Scripture reading – Isaiah 63
Isaiah had exhorted the people to prepare for the coming of the LORD. They were to remove all obstacles that stood in the way, and “lift up a standard” (a flag) indicating they were ready to receive the LORD (62:10-11). Isaiah 63 continues that scene with the Battle of Armageddon as the setting, and the victorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The Second Coming of Christ is the subject of Isaiah 63:1, where we read, “1Who is this that cometh from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah?” (63:1a). The LORD was described as coming from Edom, a representation of the Gentile nations that will be aligned against Israel. “Bozrah,” meaning “grape gathering” was a fitting place for the setting of God’s judgment that is portrayed as a winepress (63:1).
Garments Stained with Blood (63:2-6)
Christ will come as Judge and King at a time the nations of the world will be gathered against Israel, and laying siege to Jerusalem. Coming in wrath against the sins of the nations, Isaiah described Christ as “travelling in the greatness of his strength,” that He might save His people (63:1b).
The question was proposed, “2Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?” (63:2). Comparing the crushing of grapes in a winepress, to the coming of Christ, it was observed that the LORD’s robe will be stained red with blood (Revelation 19:13), like a wine presser’s robe was stained red with the juice of grapes (62:2-3). As the wine presser crushes grapes with his feet, the LORD promised He would crush the enemies of His people (63:3-6; Revelation 14:19, 20; 19:15).
The Judgment and Redemption of Christ (63:7-14)
I believe God’s people are speaking in Isaiah 63:7, where we read, “I will mention the lovingkindnesses [love, mercy, and compassion] of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord” (63:7a). In spite of all Israel had suffered, they would realize the LORD was worthy of praise because of His love and compassion (63:7b). They would remember how the LORD had chosen them, saying, “Surely they are my people, Children that will not lie [i.e. break covenant]: So he was their Saviour” (63:8).
Of course, the people broke their covenant, but when they suffered afflictions because of their sins, the LORD pitied them, and identified with their sorrows (63:9a). He loved them, would redeem them, and like a mother carries her nursing infant, the LORD had compassion on His people (63:9).
The LORD Yearned for Israel to Repent (63:10-14)
The history of Israel has been one of rebellion, and grieving the Holy Spirit. By their sins, the people had made the LORD their enemy, and out of love He disciplined them (63:10).
Some of that nation remembered how the LORD had loved and cared for them as His people. He had given them Moses to lead them through the Red Sea, and the LORD had guided them through the wilderness (63:10-12). Keeping His promise, the LORD gave His people rest in their land (Joshua 23:1).
Closing thoughts – A Cry for Deliverance (63:15-19)
Isaiah then prayed the LORD would return and help His people (63:17b). He reminded the LORD, He had chosen Israel to be a holy people, and their enemies had destroyed the Temple (63:18, a future event). Though alienated from God by their sins, the people reminded the LORD, “We are thine” (63:19).
I close, being comforted by the assurance, “9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith