Isaiah 65:24
And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
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(24) Before they call . . .—In man’s experience of men, often, as things are now, in his relations with God, there is an interval between prayer and the answer. In the new Jerusalem the two would be simultaneous, or the answer would anticipate the prayer.

Isaiah 65:24. Before they call I will answer — “Behold here,” says Vitringa, “a desirable blessing, the truest seal of divine favour and paternal love. The closest conjunction of heaven and earth, that is, of God and men, is expressed in this verse; seeing that God declares he will abundantly and immediately satisfy the desires of his people, which desires are here supposed to be just and conformable to his will; and that he will be of such goodness as of his own accord to prevent their requests, and even answer their prayers before they utter them.”65:17-25 In the grace and comfort believers have in and from Christ, we are to look for this new heaven and new earth. The former confusions, sins and miseries of the human race, shall be no more remembered or renewed. The approaching happy state of the church is described under a variety of images. He shall be thought to die in his youth, and for his sins, who only lives to the age of a hundred years. The event alone can determine what is meant; but it is plain that Christianity, if universal, would so do away violence and evil, as greatly to lengthen life. In those happy days, all God's people shall enjoy the fruit of their labours. Nor will children then be the trouble of their parents, or suffer trouble themselves. The evil dispositions of sinners shall be completely moritified; all shall live in harmony. Thus the church on earth shall be full of happiness, like heaven. This prophecy assures the servants of Christ, that the time approaches, wherein they shall be blessed with the undisturbed enjoyment of all that is needful for their happiness. As workers together with God, let us attend his ordinances, and obey his commands.Before they call, I will answer - That is, their desires shall be anticipated, God will see their needs, and he will impart to them the blessings which they need. He will not wait to be applied to for the blessing. How many such blessings do all his people receive at the hand of God! How ready is he to anticipate our needs! How watchful is he of our necessities; and how rich his benevolence in providing for us! Even the most faithful and prayerful of his people receive numerous favors and comforts at his hand for which they have not directly asked him. The prayer for the supply of our daily food, 'Give us this day our daily bread,' God had anticipated, and had prepared the means of answering it, long before, in the abundant harvest. Had he waited until the prayer was offered, it could not have been answered without a miracle. Ever watchful, he anticipates our necessities, and in his providence and grace lays the foundation for granting the favor long before we ask him.

And while they are yet speaking, I will hear - So it was with Daniel (Daniel 9:20-21; compare Psalm 32:5). So it was with the early disciples when they were assembled in an upper room in Jerusalem, and when the Spirit of God descended with great power on the day of Pentecost Acts 2:1-2. So when Paul and Silas, in the prison at Philippi, 'prayed and sang praises to God,' he heard them and came for their rescue Acts 16:25-26. So it has often been - and especially in revivals of religion. When his people have been deeply impressed with a sense of the languishing state of religion; when they have gone unitedly before God and implored a blessing; God has heard their prayers, and even while they were speaking has begun a work of grace. Hundreds of such instances have occurred, alike demonstrating the faithfulness of God to his promises, and suited to encourage his people, and to excite them to prayer. It is one of the precious promises pertaining to the blessings of the reign of the Messiah, that the answer of prayer shall be immediate - and for this his people should look, and this they should expect. God can as easily answer prayer at once as to delay it; and when the proper state of mind exists, he is as ready to answer it now as to defer it to a future time. What encouragement have we to pray! How faithful, how fervent should we be in our supplications! How full of guilt are we if one single blessing is withheld from our world that might have been imparted if we had prayed as we ought; if one single soul shall be lost who might have been saved if we had not been unfaithful in prayer!

24. Contrast Isa 64:7, "none … calleth," &c.; and see on [876]Isa 65:12, "I called, ye did not answer." Maurer translates, "They shall hardly (literally, "not yet") call, when (literally, "and") I will answer; they shall be still speaking, when I will hear" (Ps 32:5; Da 9:20, 21). God promised, Isaiah 58:9, to answer them when they called; here he promiseth to be so ready to answer, as to answer the words as soon as they should be formed in their hearts, before they should get them out of their lips, Psalm 32:5 Daniel 10:12; yea, while they were speaking, Daniel 9:20,23 Ac 10:44. Nor doth God say only they shall have the things they would have, (for so wicked men may sometimes have from the bountiful hand of Divine Providence,) but they shall have them as an answer or return unto their prayers. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer,.... The sense is, should they be attacked by any enemy, or fear that they shall be disturbed by them, and so bethink themselves of making application to the Lord for help; while they are preparing for prayer, stirring up one another to it, and appointing a season for it, to meet together on that account; before they are able to put up one petition in a regular way, the Lord will appear for them, and give an answer of peace:

