Advent Scripture Reading

Isaiah 64:1-9

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence–
as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil–
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From ages past no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who gladly do right,
those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;
because you hid yourself we transgressed.
We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on your name,
or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet, O LORD, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD,
and do not remember iniquity forever.
Now consider, we are all your people.

Psalm 80

Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *
shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
2
In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, *
stir up your strength and come to help us.
3
Restore us, O God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
4
O LORD God of hosts, *
how long will you be angered
despite the prayers of your people?
5
You have fed them with the bread of tears; *
you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
6
You have made us the derision of our neighbors, *
and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
7
Restore us, O God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
16
Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, *
the son of man you have made so strong for yourself.
17
And so will we never turn away from you; *
give us life, that we may call upon your Name.
18
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • phil_style

    Isaiah 64:1-9 is a strange passage. It seems to insinuate that people sin because God has hidden himself, rather than the vice versa.

    Both of these texts (Is and Ps) are about appealing to an angry God. But they also appeal to a hidden God. (how does one know that God is angry if he is hidden?). The writers have to explain God’s hidden-ness by claiming he is angry.

    This is such a contrast to the whole concept of “Emmanuel”. And how strongly this theology is reworked by Matthew 25:37-40! When God does show up, we ignore him and even put him to death! The irony is astounding!


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