Isaiah 65:2 - God's Arms Are Open Even When Our Backs Are Turned.

Isa 65:2 (KJV)  I have spread out my hands all the day unto a
rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their
own thoughts;

Isa 65:2 (NIV)  All day long I have held out my hands to an
obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own

Isa 65:2 (CEV)  All day long I have reached out to stubborn and
sinful people going their own way.

Isa 65:2 (CWB)  Every day I've held out my hands to my people to
welcome them, but they are a stubborn people who love to walk in their
own ways and do their own thing.

Isa 65:2 (TLB)  "But my own people--though I have been spreading
out my arms to welcome them all day long--have rebelled; they follow
their own evil paths and thoughts.

Verse 1 refers to the Gentiles and v. 2 to the Jews. [Believer's

Gentile and Jew (65:1-2). Paul refers to these verses in Rom.
10:20-21. The Gentiles were not looking for God, but He was found by them
in the Gospel. The Jews to whom God held out His hands in love
refused to see Him and turned instead to pagan deities. Yet in the end
God's grace will triumph, and both will have a place in the world to
come. [Victor Bible Reader's Companion]

To spread out the hands is an action denoting invitation or
entreaty (Barnes' Notes)

A gesture indicating God's desire to receive penitent people.
[Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]

Verse 2 presents God's hands held out in love, "all day long,"
meaning perhaps throughout Israel's history, but finding obstinate
rejection of his ways. [Expositors Bible Commentary]

He was always ready to help them (holding out His hands), but
they continued to be stubborn, independent, and evil. [Bible
Knowledge Commentary]

God spread out his hands to them, as one reasoning and
expostulating with them, not only beckoned to them with the finger, but spread
out his hands, as being ready to embrace and entertain them,
reaching forth the tokens of his favour to them, and importuning them to
accept them. When Christ was crucified his hands were spread out and
stretched forth, as if he were preparing to receive returning sinners into
his bosom; and this all the day, all the gospel-day. He waited to be
gracious, and was not weary of waiting; even those that came in at the
eleventh hour of the day were not rejected. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

They were very wilful. Right or wrong they would do as they had
a mind. "They generally walk on in a way that is not good, not the
right way, not a safe way, for they walk after their own thought,
their own devices and desires." If our guide be our own thoughts, our
way is not likely to be good; for every imagination of the thought
of our hearts is only evil. God had told them his thoughts, what
his mind and will were, but they would walk after their own
thoughts, would do what they thought best.... They were very provoking. This
was God's complaint of them all along-- they grieved him, they vexed
his Holy Spirit, as if they would contrive how to make him their
enemy: They provoke me to anger continually to my face. They cared not
what affront they gave to God, though it were in his sight and
presence, in a downright contempt of his authority and defiance of his
justice; and this continually; it had been their way and manner ever
since they were a people, (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

Holy Hypocrites-- In this chapter Isaiah the prophet pictures the
eternal God standing with outstretched hands pleading for his people to
forsake their evil ways and return to him. In a similar passage God asks
why Israel spent their money for what was not bread, and their wages
on fleeting things that could never satisfy (55.2). He invites them
to partake freely of his living water, joyous wine, and nourishing
bread and milk (55.1). All this may well be called the "incredible
invitation." Only the sovereign God could host such a feast. But all this is
to no avail. Israel refuses and is indicted for the hypocrisy
perceived in their idol worship (vv. 3, 7), consulting with the dead, and
eating forbidden swine's flesh (v. 4), all the while professing to be
unapproachably holy (v. 5). Christians should strive to remain in a true state
of humility before God and man thus being protected from the
pitfalls of hypocrisy. [Daily Devotional Bible]

Repeated sin produces an "obstinate people", a people with an
attitude of stubborn rebellion against God like a sullen son stubbornly
refusing to obey parents. We know to do right, but our attitude is wrong,
so we go on strike against God, refusing to do anything that
pleases Him. Obstinate, stubborn sin produces a life following the wrong
paths of self-centered objectives. Such sin brings divine discipline
and robs the sinner of potential for good. [Disciple SB]

The evils of the world have resulted from men placing their own
ideas before the plans and purposes of God. [SDA Commentary]

Why did God come to those who didn't care? God came to them not
because of, but in spite of, the fact that they did not care. Left to
ourselves, none of us would care about God. But he initiates a
relationship, he comes despite our inability to see our own need. In fact, the
human heart cannot respond to God until after God has somehow touched
it. Some speak of God's "prevenient grace"--grace that comes before
we can move toward God (1 John 4:19). [Quest SB]

