God’s Saving Word: Joy
Isaiah 63:1–14: Today’s reading describes how the LORD will bless his people and take revenge on those nations that refuse to worship him. In response to the questions posed in verses 1 and 2, the LORD explains that his garments are red because he took vengeance on Israel’s enemies. The reading concludes with an affirmation of the LORD’s goodness to Israel.
The Lord’s Victory over the Nations
63 “Who is this coming from the city of Bozrah in Edom? Who is this so splendidly dressed in red, marching along[a] in power and strength?”
It is the Lord, powerful to save, coming to announce his victory.
2 “Why is his clothing so red, like that of someone who tramples grapes to make wine?”
3 The Lord answers, “I have trampled the nations like grapes, and no one came to help me. I trampled them in my anger, and their blood has stained all my clothing. 4 I decided that the time to save my people had come; it was time to punish their enemies. 5 I was amazed when I looked and saw that there was no one to help me. But my anger made me strong, and I won the victory myself. 6 In my anger I trampled whole nations and shattered them. I poured out their lifeblood on the ground.”
The Lord’s Goodness to Israel
7 I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love;
I praise him for all he has done for us.
He has richly blessed the people of Israel
because of his mercy and constant love.
8 The Lord said, “They are my people; they will not deceive me.” And so he saved them 9 from all their suffering. It was not an angel, but the Lord himself who saved them. In his love and compassion he rescued them. He had always taken care of them in the past, 10 but they rebelled against him and made his holy spirit sad. So the Lord became their enemy and fought against them.
11 But then they[b] remembered the past, the days of Moses, the servant of the Lord, and they asked, “Where now is the Lord, who saved the leaders of his people from the sea? Where is the Lord, who gave his spirit to Moses? 12-13 Where is the Lord, who by his power did great things through Moses, dividing the waters of the sea and leading his people through the deep water, to win everlasting fame for himself?”
Led by the Lord, they were as sure-footed as wild horses, and never stumbled. 14 As cattle are led into a fertile valley, so the Lord gave his people rest. He led his people and brought honor to his name.
Today’s Key Verse: Isaiah 63:7a
I will tell of the LORD’s unfailing love; I praise him for all he has done for us.
Verse 1 mentions Bozrah, the main city in Edom, a nation that symbolized the evil enemies of Israel. When evildoers are punished by God, they are said to “have drunk the cup of punishment” (Isaiah 51:17). How is God’s victory over Israel’s enemies described (verses 3–6)? Reread verses 7–14. What redemptive acts are recalled? When have you experienced acts of God’s redemption in your life?
Compassionate God, I thank you for your mercy and for your unfailing and constant love, and I praise you for your mighty deeds and all that you have done. By your power, fill me with your Holy Spirit. May all I say and do this day bring honor to your holy name. Amen.
And now, join us in prayer for those in Liberia who can’t afford a Bible of their own. Loving God, for believers in Liberia, a lack of Bibles can make it difficult to share the Gospel with others, depriving them of the hope of Scripture. But thanks to Bible-A-Month Partners, people in Liberia are receiving life-changing print and audio Bibles. Many are coming to Bible listening groups and gaining and sustaining a new faith and learning to rely on you, Lord God. We praise you, gracious God, that, thanks to the generosity of Bible-A-Month Partners, your Word is transforming lives and communities in Liberia. Amen.
Isaiah 65:17–25: A new creation is described.