Blog #55 for January 29, 2019
Back from the future in chapters 60-62 to the present in chapter 63, Isaiah talks about God as a warrior ready to defeat sin. Those who allow him to make them righteous will be his true servants to call the nations to worship the righteous God. Redemption and continued sin cannot coexist. Therefore the sin must be destroyed before the person can be free. The picture in verses 1-6 is not pleasant. Neither is the New Testament picture ofthe crucifixion. However, on the cross, Jesus defeated sin. “What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may abound? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Rom. 6:1-2, NIV). Also see, Eph.4: 25-32, and 5:1-21. Isaiah then returns to a discussion of the human inability to live righteously. In God’s love and pity he redeemed them and lifted them up and carried them through all the years. But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit, (Isa. 63:8-10, LB). Grieving the Holy Spirit causes him sorrow. Can you grieve someone who does not love you? You might anger them or make them want to stay away from you, but grieving indicates relationship, actual or desired. Here is where the gospel becomes clear as such an amazing grace. Even if we, who were once walking closely with the Lord, have “dragged his name in the mud” by our rebellion and wrong choices, God still desires our fellowship. He loves us and calls us back. His Spirit is grieved not only because of what we were doing, but also because of how we are hurting inside. He loves us and knows that the only way for us to have joy and peace is for our sins to be forgiven and washed away. He wants us to have the joy of living righteous lives through the power of his Holy Spirit. In a song called “Through the Valley,” I attempted to give a testimony of how God had worked in my life. After my wrong choices, loneliness, depression, and grieving, I finally cried out to God and “sought him in his Word.” When I learned to cling to Jesus and trust him to set me free, in essence allowing him back on the throne of my heart, then I could praise him and grow into the joy of his salvation. Jesus had not abandoned me, but rather was always with me, even in my valleys. (See also Matt. 28:20). Holy Spirit, thank you for wanting us to be forgiven and have joy and peace. I praise you for giving me the joy of salvation, and for being always with me. I love having fellowship with you. Amen.