A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Isaiah ends with a lengthy expression of God's judgment and salvation.
63 includes the famous image of trampling out the vineyard where the grapes of wrath are stored
(in verses 2-3,6). The subject immediately shifts to the kindness
(or mercy) of the LORD.
The compassion of God is clear: In all their distress He too was distressed
(63:9). God's feelings for His people are not only from a distance
, however. Isaiah points out that the angel of His presence saved them. In his love and merc y He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them . . .
The glory of God is seen in His redemption and uniqueness: Since ancient times no one has . . . seen any God besides you.
In Isaiah's prophesy, the people confess their stubborn sin and seek God's forgiveness in chapter 64.
God's frustration in working with human beings is seen in chapter 65: All day long I have held out my hands to an obsstinate people . . . a people who continually provoke me to my very face . . .
While His determination to save them is also unswerving: I will not destroy them all
(65:8), they will still face His judgment: as for you who forsake the LORD . . . I will destine you for the sword . . . for I called and you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.
After describing a new era with new heaven and a new earth
, Isaiah brings God's final word of judgment and promise of peace to those who turn to Him and follow. The final image is of a people who have been redeemed but are always reminded of what happened to those who refused God's invitation to repent and live.
Today give thanks for the salvation of God.
Consider your own shortcomings and failings and give thanks that God has chosen to give you a place in His family in spite of them. In response to such blessing, make a list of things you are going to change in your life and begin working on the first one B not in fear or anxiety about your future, but in gratitude and love for the One who gives us salvation, guarantees our hope and moves us forward in life.
You might also make a list of people you know who should hear about God's love.
Write down the names of 5 people who appear to need a relationship with God. Pray that God will give you an opportunity to witness to them, telling them what Christ means to you, or sharing how God has helped you in various instances or simply inviting them to church. God answers such prayers so be ready. None the less, if He gives you the opportunity, He will also give you the courage and ability to respond in it.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010