Isaiah 63–A Story From Three Perspectives

Isaiah 63 could easily be a script to a Hollywood movie.  It looks At Israel from 3 perspectives; the Father that avenges His chosen’s enemies, a grateful child that recognizes and regrets their rebellion, and a humble recipient that begs for forgiveness for their wicked behavior.  The title could be “Three Genres”. 

In the first genre, the audience would see the rage of a Heavenly Father tired of seeing His chosen attacked and abused by all that are around them.  In His mind, these are His precious treasures, and no one will help them.  So, as any great Dad would–The Father interceded.  It was not pretty, and the enemies were destroyed “Hollywood Style”.  The Father wanted to make clear that while there are times when he has had to discipline them–no one can mess with His kids and not pay a price!

Act two is staged in a quiet forest, where a Lovely child tells the story of a Father’s patience and love for Children that chose to rebel.  She sings the praises of the patience of a Father that would love despite the rebellion.  One can hear the beautiful and humble grateful heart of this child of the King.  She knows she did not deserve the effort, but also that Her Heavenly father would Have it no other way.

Then the final vignette.  This vignette is in a chapel on a hill where a child who has given the Father a very difficult time realizes the err of their ways and repents and asks for the pardon the awful behavior.  In that, the Father gladly scoops up the child and forgives the child without a second thought.  It is a scene like the prodigal son with fine robes, fatted calves and celebration that lasts for days.  All are reunited, redeemed, and restored and the family of God walks in peace and unity…

The closing credits display three verses–Romans 5:8, 2 Chronicles 7:14 and I John 1:9…

God Bless You


Who is this who comes from Edom,
    from the city of Bozrah,
    with his clothing stained red?
Who is this in royal robes,
    marching in his great strength?

“It is I, the Lord, announcing your salvation!
    It is I, the Lord, who has the power to save!”

Why are your clothes so red,
    as if you have been treading out grapes?

“I have been treading the winepress alone;
    no one was there to help me.
In my anger I have trampled my enemies
    as if they were grapes.
In my fury I have trampled my foes.
    Their blood has stained my clothes.
For the time has come for me to avenge my people,
    to ransom them from their oppressors.
I was amazed to see that no one intervened
    to help the oppressed.
So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm,
    and my wrath sustained me.
I crushed the nations in my anger
    and made them stagger and fall to the ground,
    spilling their blood upon the earth.”

Isaiah 41 Part 2–The Chosen Need Not Fear!

Isaiah is clear, God WILL uphold Israel.  No matter which enemy, no matter which age–Israel is still, and will always be, God’s chosen people.  Additionally, those who are in relationship with God through faith in Christ are also God’s chosen.  Isaiah makes the pronouncement that the chosen of God need not fear–He will uphold and defend them and their name until the end of time.

There have been so many cultures and people groups that have sought to eradicate God and His chosen from the face of the earth.  They have persecuted, martyred, and sought to destroy all evidence of God’s existence and impact on men’s lives.  Yet, as of 2020, they have failed repeatedly.  Oh, make no mistake, every resource has been leveraged.  Every attempt has been made. Armies, legislatures, congresses, parliamentary bodies, judicial bodies, evil empires, and tyrannical regimes have, in succession done their part to wipe the planet clean of God and His people.

The Great news is they have all failed–because, as Isaiah so articulately explains, God has committed to our protection and provision.  God can raise and destroy empires in an instant–Ask the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines…Still, God calls His people to pray without ceasing.  He calls us to walk humbly and live holy lives.  He accepts us for who we are; but, calls us to become like Jesus.  In that process, though, He never abandons His beloved.  We must trust Him at His word. Walk as one that is bought with a price.

The world can continue to spew its hate and attempt to take God out of the picture, but, as has always been the case–the world will fail.  The created will never outsmart the creator. He has always been, is and will always be.  Conversely, those that would defeat the Lord are here for an instant and then disappear into obscurity.  We,God’s chosen, need to cling to His promise and walk in His way to enjoy the peace, protection, and provision He longs for us to enjoy.

God Bless You


But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
    and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
    I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
10 fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 Behold, all who are incensed against you
    shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
    shall be as nothing and shall perish.
12 You shall seek those who contend with you,
    but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
    shall be as nothing at all.
13 For I, the Lord your God,
    hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
    I am the one who helps you.”

14 Fear not, you worm Jacob,
    you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;
    your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
    new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
    and you shall make the hills like chaff;
16 you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away,
    and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the Lord;
    in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

Preparation is Key–Mark 1 part 1

The Gospels tell the story of salvation from many different perspectives.  Mark’s version is most famous because it seems to take the Jack Webb’s “Dragnet” approach.  The famous Dragnet line was always, “Just the facts ma’am.  Just the facts.”  And as you read Mark, that is what you get. 

God planned Jesus entrance from the dawn of time and knew that preparation was critical.  He sent John the Baptist ahead to lead the people of the time to a place of personal responsibility for their sin.  Once they saw their sin as personal they could begin to see their salvation as personal.  Once they saw their salvation as personal, they could see their relationship with God as personal and that is where Jesus comes in.

In our lives, we have the same issue even today.  It is easy to rely on our checklist for salvation.  We think if we are good enough, at church enough or at least not as bad as others, then we will be fine.  But as John told the Jews—we have to repent of our sin, turn and go the other way. Agree that we cannot earn our salvation by deed or promise; and simply accept that he sent Christ to redeem us from our sin and restore us to a right relationship with God.  God prepared for our redemption and his plan was flawless.  Help me Lord, to accept the plan you made and not try to do things my way.

God Bless You

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b] as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”[c]
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”[d]

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit.”

Ruth 2 part 2 Guardian Redeemer

 

Ruth had by “coincidence“ stumbled into the field of the family’s guardian redeemer—Levitical law said that if you have a relative that has fallen into hard times, as a close relative you were to assist them to get back and going again. What a concept—if a part of the family is struggling then pitch in and assist them in getting free. God directed Ruth to that person and he also directed Boaz to fill that role. God’s plan demonstrated and shows how he cares for each of his own.
Today, we as a family of believers are called to do the same. We are to pour our lives into those that are struggling to assist them in getting free. We, like Boaz, must be proactive in our generosity and assistance. There is nothing we have that cannot be gone in a blink of an eye. We, therefore must hold on loosely and share liberally. God will bless our generosity. He will make our accounts balance.

He says in Malachi—“Trust me, try me, prove me-says the Lord of Hosts; and see if a blessing—unmeasured blessing will not fall out on you!” We cannot out give God, and we cannot ever go wrong by taking on his character traits!
God Bless You
17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.[a] 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”
Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.
20 “The LORD bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.[b]”
21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’”
22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”