Isaiah peers out into the life of the nation and he is shocked at what he sees: every sort of unrighteousness imaginable, even the sacrificing of children to pagan gods. But even in the midst of such terrible sin, Isaiah is able to declare, “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite’” (57:15). If the people will do that which is right, Isaiah explains, “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am’” (58:9).
The prophet continues to chronicle the sins of the nation, and the list is long! Contemporary America has nothing on ancient Israel when it comes to sinning and rejecting the Lord! But, again, even in the midst of all this rottenness, to those who will turn to God Isaiah declares, “the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory” (60:19). I am constantly amazed when I think about God’s longsuffering with his people and his continual stretching out of his hands to us in grace!
O enter then his gates with joy,
within his courts his praise proclaim!
Let thankful songs your tongues employ.
O bless and magnify his name!
Because the Lord our God is good,
his mercy is forever sure.
His faithfulness at all times stood
and shall from age to age endure. --William Kethe