Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation

Part LXXIII: The Believing Remnant's Plea For God's Gracious Help Based On His Past Mercies

(Isaiah 63:7-19)


I.                 Introduction

A.    When God delivers His people, He directs them to recall that help as a basis for trusting Him for future needs.

B.     Isaiah 63:7-19 describes the believing remnant's plea in the Babylonian Captivity for God's help based on His mercies in the past Exodus (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1118), and it provides a timeless application for us:

II.              The Believing Remnant's Plea For God's Gracious Deliverance Based On His Past Mercies, Isa. 63:7-19.

A.    The believing remnant would first recall and recite all of God's goodness to Israel in her past, Isaiah 63:7-14:

1.      Looking unto the Lord in their future time of need under Babylonian Captivity, the righteous remnant in Israel were predicted by the prophet Isaiah to recount the acts of loyal love (hesed, Kittel, Bib. Heb., p. 696; H. A. W., Theol. Wrdbk. of the O. T., 1980, v. I, p. 305-307), the acts of grace by Jahweh, the praises of Jahweh according to all that He had granted in great goodness to the house of Israel, Isaiah 63:7.

2.      These acts had been based on God's commitment in good faith to His people since He considered them His children who would not deal falsely with Him so that He had become their Deliverer, Isaiah 63:8 ESV.

3.      God thus felt the distress of His people so that His Angel, the Angel of the Lord, saved them, redeeming them in love and pity, lifting them up and carrying them all the days of Israel's antiquity, Isaiah 63:9 ESV.

4.      Yet, Israel rebelled against the Lord and grieved His Holy Spirit, so the Lord turned against her to become her Enemy and He fought against her (in the form of permitted Gentile oppressors), Isaiah 63:10 ESV.

5.      In such a time in the past, one would remember the days of old, of Moses and his generation of Israel, and he would ask, "Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds (Moses and Aaron) of His flock?" (Isaiah 63:11 ESV; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isaiah 63:11; Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, v. III, p. 483)

6.      One would ask where was the God Who had put His Holy Spirit in Israel's midst, causing the miracle of the rescue at the Red Sea by Moses' hand, making a Name for Himself before the Gentiles, Isa. 63:12-14.

B.     Based on this recollection, the believing remnant would similarly observe their current plight in Babylon and deliver them as He delivered the nation from the Egyptian bondage through the Exodus, Isaiah 63:15-19:

1.      The believing remnant would then petition God to look down from heaven and see their plight just as God looked down from heaven to see Israel's plight in Egypt back in Exodus 2:23-25; Isaiah 63:15a.

2.      The remnant would ask where was God's zeal and might, the stirring of His heart that was being held back from them opposite the moving of the Lord's heart recorded back in Exodus 2:23-25; Isaiah 63:15b.

3.      Believing that God would still agree to be their Father though Abraham and "Israel," i. e., Jacob (Gen. 32:28), might disown them (Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Isaiah 63:16), the believing remnant would still look to God to be their Redeemer dating back to the days of old in Israel's Exodus from Egypt, Isaiah 63:16.

4.      The believing remnant would ask why God in judgment had caused His wayward people to wander from His ways and hardened their heart in that direction so that they did not revere the Lord only to bring on them His sure judgment, Isaiah 63:17a (cf. Romans 9:17-18).

5.      Accordingly, they would petition the Lord to return to help them for the sake of His servants, Israel being the Lord's heritage, Isaiah 63:17b.

6.      Though the holy people of the Lord had held possession of God's sanctuary in Jerusalem for a little while, their adversaries had trampled down that sanctuary, with Israel becoming like those over whom God had never ruled, like those who had never even been called by God's name, Isaiah 63:18-19.


Lesson: Extensively recalling God's passionate deliverance of the nation Israel from Egyptian bondage of old, the believing remnant in the Babylonian Captivity would ask God based on His former gracious deliverance from Egypt to deliver them now from Babylon.  This plea was based on God's GRACE, noted in the claim that though even Abraham and Jacob might disown them for their extensive defection from the Lord, the Faithful God of antiquity would still be their Father and willingly deliver them from bondage.


Application: (1) God expects us to recall His past deliverances as the basis for petitioning Him in faith to deliver us now since He is a FAITHFUL God.  (2) If our current distress is caused by our own sin, may we have it cleansed by God's grace through confessing it to the Lord as the basis for His renewal and help.