Chapter 63 starts with some bold statements about the Lord and his vengeance. The wicked will be destroyed. Just like the destruction of squash bugs in the garden. In one evening, they are gathered together, thrown into the fire.
It is helpful for me to keep perspective in what this day of vengeance is and is not. My first read of these verse brought images to mind of mass destruction, total annihilation, absolute eradication of the wicked. And perhaps it may be such a visual scene. But knowing that death is not the end, and that there is more to our existence than this mortal probation, no one is being absolutely done away with forever. The words that Isaiah uses to describe the Lord’s vengeance have to do with more of a reset, a leveling effect, abasing the proud, and causing the wicked to reconsider the priorities of their approach. Granted, some may have to do that in the next life.
But this is not what we preach from the pulpits, thought there is ample evidence of day of vengeance at the end of times. What do we preach then? Verse 7 gives us the answer: “I will mention the lovingkindness of the Lord.”
In yesterday’s study, verses 1-6 were referenced in connection with the Second Coming.
In verse 8, the Lord states: “Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.”
The remainder of the chapter has reference to a people not the direct lineage of Abraham, but of others that would follow Christ and have the Father to be their God. These stand out from the traditional house of Israel because among them there is no compulsion. This is a people who voluntarily want the Lord to be their God. Verses 15 and 16, and verses 17-19 are both suggesting this same idea to me. For example:
Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not:Verse 16
We (Saints; outside the House of Israel direct lineage) are thine: thou( God the Father ) never barest rule over them( The blood lineage of the House of Israel ); they(the same blood lineage of the house of Israel) were not called by thy name.Verse 19