G-d led them) they did not stumble. Their failure had nothing to do with G-d’s leadership. 

v14: Him: Referring to the people. The L-rd gave them rest. 

Note: The people are going to get right with the L-rd. They are going to be brought to faith – based upon the truth of the promises of G-d. However, G-d is going to have to bring them to this faith through tribulation – Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7). Tribulation is going to cause the people to trust in G-d, to turn away from every other thing. They are going to realize that their disobedience, idolatry and faithlessness is empowering their enemy. 

v15: Look down from heaven and see: Messiah saw what G-d intended for the people. He saw that they were going to be delivered and saved. He saw that they were ultimately going to dwell in this holy habitation. 

  • (Holy) habitation: A place that is exalted or raised up. This is a safe place. It is a place that is out of reach from harmful things. 
  • Yearning: This is the word for ‘noise’. 
  • The yearning of your heart (literally: stomach): This is poetic language speaking about the nervousness, excitement or desire that one feels which is manifest in a physical way in our stomachs (“butterflies in our stomach”). G-d is never nervous, but the image here is that of excitement, that of desiring something.
  • (Literally): Your mercies unto me were restrained: G-d, for a purpose and for a season, restrained His mercy. He did this to bring about a change in the people.

v16: You are our Father: They are acknowledging that G-d is their Father. 

  • Abraham: Abraham was considered the father of faith. Although he is a patriarch, he is not the Father of the Kingdom – G-d is. G-d is the One who is the provider. 
  • Israel: Jacob. Abraham and Jacob, when they look at the people of G-d in the last days, will not see children of faith. They will see faithlessness and rebelliousness in the people before G-d brings about a change. 
  • Our Redeemer: Only G-d can provide redemption for His children. 
  • From Everlasting is Your name: ‘Name’ is synonymous with character. G-d’s character doesn’t change. He is going to work to bring about a redemptive change, a Kingdom change, to His people. 

v17: Why have You made us stray?: The question is this: Did G-d lead them astray? Did He harden their hearts? And the answer is: Yes…but He did not do it in a vacuum. G-d’s will did not need to be fulfilled by Israel going astray or by them hardening their hearts. We always need to pay attention to context. In our previous verse we were told that the children of Israel were unrecognizable to Abraham and to Jacob (the patriarchs who were interested in the promises of G-d, demonstrating that interest by faithfulness to G-d). The patriarchs did not recognise their posterity because those who came after them were not living by faith but had rebelled (rejected the truth) and grieved the Spirit (Isaiah 63:10). This is a spiritual principle/law: when we behave faithlessly, when we reject the truth and live according to the principles of this world, we are led into deception. When we reject truth, we invite deception into our lives. G-d allowed the people to be led astray because they had acted faithlessly. When we are faithless our hearts are hardened, and we do not have the ability to fear (honour and reverence) G-d. 

  • Return for Your servants’ sake: These people have demonstrated time and again that they are unable to change themselves. It is only G-d who can do the work to bring a change to the hearts of this people. G-d is going to return to His people, but His return is going to be through them having to go through difficult circumstances or persecution from their enemies. This affliction or trouble is going to cause their hearts to undergo a change. 

v18: Your holy people possessed it (inherited) but a little while: For a short time the children of Israel were recipients of their inheritance – the land of Israel. 

  • Our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary: Israel had the temple for only a short period of time in their history. In the end, their enemy came and trampled down those holy places. 

v19: We have become like those…over whom You never ruled: When we look at the history and the state of the people it’s as though G-d never ruled over them. From the looks of things, it seems as if they were never the people of G-d.

  • Never called by Your name: The people did not, for any significant period of time, reflect the character of G-d, although they were a people who were called to reflect it. This is going to be remedied through the trouble, hardship and affliction that they are going to experience in the last days. 

Note: In the Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 64:1 is the last verse of Isaiah 63 (ie: it should be Isaiah 63:20).

Isaiah 64:1: Oh, that You would: This is what is desired, the preferred situation. Instead of the trouble they are going to experience they would prefer G-d to tear open the heavens and come down. 

  • Rend the heavens: Open up the heavens.
  • Come down: This is a call for Messiah to be sent to them (Matt 23:39). From the perspective of Israel today they would see this as Messiah’s first coming, but from a Biblical perspective we know that this will be His second coming.
  • The mountains… shake: Haggai 2:6-7. When Messiah comes again, He is going to shake the heavens and the earth. This means that they are going to be transformed, changed. Mountains represent authority. When Messiah comes again, the powerful authorities of this world are going to be shaken and transformed.  

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