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Intercession for the wicked

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Isa 64:1; Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence—
Isa 64:2; As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
Isa 64:3; When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.
Isa 64:4; For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
Isa 64:5; You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. Behold, You were angry, for we sinned, We continued in them a long time; And shall we be saved?

Isaiah is reminiscing here a bit. In the "old days" God did awesome things which the people didn't expect.
It seems Isaiah is longing for the those days to come again. He end this particular passage with a question.

"shall we be saved? ". Of course God does forgive and forget when we repent, but I wonder sometimes
why does God let evil people go on continually being evil? It seems God uses "bad people" to test His people
a lot of the time.

Isa 64:6; For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Isa 64:7; There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.
Isa 64:8; But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Isa 64:9; Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD, Nor remember iniquity forever; Behold, look now, all of us are Your people.
Isa 64:10; Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
Isa 64:11; Our holy and beautiful house, Where our fathers praised You, Has been burned by fire; And all our precious things have become a ruin.
Isa 64:12; Will You restrain Yourself at these things, O LORD? Will You keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?

These used to be "God's people". I imagine many of them still considered themselves as such.
But these people continued sinning for a long time (verse 5)
They had become unclean. (verse 6). No one was calling on the Lord in those days. ( verse 7)

Now I suppose it's possible, they were still God's people, but even if they were... God hid Hid face from them. (verse 7) and has quit protecting them. He had given them over to their sin. (verse 7)

Isaiah is going to do someintercession for the people here. I am reminded of twice Moses interceded for
the Israelites aslo. The second time God didn't really give in to Moses's rquest.

Exod 32:30; On the next day Moses said to the people, "You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the LORD, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin."
Exod 32:31; Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, "Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves.
Exod 32:32; "But now, if You will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!"
Exod 32:33; The LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
Exod 32:34; "But go now, lead the people where I told you. Behold, My angel shall go before you; nevertheless in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin."
Exod 32:35; Then the LORD smote the people, because of what they did with the calf which Aaron had made.

God destroyed them anyway. Still Isaiah feels he has to try.

Isa 64:8; But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Isa 64:9; Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD, Nor remember iniquity forever; Behold, look now, all of us are Your people.

Isaiah reminds God that we are His creation, the work of His hands. (did God need reminding?)
Then he asks God not to continue being angry at the people forever. Isaiah says "look now" we are your people.

The question here becomes... were they His people even when He hid His face from them?
In the end the answer didn't make much difference, because He still gave them over to their iniquities.

There are a couple of places where this happens in the new testament as well.

Rom 1:28; And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

It seems in the first example there is no hope for these people who continue in sin.

1 Cor 5:5; I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

It seems here in the second example that his spirit "may" be saved.

I wonder we when intercede for the unsaved. What should we pray for? That God will save them even though they are wicked? (Can we bring ourselves to say that's how God sees them?)
That God will change their hearts and open their eyes to the truth? Some already know the truth but refuse to accept it. Should we pray that God will change their will to accept Him? How long should we keep interceding for them? Until either them or us dies?

It may seem like a callous question, but...

2 Thes 2:11; For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,

Is there a point where God says "no more". I am done with them.
How about this -- as God the Holy Spirit lays it upon a person's heart To pray Do pray. How do we pray For them? Maybe share with God how you Do feel about the person, their spiritual condition -- that He already knows what is best and His will be done. And lots of times we Don't know 'how' to pray for a person. Maybe that you or another believer would be able to share the Gospel unto salvation with that person -- that they'd be willing to listen and accept Christ as personal Savior. Have a loving, forgiving attitude towards the person.

Everyone was born 'wicked' -- you and me and everyone we know -- all of us are in / were in need Of salvation. Some accept and some reject.

IF/ When a person seems to simply 'continue in sin' After they've professed Christ as personal Savior. Well -- that's where discipleshiping comes in. A new believer Needs to have someone come up along side them and guide them. Maybe a class for new believers / maybe a S. S. teacher. Maybe a deacons' wife.

There is Always hope for Everyone as long as they are still alive.

There Are some who seem to be saved 'by the skin of their teeth' -- after a while -- they die from 'something' -- and sometimes what they'd been doing Before their salvation has a negative affect on their health and they Do succomb.
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