Blog #39, for November 15, 2018
God, in his mercy, rescued me from the mess I got myself into, back in 1981. Therefore mercy is my focus in this long blog series. I learned a lot about God’s mercy from the book of Isaiah. But first I saw I deserved the Lord’s wrath because of my disobedience. Since I’d gone outside his will, I was afraid it was hopeless to get out of that pit, hopeless ever to fulfill the purpose for which I was born. I said, like Isaiah, “Woe is me! For I am lost!’” (Isaiah 6:5, RSV). I repented and sought to hear from the Lord.
Then Isaiah 42:22 gripped my heart: “But this is a people robbed and plundered, they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become a prey with none to rescue, a spoil with none to say, “Restore!”(RSV).
Maybe God understands how I feel, I thought, and cares how desperate is my situation. As I continued reading in Isaiah, I saw God’s mercy more clearly. When, in my mind’s eye, I saw Jesus weeping for me, I became convinced he cares how much I hurt and wanted me to reach out for his rescuing hand. I began to hope: He wants to rescue me and forgive me! He loves me!
Thinking of others who are “robbed and plundered,” I imagine this vignette:
“Look at my Son!
Look at my Son,” the Father’s urgent voice pleads.
“Why should I look at your son?” yells the man in the pit,
his eyes blazing and his fists clenched. “… so I can see how
shameful I am in comparison?… so I can admire
your pure, sinless specimen of humanity?”
“You think you’re so smart. All you care about is how great he is!
You don’t even care that I’m rotting down here!”
As he hears this, the Father’s eyes brim with tears
and his voice trembles as he replies,
“No, you misunderstand. I want you to look at my Son so you can see
his nail-pierced hand is reaching out to rescue you from the pit.
I want you to look at my Son because I love you.
He is your only hope!”
Since Jesus defeated Satan, Satan has no legal right to keep us captive. All believers in the resurrected Jesus Christ, by receiving Christ, are adopted by Almighty God, (See John 1:12).
God fulfilled his promise for me. In spite of my rebellion and blindness, God never forsook me. He faithfully led me through my wilderness and guided me until he could turn my darkness into light and make my paths smooth again.
Father, I praise you for your stretched-out hand of mercy, giving us hope. Thank you for your messages of mercy through Isaiah. Thank you, Jesus, for faithfully carrying out your role as the Suffering Servant who died to rescue us. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for making these truths clear to us. We praise you Holy, Triune God. Amen.
—Judith Vander Wege