God spoke so often through Isaiah. He prophesied the destruction of Israel, His people, who had strayed from worship of the one true God, and ignored His laws. God spoke Law through Isaiah, and He also, as He always does, spoke Gospel through Isaiah to reassure the people that He would intervene.
In later chapters in Isaiah’s scroll God speaks of the Suffering Servant, the Son of David who one day would come to save His people. Those chapters are lovely to read – and notice I’m not telling you here, you have to read the book to find them (hint: after Chapter 50). Today we hear from Isaiah himself, speaking for himself, guided by the Holy Spirit, of course. Our Old Testament reading is Isaiah 64:1-9.
We read of Isaiah’s prayer that God come down as He once did, before even the people asked for Him to come. The reference is to Moses’ charge from God to lead His people out of slavery, in the Exodus. God chose the leader; God chose the time; God shepherded His people out of Egypt and then for 40 years; and He gave them the Promised Land.
Why not now, Isaiah says? Come down, o Lord, and make what has gone wrong right. Isaiah’s words are a plea for deliverance, for God’s active presence as He once was visible. And, of course, God responds, albeit 700 years later… His response is Jesus. In our time we know that God has and will make all things right in His only Son, and we are a part of that righteousness, a gift of God to us through the Cross, and baptism. When we cry out for God to come down and heal us, we realize He has done just that, and in our faith in that gift of salvation we are His.
As Advent begins today, we look forward to the Christmas child who is God’s response to Isaiah, and to us. May you have confidence and good cheer in the miraculous work He does among us!