What does it say?
The essence of Isaiah 64 is Isaiah’s impassioned prayer for God to have mercy on his people. This chapter is really inseparable from chapter 63 where this prayer began.
God’s response to Isaiah’s prayer is the subject of Isaiah 65-66. God will answer this prayer in ways beyond their wildest imagination. However, for those who align themselves against God the destruction will be total, as God makes an end of sin and evil. For those faithful to him, there await new heavens and a new earth filled with all that is good.
What does it mean?
We have already learned that the scope of Isaiah is as grand as the Bible as a whole. Arriving at these last chapters of Isaiah we find ourselves in scenes very similar to those in the Book of Revelation. Isaiah sees the final judgment and he also sees the establishment of God’s kingdom and the restoration of all things.
Isaiah also gives us a glimpse of the conclusion of God’s missional purpose from the beginning. Not just Israel, but all who will put their faith in God are welcome in his kingdom. Isaiah 65:1-7 reminds the nation that those who stubbornly refuse him will be destroyed without remedy. In their place God will welcome a nation that was not called by his name (65:1), symbolic of his acceptance of all the families of the earth.
Isaiah 65:10 speaks of the coming peace of the valley of Achor. This is the very place where Achor stole from the spoils of war and brought God’s curse on the nation (Joshua 7:26).
Isaiah 66:2 describes the type of person God desires to worship him. This is the character of those who will make up his kingdom, as the nation of Israel will be born again in a day (66:5-14). Not only Israel, but also all nations will come to worship God in this final glorious vision of Isaiah (66:18-24).
How will I respond?
All history runs toward a single divine purpose, a single mission. At first glance the Bible may appear to be a fairly random collections of stories and principles, but I am seeing a single divine thread. How does my life line up with God’s purpose? Is my life merely a collection of events and circumstances? Do they control me? Or, do I intentionally submit myself to God’s purpose and his kingdom? What is the most important thing I can pray and/or do today to make my life more intentionally missional?