Where Is He Is. 63:7-19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this passage Isaiah is interceding for Israel. But notice that his intercession appears to be prophetic because he says, “our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary,” [Is 63:18]. They don’t tread down his sanctuary until over one hundred years later. So, he is not praying about something that is happening right then. Furthermore, in his prayer he is asking the Lord to “return for thy servants’ sake,” [Is 63:17], which is what the remnant of Israel will be praying during the Tribulation. Undoubtedly then, this prayer is a prophetic intercession for the time of Rev 11:1-2, Mic 5:5-6 and Dan 8:13.
In Is 63:11 of this prayer, Isaiah asks, “Where is he?” This question is prompted by the expectation and the need for the Lord, who has been the continual help of Israel, to return and help them once again. Israel sinned when they rebelled and vexed the Holy Spirit [Is 63:10]. This prompted the Lord, who had always helped them, to become their enemy. He even hardened them from his fear and made them to err [Is 63:17]. And then he lets the adversaries tread down his sanctuary [Is 63:18].
So, Isaiah sees the desperate situation and prays for the Lord to return. In his prayer, he reminds the Lord of his great relationship with Israel over the years. And in so doing makes request of the Lord to do all of those things for Israel again. And the Lord will answer Isaiah’s prayer in the future down to every specific request. He asks, “Where is he”:
Who has been so good to Israel – Is 63:7 – Isaiah reminds the Lord of his goodness, his loving kindnesses, his bestowals, and his mercy [Ex 33:19; 34:6]. When the Lord comes to save Israel, he will be good and merciful to them again.
Who saved them in Egypt – Is 63:8 – Ex 14:30, but they forgot God their Saviour [Ps 106:8-10, 21]. And the Lord will save them from the antichrist.
Whose angel went with them – Is 63:9 – he had mercy on them in their affliction and sent his angel to go with them [Ex 33:2]. His angel will be with them in the future, as well [Dan 10:13, 21; Rev 12:3-7].
Who redeemed them to himself – Is 63:9 – Ex 6:6, and from then on he has been known as Israel’s redeemer [Is 54:5].
Who bare them and carried them – Is 63:9 – he bare them on eagles’ wings [Ex 19:4] and he will do it again [Rev 12:14].
Who gave them Moses to lead them – Is 63:11-14 – so they had a shepherd and they had the mighty arm of the Lord to divide the red sea, to lead them and to give them rest. Moses will return to lead them again in Rev 11.
Who put his Holy Spirit within them – Is 63:11 – as in the case of the seventy elders [Num 11:25] and Bezaleel [Ex 35:30-31]. The Holy Spirit will help them again [Matt 10:19-22].
Who made himself an everlasting and glorious name – Is 63:12, 14 – even Rahab knew and said that everyone knew [Jos 2:9-11] and we are still talking about that name today [Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9-11] which will be magnificently exalted when the Lord returns.
Whose bowels and mercies are toward Israel – Is 63:15 – see Phil 2:1 and Col 3:12 for this expression – it is a yearning toward Israel that inclines the Lord to help even when they are so messed up. He will help them in their affliction during the Tribulation.
Who is Israel’s father – Is 63:16 – see Ex 4:22-23. When Jesus returns they will recognize him as their Everlasting Father [Is 9:6-7].
Whose we are, exclusively – Is 63:18 – His chosen people – we were sinners of the Gentiles [Gal 2:15], and strangers [Eph 2:12]. He will reign from the throne of David and they will be the principle nation of the earth.
Conclusion: Often in intercessory prayer, the men of old would remind the Lord of his promises or of his unique relationship with Israel and they would succeed in getting the Lord to answer their prayers. The Lord will certainly answer Isaiah’s prayer in the future. In the meantime, the answer to the question, where is he, is found in Is 63:15. He’s in heaven, the habitation of his holiness and glory.