RSS

Tag Archives: wrath

Is. 66:1-4

7/1/13 V. 1, In Rev 4:2 and 20:11 John saw God sitting on his throne in heaven as king and judge of all. God is so exalted that the entire created universe isn’t enough to contain him. So for human beings to imagine that we could ever make a place worthy of him is ridiculous.

V. 2, Everything that exists does so because God created it by his own power. And even though God did give us directions for building him a house and rituals for worshiping him, what he is actually looking for are not the house and the rituals. He is looking for humility and submission and respect for his word.

V. 3, Those who participate in the rituals of worship without humility, submission, and respect are actually being sacrilegious. To kill an ox for sacrifice when our hearts are disloyal to God is like murder. For the insincere to sacrifice a lamb is as much an insult to God as sacrificing a dog. For the impenitent to offer God a gift is a desecration to his temple. Why? Because rather than choosing God’s ways, the wicked, even while purporting to be loyal to God, in fact choose their own ways. Their delight isn’t in the Lord it’s in their own abominations.

V. 4, Therefore, since they have chosen their own ways God will choose for them their punishment. The very things they dread God will bring upon them. God has called but they refused to answer or even listen, choosing instead to do evil and everything displeasing to the Lord. This is the picture we see in Rev 3:20 where God is standing at the door knocking. If we will listen he will come in.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 65:11-14

6/27/13 V. 11, But some will not accept the rest that God offers. Some forsake the Lord and forget his holy mountain, which is a figure of speech for the dwelling place of God. Is it possible, too, that there could be an allusion to Mt. Sinai and, therefore, the Ten Commandments? The idea of forsaking the Lord by being disobedient to his commands is entirely consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Those who rebel against God are also pictured here as setting a table for “Gad” and serving wine to “Meni.” YLT keeps the Hebrew usage in translation, KJV translates the words as troop and number, while the NKJV has reverted to the original Hebrew words. Others like NIV, ESV, NASB, and NET translate them as Fortune and Destiny. The Septuagint uses devil and Fortune.

The meaning is clear enough. Those who forsake the Lord are relying on chance.

V. 12, But chance will have nothing to do with the outcome of their lives. Just as God has predestined everyone to be conformed to the image of God and be saved (Rom 8:29-30), those who choose not to avail themselves of so great a salvation will receive a new destiny. God will destine them for death and destruction.

And everyone who comes to this point will be without excuse for God has called but they refused to answer. They refused to listen to him and instead chose to do evil and live in ways displeasing to God.

V. 13-14, God makes a distinction between those who remain loyal to him and those are disloyal. In the end God’s faithful people will eat, drink, rejoice, and shout with joy, while the unfaithful will hunger, thirst, be shamed, and wail. Even when things are difficult and physical food and water and joy are in short supply for God’s people, spiritually speaking we will be filled with “food that you know not of” and filled with joy in the Lord.

Physically speaking, too, God always cares for his people. That doesn’t mean we don’t have wants. Jesus himself experienced hunger and thirst. But ultimately God will take care of our needs.

At the end of time, Revelation presents the scenario of apostate Christianity, in league with the nations of the world, attempting to force its system of worship upon everyone. God’s people resist and they are persecuted and killed for their trouble. They experience hunger and thirst and suffering and mourning. But then the plagues are poured out by God and the tables are reversed. Then it is the wicked who “gnaw their tongues in agony” (Rev 16:10), and who will mourn and cry “Woe!” (Rev 18).

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 65:7-10

6/26/13 V. 7, Because her sins are so many and because they have persisted in them for so long, God will eventually judge her. The sin of bold unfaithfulness to the Lord by following after other gods and blaspheming him is the theme of many OT prophets. The actions of the little horn power in Dan 7:25 and beast in Rev 13:1 and 16:11 are both cross-referenced with this verse.

V. 8, However, not all among apostate Israel have followed after other gods. Among the grape harvest (Rev 14:18-19) there are some good, which God will separate out. He will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. God, who is able to read the heart, will divide the good from the bad, as in Jesus’ parable of separating the good fish from the bad in the net and separating the sheep from the goats. In Mt 24:22 Jesus, speaking of the time of Jacob’s trouble, says that he will cut short those days for the sake of the elect.

V. 9-10, As always, God will have a remnant people that he shall bring through the trials and difficulties. His purpose is to bring from humanity a people whom he will call his own children as heirs to his kingdom. That means that God plans for us to inherit the place he has promised us, which, as we have seen before, is heaven itself. We will dwell with God (Rev 21:3) and rule with him (Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6) and we and the whole universe will have rest.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 65:5-6

6/25/13 V. 5, Then we have the arrogance to say to others and perhaps even to God himself to keep away because I am holier than you. Even paganism has its “holy” men whom others fear because of their witch-doctor powers. Evidently, having gone through some pagan rites, they felt themselves holy.

The LXX renders this, “Depart from me, draw not nigh to me, for I am pure.” This changes the tone to more of a rejection of God himself, saying essentially, “I don’t need you for purification. I’m good enough on my own.”

