Scripture reading – Isaiah 63; Isaiah 64

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In Isaiah 62, the prophet Isaiah urged the people to prepare for the LORD’s coming. He exhorted them to remove all obstacles that stood in the way and “lift up a standard” (a flag), implying they were ready to receive the LORD (Isaiah 62:10-11). Isaiah 63 continued that message with the Battle of Armageddon and the victorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ as the stage.

Isaiah 63

The LORD’s Garments Stained with the Blood of Israel’s Enemies (Isaiah 63:1-6)

Isaiah foretold Christ’s Second Coming, who was portrayed as a conquering warrior, in Isaiah 63:1. There we read, Who is this that cometh from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah? (Isaiah 63:1a) Representing Gentile nations aligned against Israel, Christ was seen coming from Edom and its capital Bozrah, with his garments stained with the blood of those nations. Coming in wrath against the sins of the nations, Isaiah described Christ “travelling in the greatness of his strength” so that He might save His people (Isaiah 63:1b).


Comparing the crushing of grapes in a winepress to the coming of Christ, it was observed that the LORD’s robe would be stained red with blood (Revelation 19:13) like a wine presser’s robe stained red with the juice of grapes (Isaiah 63:2-3). As the wine presser crushes grapes with his feet, the LORD promised He would crush the enemies of His people in his fury (Isaiah 63:3-6; Revelation 14:19, 20; 19:15).


The LORD’s Judgment and Redemption (Isaiah 63:7-9)

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” (Isaiah 63:7a). Despite all Israel suffered, some would come to realize the LORD was worthy of praise because of His love and compassion (Isaiah 63:7b). They would remember He chose them, saying, “Surely they are my people, Children that will not lie [i.e., break covenant]: So he was their Saviour” (Isaiah 63:8).

Of course, Israel broke their covenant with the LORD, but He pitied them when the people suffered afflictions because of their sins. He identified with their sorrows (Isaiah 63:9a). He loved them and promised to redeem them. Like a mother carrying her nursing infant, the LORD had compassion for His people (Isaiah 63:9).

The LORD’s Yearning for Israel to Repent

The LORD’s Yearning for Israel to Repent (Isaiah 63:10-14)

Israel’s history has been one of rebellion and grieving the Holy Spirit. The people made the LORD their enemy by their sins, and out of love, He “fought against [chastened] them” (Isaiah 63:10).

The LORD loved and cared for His people. He remembered leading Moses through the Red Sea and guiding Israel through the wilderness (Isaiah 63:10-13). He kept His promise and gave Israel rest in the promised land (Isaiah 63:14; Joshua 23:1).


A Cry for Deliverance (Isaiah 63:15-19) 

In their afflictions, Israel cried to the LORD for mercy and compassion (Isaiah 63:15). They remembered He was their Father and Redeemer, whose “name is from everlasting” (Isaiah 63:16).

Israel prayed for the LORD to return and come to the aid of His people (Isaiah 63:17b). They pleaded for Him to intervene and reminded Him how He had chosen them to be a holy people (Isaiah 63:18a). They reminded the LORD that their “adversaries [had] trodden down thy sanctuary [i.e., Temple]” (Isaiah 63:18b). Though alienated from God by their sins, the people reminded the LORD, “We are thine” (Isaiah 63:19).


Isaiah 64

Continuing our study of Isaiah, the prophet foretold God’s judgment of Judah and the imminent destruction of Jerusalem as though it was already fulfilled. Isaiah had confessed the sins of His people (Isaiah 63:17-19) and acknowledged their disobedience would bring judgment. In the immediate, Babylon would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. However, there was also a far-reaching implication of the prophecy that is still in the future.

Isaiah’s Prayer and Appeal for God to Display His Power

Isaiah’s Prayer and Appeal for God to Display His Power (Isaiah 64:1-5a)

The prophet longed for the day the LORD would come to His people as He did on Mount Sinai. There, He revealed His presence to Israel in thunder, lightning, and a thick cloud (Exodus 19:16-19). Isaiah prayed for the LORD’s vengeance on the enemies of Israel (Isaiah 64:2). He longed for God to display His power (Isaiah 64:3) and remind the people He was their Creator (Isaiah 64:4-5a).

Isaiah Confessed the Sins of His Nation (Isaiah 64:5b-7)

The prophet confessed the sins of Judah and all of Israel. He acknowledged the universality of man’s sin. That is, without exception, we are sinners by birth: “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses [our best attempt at keeping the law and commandments] are as filthy rags [bloody, soiled rags]” (Isaiah 64:6).

Isaiah observed the sinful hearts of the people and acknowledged that there was “none that calleth upon [the LORD’s] name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee” (Isaiah 64:7a). He conceded that the LORD, Who is Holy and will not look upon sin, had turned his face (his blessings and mercies) from the nation, and consumed His people because of their sins (Isaiah 64:7b).

A Call for Humility and Surrender (Isaiah 64:8)

Understanding the nation’s helpless, hopeless state, Isaiah confessed, “O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

Like clay yields to the hands and will of the potter for his purpose, we as believers should acknowledge that the LORD is sovereign and yield to His desire to fashion us according to His will (64:8b).

Closing thoughts

Isaiah’s prayer concluded with him reminding the LORD, “We are all thy people” (Isaiah 64:9b). He prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem (Isaiah 64:10). He foretold the Temple’s destruction by fire (Isaiah 64:11). Perhaps as a final plea for mercy before the Babylonian captivity, Isaiah prayed, “Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?” (Isaiah 64:12) 

I close today’s Bible study by being reminded and comforted by the apostle John’s assurance:

“If 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 © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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