Wednesday, July 10, 2024

2024.07.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Isaiah 63:1–6

Read Isaiah 63:1–6

Questions from the Scripture text: From where does the one in Isaiah 63:1a appear to be coming? In what attire (verse 1b–c)? And what glory (verse 1d)? What are His opening words (verse 1e)? What does Isaiah 63:2 ask about his clothing? What has this One done, alongside whom (Isaiah 63:3a–b)? Why has He done this (verse 3c–d)? With what effect (verse 3e–f)? What is in His heart (Isaiah 63:4a)? What has come (verse 4b)? What had He seen (Isaiah 63:5a–c)? How, then did salvation come (verse 5d)? And for what end did He pursue (verse 5e)? What did He do to the peoples (Isaiah 63:6a–b)? Why? With what result (verse 6c)? 

Whom do the watchers and the bride see coming? Isaiah 63:1–6 prepares us for the first serial reading in public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these six verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Lord Jesus is the kingly and divine Speaker, Justifier, Savior, Avenger, and Redeemer. 

In Isaiah 62:6, there were watchmen praying for salvation. The daughter of Zion was told to look for her salvation in a Savior, Who had earned and accomplished (cf. Isaiah 62:11) a holy, redeemed, desired, cherished people (cf. Isaiah 62:12). 

Now the scene moves to the wall, with the watchmen and the hopeful bride, as a lone Figure appears on the horizon (Isaiah 63:1). He comes from the direction of perpetual enemy Edom (verse 1a) and its capital city Bozrah (verse 1b). 

And the first thing that can be seen is the glint in the moonlight of the vividness of His apparel (Isaiah 63:1c). He moves in a way that communicates greatness and strength, not a commoner but a King (verse 1d). And in response to their question, His speech is swift and strong, like His gait, communicating three primary things about Him: He is a speaker, He is righteous, and He is a mighty Savior.

By identifying Himself firstly as a Speaker, He shows Himself to be the Anointed One of Isaiah 61:1–3: the Preacher of good tidings, the Proclaimer of liberty, the Proclaimer of the year of favor, the Comforter of mourners, the Consoler of Zion’s mourners. Although vengeance receives much mention in our passage (in line with our Lord’s second coming), it is His being a Speaker, and Righteous, and Savior that are mentioned first (in line with His first coming). And when He identified Himself in the synagogue at Nazareth, He identified Himself as this Preacher (cf. Luke 4:16–22).

By the time He answers, He is close enough that they can see not only the vividness, but the color, and their question changes from “Who” to “why” (Isaiah 63:2). “Red” is a play on words with “Edom,” and “winepress” is a play on words with “Bozrah.” So there may also be some inquiry as to why He’s coming from that direction. His answer continues their metaphor, but the vintage that He has trodden are the enemy themselves. The quantity of it and the saturation of the stain is because He has done this entirely by Himself (Isaiah 63:3Isaiah 63:5). This identifies this King as a Man Who is more than a man. There is no one else who could do this, and no one else who would do this, but YHWH Himself (cf. Isaiah 41:28, Isaiah 59:15–16). 

Just as we must be committed to not taking vengeance, since it belongs to the Lord (cf. Isaiah 35:4; Romans 12:19); the Lord Jesus is committed to taking vengeance, precisely because it belongs to Him. He says “it is in My heart” (Isaiah 63:4a). His Name is Jesus, Yahweh Who Saves, and He does so not only as a Deliverer, but as a Redeemer. There is a year that His heart calls “the year of My redeemed.” We must not lose sight of what is behind this word, “redeemed,” and the wonderful truth that the Lord Himself is Redeemer unto us.

In His first coming, He has proclaimed His comfort and salvation, and He has been our righteousness, and He has earned and accomplished our salvation (Isaiah 63:1e). But there is a day and a year in His heart when He will collect for Himself this bride, to Whom He has claimed the place of next-of-kin, and given to claim Him as her own next-of-kin (Isaiah 63:4b). 

If Isaiah 61:1–3 was the picture of the Anointed, come to redeem His bride, Isaiah 63:1–7 is the picture of the Anointed, come to collect His bride whom He has redeemed. It is a day of a vengeance (Isaiah 63:5-6) that is an essential component to His saving His bride (cf. Isaiah 63:5d). And He is committed to it with all the zeal that He has for His kingship and His royal bride. As this passage presents Him to us, may His Spirit compel our hearts to rest upon Him and thrill our hearts to rejoice over Him.

Why do you need Christ as Speaker? Why do you need Christ as righteousness? Why do you need Christ as Savior? Why do you need Christ as Avenger? Why do you need Christ as Redeemer?

Sample prayer: Lord, You are the great Speaker. Forgive us for when we have not listened or trusted. You are our only righteousness. Forgive us for when we have felt pretty justified in ourselves. You are our only Savior. Forgive us, for when we have thought that there was hope in any other, and even for when we have felt that there was no hope. You are our Avenger. Forgive us, for when we have thought that there is no justice and that our plight has gone unnoticed. And You are our Redeemer. Forgive us, for when our adulterous hearts have found purpose, identity, and ultimate delight in anything other than You. Forgive us, and grant that Your Spirit would make us to behold You as You truly are, and as You have truthfully told us in Your Word, we ask in Your Name, Lord Jesus, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or TPH403 “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” 

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