(19 verses, 3:09 to read)
What I am about to READ
Isaiah 63 is divided into three separate themes. The first recounts the Lord’s wrath on unbelief and apostasy, the second deals with the mercy of the Lord and the third is a petition to the Lord to have that same mercy on his people.
MARK and LEARN
In the first major division, God is presented as one whose “apparel is red…[with] garments like his who treads out the winepress” (vs. 2). In this vivid imagery, we see God as the wrathful executor of justice who has spilled the lifeblood of his enemies upon his garments. This is not merely some gory violence for violence sake, but an act of redemption for his people (vs. 4). The enemies of God’s people have been destroyed and Israel won by the arm of the Lord, for he alone is holy enough to stand and fight (vs. 5). Redemption comes solely from the work of the Lord.
In the second major division, Isaiah recalls God’s steadfast love and mercy toward his people. As he calls his people his own, God feels great compassion for them even when he must chastise them and call them to repentance. Isaiah writes “in all their affliction, he was afflicted” (vs. 9). Here Isaiah also recounts in brief God’s glorious workings in Egypt to deliver his people from bondage as further proof that God will not leave that which he as purchased at so great a cost to the wiles of their enemies.
The last division of this chapter is a prayer for mercy. Using what God has done in the past as illustration of what He can do for his people now, Isaiah asks for mercy from God in their present affliction. Isaiah asks God “where is your zeal and your might?…Return for the sake of your servants.” (vs. 17).
Lord God, your divine Son was stained not with the blood of your enemies, but with his own blood, as he became a curse for us. By taking our sin upon himself and bearing your wrath and your justice he has made your enemies into your beloved children. Be with us now as we endure the wiles of the evil one, and take us from this valley of sorrow to yourself in Heaven. For the sake of your beloved Son. Amen.
Pr. Brandon Ross
Faith Ev. Lutheran Church