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God is exalted when we place him in the highest place in our lives. He deserves first place and we exalt him when he plays that role in our lives.
If you’ve been following these articles in Isaiah, you know that the Judeans (Southern Kingdom) did not exalt God. They observed religious activity, but their first place allegiance was to their willful desires.
How do people change from prideful self-reliance to trust in God? It begins with connecting to God in prayer.
Without a doubt, there were people in Judah who prayed. The prayer in Isaiah 33 is an excellent summary of prayer from people who place the highest value in God.
O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
Be our arm every morning,
our salvation in the time of trouble. (Isaiah 33.2)
There are three noteworthy parts to this prayer for help.
(1) Grace – It is incredibly easy to take for granted the ability to have a conversational relationship with God.
It is all too common to see prayer as a duty or a dry exercise.
However, the opportunity to have a personal relationship with the greatest Being of all is a tremendous act of love and grace from the heart of God.
We pray because of God’s grace and when we pray we ask for his gracious intervention in our lives.
(2) Wait – To wait on God is to trust his plans, rather than to take matters into our own hands.
James describes the person who is not willing to wait for God as being double-minded. To be double-minded means that we mouth trust in God, but at the same time have other plans in case he doesn’t give us our desires.
James wrote, “For the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1.8).
The person who will not wait on God is a doubter and should not expect to receive an answer to their prayer.
Prayer that waits on God exalts God to the place of preeminence. God alone is the One who will accomplish what is needed.
(3) Request – Prayer is a request for God to intervene in our lives.
God set the Hebrews free from generations of slavery in Egypt with his mighty arm.
God told Moses to proclaim this to his people, “I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment” (Exodus 6.6).
No matter what the issue, God is willing and able to help us. We pray for his power to be exercised and wait for the results.
Prayer changes things. God only needs to speak and everything is changed.
At the sound of tumult, peoples fled;
before your majesty, nations scattered. (Isaiah 33.3)
Why do we pray and wait on God to act? Besides the fact that God’s presence changes things, God’s activity reveals his nature and character.
The Lord is exalted, he dwells on high;
he filled Zion with justice and righteousness;
He will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure. (Isaiah 33.5-6)
Let’s not miss the words that describe God’s magnificent character. Spend some time meditating on his nature. This is the very Being who desires a personal relationship with you.
— Exalted – To be exalted means to be lifted up. Because he is God he has first place in all things.
— Justice – God is entirely just.
I frequently quote Abraham, when he asked God, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18.25).
The best answer to Abraham’s question is to look at the cross of Christ. On the cross, God showed himself both just and the One who justifies people who put their faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul described the truth of God’s justice in depth in Romans 3.21-26.
— Righteousness – God is upright and straight. He can be counted on to be absolutely true and faithful to his creation.
Jesus is the perfect example of justice and righteousness. A study of his life will provide the best definition for these two characteristics.
— Salvation – As we have seen, God’s mighty arm saves his people.
— Wisdom – If wisdom is the ability to function well in life, that is true of God.
I am part of a men’s small group at Maywood Baptist. I rejoice each week to witness the wisdom of men, who have surrendered their lives to God. They may lack formal education, but God has imparted to them his wisdom for living.
— Knowledge – Since God is all-knowing, should we not wait on him for guidance in our lives.
The proper response to our magnificent God is to live in the fear of the Lord.
The Book of Proverbs can be summarized in one verse.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1.7)
Deuteronomy provides the best definition of the “fear of the Lord.” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6.5).
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.