The Israelites were slow learners. They spent a lot of time doing the wrong thing—not trusting God, not following His guidelines—and then when life got hard, they repented and asked for God’s mercy. In Isaiah 64:1-2, they begged God to tear the heavens apart, and to come down and do the miraculous to save them from their enemies. Even though they were constantly falling down on the job as God’s chosen people, they always knew that they and God were on the same side. Their adversaries were God’s adversaries.
Isaiah 64:4 tells us that since the beginning of time, there has been no one else like God. No eye has seen, no ear has heard any other god who is like Him. But this God who is beyond our imaginings is also the God who is full of mercy and will intervene on behalf of those who trust in Him. The Israelites counted on that, because after trying it on their own, over and over again, they realized that they couldn’t make it without God’s help.
I’m not sure that much is different with us today. That is because we just cannot fathom the infinite nature of God with our finite minds. We don’t understand His power, so we try, over and over again, to do things on our own. Then when we run into difficulties that are more than we can handle, many of us, like the Israelites, come back to God and say, “Oh, yeah, I remember now. I can’t do this without you.” The good news is that God is not forgetful like we are. He is faithful, and He who is rich in mercy, and full of love for us, will continue to intervene for us when we put our trust in Him. (Isaiah 64:4, Ephesians 2:4-5)