But now, O Lord, you are our father; We are the clay, and you our potter; And we all are the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
Vengeance and Redemption
Again these two themes are linked in an extended prophetic message. The garments of the redeemer will be stained with blood from the terrible judgments he metes out on the earth. But when the necessary judgments are past, it is God’s kindness and his mercy that will be celebrated.
Isaiah now returns to the perspective of an exiled Israel, suffering in the days of her rejection. Yearning for her Redeemer, Israel can look to history for evidence of God’s faithfulness through the ages. So Israel speaks with longing of the day God will come to release Israel from her current sufferings, even though he realizes that the sins of God’s people have led to her desolation and that judgment must preceded blessing.
Who led them by the right hand of Moses, With His glorious arm, Dividing the water before them To make for Himself an everlasting name, 63:12
God is not only moral governor of His universe. He is also a Father to His people. In His love and grace, the Lord will save those who appeal only to His mercy.
Key verse. 64:5 We do not deserve what God gives.
You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned– In these ways we continue; And we need to be saved. 64:5
Trampling out the vintage 63:1-6 Isaiah ‘s vision of the Messiah in bloody robes, trampling the nations as a farmer tramples grape to make wine, is the background for our Civil War’s most famous song, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Despite the complaints of those who cannot conceive of a God of love taking vengeance, the image of God’s Servant, the Messiah, putting down mankind’s rebellion to establish justice is fully in keeping with the OT’s revelation of the character of God. What should give us pause is not this vision of divine judgment, but our own insensitivity to the injustices God hates.
Vintage n. 1. The produce of the vine for the season. 2. The time of gathering the crop of grapes.