Rev. David Boisclair, pastor of Faith and Bethesda Lutheran Churches in North St. Louis County, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Isaiah 63.
After what seemed like a good ending for the whole book in the previous chapter, chapter 63 unexpectedly picks up with an oracle of judgment against Bozrah. Why talk about the Edomites when the Babylonians are the big problem? The poetry weaves together imagery of red blood and red wine, trampling grapes and trampling enemies.
Ultimately this chapter begins a desperate plea for mercy to be continued in the next chapter. God must rescue not because of any goodness in ourselves; our ancestors would disown us on account of our sin. Only by grace did Christ conquer the enemies of Judah, and only by grace will He judge our enemies at the end of the age.
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
The Lord‘s Day of Vengeance
63 Who is this who comes from Edom,
in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
2 Why is your apparel red,
and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone,
and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood[a] spattered on my garments,
and stained all my apparel.
4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and my year of redemption[b] had come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help;
I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
and my wrath upheld me.
6 I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
I made them drunk in my wrath,
and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
The Lord‘s Mercy Remembered
7 I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord,
the praises of the Lord,
according to all that the Lord has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel
that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
8 For he said, “Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely.”
And he became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction he was afflicted,[c]
and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
10 But they rebelled
and grieved his Holy Spirit;
therefore he turned to be their enemy,
and himself fought against them.
11 Then he remembered the days of old,
of Moses and his people.[d]
Where is he who brought them up out of the sea
with the shepherds of his flock?
Where is he who put in the midst of them
his Holy Spirit,
12 who caused his glorious arm
to go at the right hand of Moses,
who divided the waters before them
to make for himself an everlasting name,
13 who led them through the depths?
Like a horse in the desert,
they did not stumble.
14 Like livestock that go down into the valley,
the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest.
So you led your people,
to make for yourself a glorious name.
Prayer for Mercy
15 Look down from heaven and see,
from your holy and beautiful[e] habitation.
Where are your zeal and your might?
The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion
are held back from me.
16 For you are our Father,
though Abraham does not know us,
and Israel does not acknowledge us;
you, O Lord, are our Father,
our Redeemer from of old is your name.
17 O Lord, why do you make us wander from your ways
and harden our heart, so that we fear you not?
Return for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
18 Your holy people held possession for a little while;[f]
our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.
19 We have become like those over whom you have never ruled,
like those who are not called by your name.
- Isaiah 63:3 Or their juice; also verse 6
- Isaiah 63:4 Or the year of my redeemed
- Isaiah 63:9 Or he did not afflict
- Isaiah 63:11 Or Then his people remembered the days of old, of Moses
- Isaiah 63:15 Or holy and glorious
- Isaiah 63:18 Or They have dispossessed your holy people for a little while