Nov. 19. The Promise of Salvation

Is. 61:1-64:12

Isaiah’s prophecy became more direct toward the coming Messiah. The Messiah’s mission was presented as words of encouragement for the poor and downtrodden. Rebuilding of Jerusalem from the destruction of the Babylonians was a picture of the blessings from the Christ as He rebuilds the ruins of sinful man. The joys of salvation are cause for rejoicing to the saved as they go forth bearing their fruit.

A contrast between the hardships of the rebuilding nation of Israel and the blessings that would be afforded by the Messiah was presented by the prophet. Those who faithfully serve the Lord will have a full life compared to those who hold on to the old life of sin. As the relationship between God and His people changed, He often would give them a new name as with Abram to Abraham and Jacob to Israel. Isaiah stated that in the future, they would be given a new name that the Lord would name. In the early existence of the Lord’s church, He gave His followers the name Christian.

Isaiah used highly figurative language to describe the Savior’s battle against evil represented by Edom, Israel’s ancient and bitter enemy. He was pictured as having the blood of sinners like grape stains from the winepress upon His garments. Only He was able to atone for their sins with His own blood.

Israel was chosen many years earlier to be God’s people. Many times, their faithfulness to Him wavered as they turned from Him and fell into the various sins of the day. He in response, turned His back as an enemy upon Israel. As they would repent and return to Him, He in His mercy would receive them back into His arms.

It is easy to blame God for our weaknesses and ask, “Why have You made us stray from Your ways, and hardened our heart from Your fear?” He could keep us from sinning, but that is not His plan. He has given us the freedom to serve Him or Satan. However, man has an inner being that longs for peace from God and salvation from his sins as seen in their plea upon returning to the destroyed Jerusalem.