READ: Isaiah 64.1-9
If only you would tear the heavens open and come down, so that mountains would quake at your presence— just as fire kindles brushwood, and fire boils water—to make your name known to your enemies, so that nations will tremble at your presence! When you did awesome works that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains quaked at your presence. From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened to, no eye has seen any God except you who acts on behalf of the one who waits for him. You welcome the one who joyfully does what is right; they remember you in your ways.
But we have sinned, and you were angry. How can we be saved if we remain in our sins? All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind. No one calls on your name, striving to take hold of you. For you have hidden your face from us and made us melt because of our iniquity. Yet Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we all are the work of your hands. Lord, do not be terribly angry or remember our iniquity forever. Please look—all of us are your people!
I love the examples that Isaiah uses to describe the presence of God. Mountains quaking at His presence, fire burning up brush, and water boiling because of the great heat. When God is present in our lives, stuff happens! His presence cannot go unnoticed. But because of our stubbornness, we have continually missed God’s presence.
Isaiah uses for different examples to describe our sin. “Like one who is unclean,” as would have been used in those days to describe a leper: infected and infectious. That is what our sin does in our life and those around us. Sin is “like a polluted garment.” Even our righteousness is disgusting to God. It’s “Like a leaf,” decayed, brittle, lifeless. It’s “like the wind,” the overwhelming power of sin.
As a result, God has hidden His face from us. When God’s face shines upon His people, they live in His favor. When He hides it due to our unfaithfulness, we suffer.
So we must become clay, able to be molded, changed, and made right. We trust that God is our potter who will shape us into what He desires us to be. Being molded and sculpted can take a long time. So as we wait, we do so in obedience of the significant changes taking place.
What do you need to confess to God? What sins are in your life that you are keeping hidden?
What sort of things does it take to be clay before the potter? List them here.
What do you think God can sculpt you into? How can He use you for His glory?