Young’s Literal Translation renders it, “For I have declared thee unholy,” which sounds more like they are declaring God or someone else unholy. Other translations use the word qedashti correctly, but YLT still captures the essence of the situation because to tell someone else that I am holier than you at the same time declares them unholy.

Those who do and say such things, God says, are like a fire that burns all day sending smoke into his nose. That’s an apt description. God’s reaction to such people is immediate and searing to his holy character. He must distance himself from them just as someone standing in smoke has to get out of the smoke in order to breathe.

The high priest of Israel has written on his forehead “Holiness to God.” In Revelation 17 the woman riding the scarlet beast is acting the part of a priest and on her forehead is written “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” It becomes clear in the story that this woman is claiming holiness and is pitting herself against God himself. In the end, she will be burned and the smoke of her torment will rise forever.

Also connect is Rev 2:20 where the woman Jezebel calls herself a prophetess, yet leads God’s people into sexual immorality and eating unclean foods. This ties in with the next verse.

V. 6, All these things are written before God in the books of heaven (Rev 20:12). And God promises that he will not keep silent about this situation. He will repay this people for the evil deeds they are committing. This is the same promise made to Jezebel and everyone who joins with her in Rev 2:23.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 63:7-10

6/17/13 V. 7, Now Isaiah becomes the speaker, responding to God in praise on behalf of the redeemed as we will do on the day of our salvation (e.g. Rev 14:3).

The form of praise is the recounting of the mighty acts of God on our behalf, which demonstrates the depths of his love for us. He has compassion and long suffering toward us.

V. 8, He has claimed us as his own people, sons even, who will not rebel against him. He believes this of us in spite of our rebellion. Therefore, he was willing to become our Savior. He could see a different future for us.

V. 9, His compassion and love is so great that he became a human being and came to join us in our suffering, going even so far as to shed his blood for us (Rev 1:5, 5:9). And because of his love and mercy he redeemed us, ransomed us, lifted us up out of the pit of sin and carried us through this entire time of sin (e.g. Rev 12:14).

V. 10, Incredibly, we were so ungrateful, so blind, so ignorant, so rebellious, that we grieved away his Holy Spirit. So he turned away from us and fought against us. Not that he ceased loving us, as the next verse shows, but because he will not force himself on anyone who rejects him. He allows us to have our own way, which he knows will bring disaster upon us.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 63:4-6

6/15/13 V. 4, This day of vengeance is in God’s heart. That is not to say that because it’s in his heart that it’s something he enjoys, but rather it’s in his plans. And the reason is because of his people who are being persecuted and killed due to their loyalty to him. In Rev 6:9-10 they cry out to him for justice, asking how long he is going to wait before he avenges their blood. That judgment is promised to his people in Rev 18:20 and one of several examples of God’s vengeance is found in Rev 11:13.

In Isaiah’s poetic parallelism the day of vengeance is also the year of God’s redemption. Judgment happens at the same time as salvation. On a side note, we can see the day for a year principle at work here.

V. 5, This reminds us of Rev 5 where a search was made for someone worthy to open the scroll of judgment. That there was no one to help and support is shocking to God. That God can be shocked is, of course, a figure of speech. And because no one was found with the authority to exact judgment upon the wicked, God himself does it.

V. 6, The harvest as judgment is a common theme in biblical eschatology. The reason for the comparison, evidently, is because of the redness of the grapes compared to the redness of blood.

The symbolism involved in the wine presses, sickles, grapes, and wine is, at least for me, difficult to get to the bottom of. Not that the idea is unclear. It’s quite clear. But there’s a depth to the imagery that merits deeper study.

In Rev 14:10 God causes the wicked to drink of the wine of his wrath, which turns out to be judgment by fire. Because they poured out the blood of the saints God will give the wicked blood to drink (Rev 16:6-19). And because of their insistence upon their wickedness, symbolized by drinking the wine of immorality in Rev 18:3, God gives them his wine of judgment.

It sounds like what God is doing is allowing them to experience the full, unmitigated results of their choices. If we give the grapes of wrath to others that’s what we will receive ourselves.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is. 63:1-3

6/15/13 V. 1, Rev 19:13-15 relies heavily on this chapter of Isaiah. If we want to understand why Jesus is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, here we find the explanation. This is a conversation, of sorts, with Jesus. Not that it’s to be a literal conversation, but it’s an effective literary device.

The question is asked, somewhat rhetorically, who it is that’s coming from Bozrah, the capital of Edom. Edom means red, which is likely Isaiah used for that reason. The picture is of Christ returning from judgment on the wicked and salvation of the righteous (Rev 11:17-18).

He is returning as a conquerer, dressed in majesty, marching in his strength. And he answers the question that it is he, the one who speaks in righteousness and is mighty to save. His purpose for what he has done, which will be explained, is to set things back to right again and to save his faithful people.

V. 2, The next question asked of Jesus is why he is dressed in red. He looks like he just came out of a wine press where he has been tramping down grapes.

V. 3, He replies that yes that is exactly what he was doing and he did it alone. No one has the authority to exact vengeance except him. But he does have that authority and so in his wrath he punished the wicked (Rev 14:19-20). In so doing he stained his clothes with their blood. In other words, this strange act (Is 28:21) is something that will reflect upon him.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,