We are reading in Samuel of David’s great successes. 2 Samuel 8:13 tells us “David made a name for himself” – that is, developed a reputation, and our chapters tell us of Saul’s jealousy over this and his efforts to kill David despite the intercessions of Jonathan. Isaiah 63 has the prophet stating, “I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted to us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, ‘surely they are my people …’” (verses 7,8).

But this compassion and love was not appreciated; in later generations “they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy …” (verse 10). However, we then read that the LORD, “remembered the days of old, of Moses and his people. Where he brought them up out of the sea … to make for himself an everlasting name … So you led your people to make your yourself a glorious name” (verses 11,12,14). It was a great reputation for Moses, and a glorious name for God.

Isaiah ends his chapter on a sad note, “We have become like those over whom you have never ruled …”. But ignore the chapter break, chapter 64 starts with an impassioned prayer that we could utter today, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down … to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence!” (verses 1,2). And then verses 4,5 “… no ear has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness”.

Are we waiting for Him? Do we really believe with all our heart in His “glorious name” and “joyfully” live righteously as we wait for Him to act? Finally in chapter 66, “… this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (verse 2). May we all live so that he will “look” upon us – having in mind the words of Jesus, “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22).