and while they are yet speaking, I will hear; while they are praying to him, he hears and answers, and grants their requests, and more, as he did Daniel. This shows the readiness of the Lord to help and assist his people in any time of trouble, or when they may fear an enemy; and is a great encouragement to attend the throne of grace constantly.

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
24. Cf. Daniel 9:21.Verse 24. - Before they call, I will answer. God is always "more ready to hear than we to pray." In the "new Jerusalem" he will be prompt to answer his people's prayers almost before they are uttered. It is involved in this, as Delitzsch notes, that the will of the people shall be in harmony with the will of Jehovah, and that their prayers will therefore be acceptable prayers. The fact that they have thus passed away is now still further explained; the prophet heaping up one kı̄ (for) upon another, as in Isaiah 9:3-5. "For behold I create a new heaven and a new earth; and men will not remember the first, nor do they come to any one's mind. No, be ye joyful and exult for ever at that which I:create: for behold I turn Jerusalem into exulting, and her people into joy. And I shall exult over Jerusalem, and be joyous over my people, and the voice of weeping and screaming will be heard in her no more." The promise here reaches its culminating point, which had already been seen from afar in Isaiah 51:16. Jehovah creates a new heaven and a new earth, which bind so fast with their glory, and which so thoroughly satisfy all desires, that there is no thought of the former ones, and no one wishes them back again. Most of the commentators, from Jerome to Hahn, suppose the ri'shōnōth in Isaiah 65:16 to refer to the former sorrowful times. Calvin says, "The statement of the prophet, that there will be no remembrance of former things, is supposed by some to refer to the heaven and the earth, as if he meant, that henceforth neither the fame nor even the name of either would any more be heard; but I prefer to refer them to the former times." But the correctness of the former explanation is shown by the parallel in Jeremiah 3:16, which stands in by no means an accidental relation to this passage, and where it is stated that in the future there will be no ark of the covenant, "neither shall it come to mind, neither shall they remember it," inasmuch as all Jerusalem will be the throne of Jehovah, and not merely the capporeth with its symbolical cherubim. This promise is also a glorious one; but Jeremiah and all the other prophets fall short of the eagle-flight of Isaiah, of whom the same may be said as of John, "volat avis sine meta." Luther (like Zwingli and Stier) adopts the correct rendering, "that men shall no more remember the former ones (i.e., the old heaven and old earth), nor take it to heart." But ‛âlâh ‛al-lēbh signifies to come into the mind, not "to take to heart," and is applied to a thing, the thought of which "ascends" within us, and with which we are inwardly occupied. There is no necessity to take the futures in Isaiah 65:17 as commands (Hitzig); for אם־שׂישׂוּ כּי (כי with muach, as in Ven. 1521, after the Masora to Numbers 35:33) fits on quite naturally, even if we take them as simple predictions. Instead of such a possible, though not actual, calling back and wishing back, those who survive the new times are called upon rather to rejoice for ever in that which Jehovah is actually creating, and will have created then. אשׁר, if not regarded as the accusative-object, is certainly regarded as the object of causality, "in consideration of that which" (cf., Isaiah 31:6; Genesis 3:17; Judges 8:15), equivalent to, "on account of that which" (see at Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 35:1). The imperatives sı̄sū vegı̄lū are not words of admonition so much as words of command, and kı̄ gives the reason in this sense: Jehovah makes Jerusalem gı̄lâh and her people mâsōs (accusative of the predicate, or according to the terminology adopted in Becker's syntax, the "factitive object," Ges. 139, 2), by making joy its perpetual state, its appointed condition of life both inwardly and outwardly. Nor is it joy on the part of the church only, but on the part of its God as well (see the primary passages in Deuteronomy 30:9). When the church thus rejoices in God, and God in the church, so that the light of the two commingle, and each is reflected in the other; then will no sobbing of weeping ones, no sound of lamentation, be heard any more in Jerusalem (see the opposite side as expressed in Isaiah 51:3).
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