For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste. Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore? Isaiah 64:4-12
Every child of God will know himself to be what this prayer expresses. In ourselves, we are all as an unclean thing. All of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. We are as a lifeless, menstruous cloth. We are lepers. Our disease is deeper than the skin. It spreads abroad. There is no remedy. We all do fade as the leaf. Our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. By nature, we will not call upon the LORD. Our natural eye cannot see beauty in Christ. Neither can our natural ear hear the truth of Christ unless the Spirit of God give life and sight and hearing to our soul, making Him known to us. But every child of God will be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14) to come to the Throne of Grace in Christ (Hebrews 4:16), to plead His propitiation (Luke 18:13), to trust His advocacy (1 John 2:2), to rejoice that He is their answer and that His answer is all that they need before God (Romans 8:34). And there, all of God’s children rest, as clay in the hands of the great Potter of their souls. As children in the all-wise and loving arms of their Father (Luke 15:20). Will not God remember His covenant in Christ for all such (Hebrews 13:20; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 10:14-22)?! Can He forget to be gracious to any and all who come to Him in Christ? He sees Christ, receives Christ, and rejoices in Christ when they come, because their coming is the result of the work of Christ for them, the work of Christ in them, and the eternal purpose of God to bring them by Christ to Himself (Hebrews 2:10). Oh, dear brother, dear sister, all you who look to Christ alone for your righteousness: consider Him who promised and is able to do all that He promised (Romans 4:21; Hebrews 11:11; Hebrews 10:23)! By the Lord Jesus only do we come, and in the Lord Jesus alone will we be received! Can God forget to be gracious when He Himself has thus taught us to come to His throne so boldly in Christ?!
-- Rick Warta
Pastor Rick Warta