Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 14, 2017

“I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 63:1-6.

“Who is this who comes from Edom,
With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,
This One who is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?
“I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me.
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment.
“For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
And My year of redemption has come.
“I looked, and there was no one to help,
And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;
So My own arm brought salvation to Me,
And My wrath upheld Me.
“I trod down the peoples in My anger
And made them drunk in My wrath,
And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”   Isaiah 63:1-6.

———————— 

These shocking images force us to consider Who we think God is.

Is our god some type of Santa Claus who only shows lovingkindness?

Or, is our God “a victorious warrior”, the God of Scriptures, Who shows justice as well as lovingkindness? 

God exercises both lovingknindness and justice on earth and delights in both.

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

Lovingkindness and justice go hand in hand.

We live in a world full of enemies.  God could not show us lovingkindness and save us without first destroying our enemies and obtaining justice.

Also, consider that God also demonstrated His justice by sending His precious only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die on the cross, because through His Father’s will, Christ took on Himself the sins of God’s Elect.  If ever there was a time for God to refrain from justice, it was this time.  But, God perfectly demonstrated His justice by even sending Christ to the cross, because justice required punishment for those sins.

Consider how today’s Scripture and other Scripture speak both of vengeance and recompense (justice) and redemption and salvation (lovingkindness).

For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
And My year of redemption has come.
“I looked, and there was no one to help,
And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;
So My own arm brought salvation to Me,
And My wrath upheld Me.”  Verses 4-5.

15 Yes, truth is lacking;
And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
Now the Lord saw,
And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
16 And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing

And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.
18 According to their deeds, so He will repay,
Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies;
To the coastlands He will make recompense.
19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west
And His glory from the rising of the sun,
For He will come like a rushing stream
Which the wind of the Lord drives.
20 A Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.”  Isaiah 59:15-20.

“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”  Zephaniah 3:17.

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