The Past Speaks to the Present

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 63:7-19

Return for the sake of your servants. (v. 17)

As Isaiah looked into the future he saw his people in dire need: very aware of their
own shortcomings and of the triumphing of their opponents. Their despondency was deepened
by the sense that the Lord was doing nothing.

Don’t leap to criticize them. It’s not unusual to feel like that. After all, the world
around us could do with a lot more plain evidence of God in action, could it not?

But there is a tonic, and Isaiah prescribed it for his people: look back. See what God
did in earlier days. Reckon that he is still the same. Pray for repeat action. So they
looked back to the exodus days: the work of Moses, and how the Lord was with him in power;
the crossing of the Red Sea; the Lord’s care of his people, and how he brought them into
their rest (vv. 11-14).

Is he not still the same—the almighty God who does not change? What he did, he can
still do! We too can look back: yes, to the exodus, but even more to the gospel, the
mighty works of grace which marked Jesus’ earthly life, his majestic death and great
salvation, the power of his resurrection. If Isaiah’s people had a tonic for a bad day, we
have even more!

PRAYER

Teach me, Lord, to hide your word in my heart.