God Steps In
Lord, reveal to me how I have been provoking Your displeasure. Teach me to change my ways.
Read Isaiah 63:1-14
 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save.”  Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?  “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing.  It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come.  I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.  I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.”  I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us- yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.  He said, “Surely they are my people, children who will be true to me”; and so he became their Savior.  In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.  Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.  Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people- where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them,  who sent his glorious arm of power to be at Moses’ right hand, who divided the waters before them, to gain for himself everlasting renown,  who led them through the depths? Like a horse in open country, they did not stumble;  like cattle that go down to the plain, they were given rest by the Spirit of the LORD. This is how you guided your people to make for yourself a glorious name. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow are the wrath and the love of God portrayed here?
At first reading, this chapter seems severe. The picture of an angry man, emerging from the winepress stained head to foot with red grape juice, is vivid. As the picture is explained, the grape juice becomes blood, and the winepress a picture of righteous anger. Exile in Babylon is explained as God’s judgment. There is no escaping his wrath (3). How can this sobering picture be reconciled with a God of love? Isaiah starts to tell his readers their own story, or rather God’s story and their part in it. The picture that emerges is of a kind God, sorely provoked (7). Despite Israel’s bold rebelling, God remained committed to them. In his dealings with them, he took the role of loving Father and redeeming Savior (8,9). Isaiah finally reminds them of Moses and of how God rescued the people from certain death at the Red Sea (12). The telling of this big story allows room for the moments when God was rightly angry and for the moments when he demonstrated his unmatched compassion and forgiveness.
How has God used painful and gentle measures to mold you into Christlikeness?
Thank the Lord for the sacrifice of Christ that secures God’s everlasting mercy toward you.
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