Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 19th June 2022: God's promise for the future

Isaiah God Isaiah 65 Prophet

Reading : Verses from Isaiah, Chapter 65


I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask,
to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am’,
to a nation that did not call on my name.
I held out my hands all day long
to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
following their own devices;
a people who provoke me
to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
and offering incense on bricks;
who sit inside tombs,
and spend the night in secret places....

See, it is written before me:
I will not keep silent, but I will repay
their iniquities says the Lord;
because they offered incense on the mountains
and reviled me on the hills.

I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
and from Judah inheritors of my mountains;
my chosen shall inherit it,
and my servants shall settle there.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I love the Hebrew Scriptures (our Old Testament) for a number of reasons, but particularly for the imagery that is used. Here in Isaiah Chapter 65, written by the third Isaiah after the people return from exile in Babylon, he imagines God with His arms outstretched patiently waiting for His people to come to Him. But they prefer to forsake His ways, to marry pagan wives, to worship other gods, to consult the dead, to sacrifice in groves and gardens rather than on God's altar, and generally to violate His laws.

The times I have read the Bible aloud, I have always reached the book of Malachi (end of the Old Testament) with a profound sense of sadness at the way that most of the people rejected God. But then, as with this passage, there has been a feeling of hope for the future, for God says he will judge the people, but he promises to save a remnant. That small group of Jewish disciples, will one day take the message of Jesus to the whole world.

Today, we must ask ourselves if God is still waiting, arms outstretched for us to turn to Him - to welcome those who have left the church during the pandemic; or those who find the things of the world more interesting; or simply think they exist without the need for God. And we must also ask ourselves what part do we play, or should we play, in helping people turn back to God.


Heavenly Father,
You call all people to You,
and You silently wait for us to turn to You.
May we hear that call within our hearts,
and respond to You in joy.
May we also seek to take Your love
to those around us,
and not leave it to others to do this.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like a summary of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, then you might like to read this article by James Paris who has written about all the Prophets:

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