Isaiah 55:6-7 describes how God usually deals with people. If people want God to help and to forgive them, they should ask him. They should stop their evil behaviour and they should pray to him. That is what we would always advise people to do.
However, Isaiah 65:1 boldly declares that God can work in a different way. It is not the way that we would usually expect God to act. However, God can cause people to discover his kindness, even if they were not praying to him. He can give people who did not care about him, an opportunity to trust him. He can work powerfully in anyone’s life, even before that person desires to know him.
God can work in any way that he chooses to act (Isaiah 55:8-9). Of course, his perfect character never changes (James 1:17) and he will always carry out his promises. However, God chooses the way in which he will act in people’s lives. Sometimes he acts in the most extraordinary manner.
God had to act in that way to bring people who were not Jews into a right relationship with him. The Jews are people from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God gave his law to the Jews, and their nation knew much about him (9:4-5). However, the people from other nations had their own gods, and they knew almost nothing about the real God. So God sent people with his gospel (the message about Christ) to them (Matthew 28:19-20). He had decided that he would make it possible for them to know him.
Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is powerful. By its power, God saves (rescues) people from every nation. By its power, God makes it possible for people to turn from their evil behaviour and to trust him. By its power, people receive a right relationship with God.
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© 2017, Keith Simons.