Questions for Littles: What do people need to do with Christ before they can call on Him (v14)? But what must happen first if they are going to believe in Him? And what can’t they hear Him without? What needs to happen for a preacher to preach (v15)? What do the beautiful-footed people of v15 preach? What do they bring? But what have not all done (v16)? By what does faith come (v17)? By what does hearing come? Who have heard (v18)? How did Moses say God would provoke Israel to jealousy (v19)? How would God move Israel to anger? By whom did Isaiah say that God would be found (v20)? To whom did he say that God would be made manifest? What had God stretched out to Israel all day long (v21a)? What does He call them in v21b?In this week’s Epistle reading, we get another answer to why Israel hasn’t believed: because they can’t. They are a disobedient and contrary people.
The chapter 9 answer had been that not all who are descended from Israel are Israel, but only specifically those whom God has chosen. Fair enough. He’s the Potter; we are the clay.
But now we see why this election was so necessary: because if God doesn’t supernaturally give us hearing hearts by His Word, we cannot actually hear, believe, or call upon His Name to be saved. And God has to send the preacher with that hearing-giving Word in the first place.
So, there are two absolutely necessary gifts there—as evidenced by what Isaiah had prophesied about God holding His hands out all day to this people. The fact was that, unless God made them able to respond, the gospel could be continuously offered, and they would never believe.
That’s deeply sobering, and it ought to make us cry out to God for grace to change our hearts. And, for us who have believed, it also makes us cry out to Him in thankfulness.
God specifically chose to make Himself seen and found by people who were not looking for Him. He did it to show that His salvation is 100% of grace. There is no such thing as a seeker, whom God has not first supernaturally made to seek.
So, dear Christian, what did you have to do with your salvation? You were responsible for the sin of which you needed to be forgiven, and the weakness—indeed death—from which you needed to be resurrected!
How does this passage exclude spiritual pride? How will you use it to do so?Suggested songs: ARP51A “God, Be Merciful to Me” or HB402 “I Sought the Lord, and Afterward I Knew”