Derek Kidner gives Isaiah 63:7-64:12 the title, The crying needs of Zion, and describes the passage as one “…of the most eloquent intercessions of the Bible, as he surveys the past goodness of God and the present straits of His people.” He writes that Isaiah begins in verse 7 by “…doing the work of a ‘remembrancer’ (cf. 62:6); his resolve, I will recount, is literally ‘I will bring to remembrance’.”
Remember the order of Isaiah’s prayer in the midst of adversity. The work of a ‘remembrancer’ comes first. Let the Bible remind you of who God is, and remember His goodness in your life.
The NASB calls chapter 64 of Isaiah’s prayer, a Prayer for Mercy and Help. In verses 1-4 below, look at the context of the word kindling.
Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,
That the mountains might quake at Your presence–
As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil–
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome things which we did not expect,
You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.
For from days of old they have not heard
or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
When Isaiah asks God to make His presence and name known to His adversaries, he compares it to fire kindling brushwood. You use the dry and broken branches of brushwood to start a fire or you clear it out to prevent a fire because brushwood catches fire easily and burns immediately. A consuming fire is an image of power.
The chapter closes with Isaiah’s moving confession of sin and plea for mercy and help.
In the midst of adversity and discouragement remember Isaiah’s prayer. Remember God’s goodness in the past. Remember He is to His adversaries as a consuming fire is to brushwood. Look honestly at your own life and plead for mercy and help.
May God kindle the brushwood and act on your behalf!
Fire/Flame Textures: FreeFoto.com
Derek Kidner, “Isaiah,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds.,
A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 623.