Isaiah 63:17

Isaiah 63:17

Isaiah 63:17 NIV
17 Why, Lord, do You make us wander from Your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere You?
Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes that are Your inheritance.

Isaiah 63:17 JUB
17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways? Hast thou hardened our heart to thy fear?
Return for thy slaves, for the tribes of thine inheritance.

Imagine if you will, a child about to be punished for misbehaving and accusing Mom and/or Dad of making them misbehave by being too indulgent. Then, said child, asks them not to be so indulgent in the future and provide ‘course corrections’ so they would not wander so far and harden his or heart so much. This is what we see in the verse above, especially when you look at it in context.

15 Look down from heaven and see, from Your lofty throne, holy and glorious. Where are Your zeal and your might?
Your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us.
16 But You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; You, Lord, are our Father,
our Redeemer from of old is Your name.
17 Why, Lord, do you make us wander from Your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere You?
Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes that are Your inheritance.
18 For a little while Your people possessed Your holy place, but now our enemies have trampled down Your sanctuary.
19 We are Yours from of old; but You have not ruled over them, they have not been called] by Your name.

I like the Jubilee version of the verse because instead of making a statement You … harden our hearts, it asks the question Hast thou hardened our heart to thy fear? Both (almost all versions) ask Why, Lord, do You make us wander from Your ways as well. Of course God does not make us wander from His ways, instead He simply gives us something called free will so that we make the choice to follow Him or wander away from Him. Consider what the Apostle Paul has to say about this

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. Romans 1:28

Obviously this is their doing, not God’s doing. He has applied plenty of course corrections in the past and plenty of knowledge of what He desires from us through His prophets and Apostles. So it is by choice when one chooses to behave or live in such a way you are left to your own devices (depraved mind) and end up far far far away from the life God would have us live.

It is God’s desire we choose Him and choose Him freely, not be forced to choose Him. He makes clear throughout Scripture where the two different choices lead. Our choice, choose wisely.