While the kingdom is full of righteousness, peace, and joy, it
isn't a physical, tangible thing. It isn't something we touch or
see.... Furthermore, this kingdom isn't verbal, something we can
actually hear with our ears, even though it is powerful.... If that isn't
mysterious enough, I should add that while it is unshakable, it isn't
visible either! .... How about that! We're supposed to seek something we
cannot feel, or hear. And we're expected to embrace something that is
intangible, inaudible, and invisible. .... God's kingdom is a synonym for
God's rule. Those who choose to live in His kingdom (though still very
much alive on Planet Earth) choose to live under His authority. Maybe
a super-simple outline of the Bible will help us understand the
definition of God's kingdom even better. But first let me warn you--it's so
basic you'll probably sneer!  I. God creates the heavens and earth and
all things in them, including mankind. That's Genesis 1 and 2.  II.
Mankind, alone, rebels against God's authority. That's covered in Genesis
3.  III. God moves through history to reestablish His authority
over all creation. That's Genesis 4 through Revelation 22. .... If
you are wondering where you and I fit into this outline, take a look
at category three. For centuries God has been at work
reestablishing His rulership.... All this leads me to some helpful news, some
bad news, and some good news! The kingdom is the invisible realm
where God rules as supreme authority. That's helpful news. The bad
news is that we, by nature, don't want Him to rule over us; we much
prefer to please ourselves. We'd much rather serve mammon (the word
means "money") than the Master.... More bad news is this: Most people
do serve mammon. Just look around. Who's in charge, God or mammon?
What's happening? The mediocre majority have bought into a mammon
lifestyle. Now, the good news. We don't have to live that way. God has
given us an avenue of escape. It's called a birth from above.... Not
until we experience a spiritual rebirth will we submit to God's rule.
So when I write of God's kingdom, I'm referring to His
right-authority over our lives. Only then can we experience true excellence.
(Living Above the Level of Mediocrity by Charles Swindoll)
[Inspirational SB]

The book of Isaiah is a sobering reminder of the painful
consequences of taking God lightly. Of ignoring his promises (and thereby
forfeiting his blessing). Of ignoring his warnings (and thereby incurring
judgment). Of ignoring his invitations (and thereby missing the joy of a
personal family relationship with God).  Isaiah's prophecy is long. It
contains more chapters than any other Old Testament prophet. But his
message is simple and concise: judgment and comfort. Judgment for those
who fail to heed God's voice, and comfort for those who do.  Give
yourself a spiritual "hearing test" right now. Are you tuned in to hear
God's voice? Do you answer when he calls (6:8), or is your line
constantly busy? There will come a day when the phone quits ringing ....
forever. Spend the next few minutes telling God what you have learned
from the book of Isaiah. [Daily Walk Bible]

The concept of hell troubles many people. How could a good and
loving God ever destine anyone to an eternity in what Revelation calls
a "lake of fire"?  The fact is, God doesn't!  Chapter 64 contains
Isaiah's plea for a salvation that must somehow be rooted in God, since
man's best efforts are but filthy rags in the LORD's sight. In this
chapter God responded to Isaiah's prayer. He told the prophet that He
has always been eager to save. But obstinate Israel rejected His
grace. Even so "descendants of Jacob, and from Judah" will "possess My
mountains; My chosen people will inherit them." People who seek God will be
saved, despite their sins.  But then God speaks of individuals who
continue to "forsake the LORD and forget My holy mountain." Such persons
are destined for the sword; they are marked for slaughter. But note.
It is not that God chose their fate. God did everything He could to
save them. He called to them, but they did not answer. He spoke, but
they did not listen. Instead they chose what displeased God (65:12).
It's an important truth to grasp. And it is part of the Gospel. Yes,
some will go away to eternal punishment. But it is not God who fixes
a man's destiny. It is the man himself.  The only way a person can
be condemned to hell is to condemn himself, by refusing to respond
to God's revelation of His power and His love.  So if you know
anyone who is worried that God might send him to hell, share the Good
News. God won't send him to hell. The only person who can do that is
the person himself. Instead, God is standing between human beings
and eternal punishment, still calling, still speaking, still
promising forgiveness. All anyone has to do is reach out and take
salvation as a free gift.  And that is good news indeed. [The 365-Day
Devotional Commentary]

Heaven or hell. It really is our choice. [The 365-Day Devotional

Prov. 3:5,6 (KJV) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and
lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge
him, and he shall direct thy paths.

"Never, never, NEVER trust your own judgment in anything.  When
common sense says that a course is right, lift your heart to God, for
the path of faith and the path of blessing may be in a direction
completely opposite to that which you call common sense.  When voices tell
you that action is urgent, that something must be done immediately,
refer everything to the tribunal of heaven.  Then if you are still in
doubt, dare to stand still.  If you are called on to act and you have
not time to pray, don't act.  If you are called on to move in a
certain direction and cannot wait until you have peace with God about
it, don't move.  Be strong enough and brave enough to dare to stand
and wait on God, for none of them that wait on Him shall ever be
ashamed.  That is the only way to outmatch the devil."  Alan Redpath,
Victorious Christian Living: Studies in the Book of Joshua, pp. 142,3