Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has stumbled in the public squares,
and uprightness cannot enter.
Truth is lacking,
and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
The Lord saw it, and it displeased him
that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm brought him salvation,
and his righteousness upheld him.
He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
According to their deeds, so will he repay,
wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;
to the coastlands he will render repayment.
So they shall 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.
“And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord.
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.”
~ Isaiah 59:14-21
Yesterday we saw the character of God’s chosen One who was also set to suffer so that He might bring justice to all men. Today, in our last look at the Old Testament’s Messianic prophecies, we will take a look at God’s coming Redeemer.
Isaiah 59 is a chapter that begins with an emphasis on the wickedness of man.
Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear. ~ Isaiah 59:1-2
The sins of man have created this gigantic separation between God and man. God’s face is now hidden from a wicked people and man’s hands are soaked with the blood of their guilt. Man has earned God’s wrath and He has set Himself to give man what he has earned for His sin (v. 18). All men shall fear the quick and impending judgment of the Lord (v. 19).
Man has no hope in Himself – he has no uprightness, no truth and there isn’t a single man who can intercede for the people. Bu that is where God steps in to provide the only way of redemption for helpless man. Out of God’s holiness and justice comes the perfect One to bring both redemption and restoration. In justice, the Redeemer will put sin to death. In, restoration, He will make those who trust in Him a ransomed son.
And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.” ~ Romans 11:26-27
In making a new man, the Redeemer is sending out His redeemed children with a message to tell. It is a message centered on His gospel, glory and grace. It is one that is already inscribed on our hearts and that awaits faithful people to tell of the God who rescues wayward people.
The first portion of Isaiah that is rooted in God’s judgement is just as vital as the closing chapters detailing God’s glory and grace. Our response to the entirety of this text is to remind ourselves daily of our own fallen state. We deserve God’s wrath as much as any wicked nation or people deserve judgement.
Yet, God has providing His suffering Servant and Redeemer. To those who trust Him, He grants eternal life. In walking in the wonder of new life, we also tell of this mysterious grace. We need to have His words trailing off our lips everyday so that all may taste and see God’s goodness.
Until all the world knows, may we go and tell.
Take some time to meditate over a portion of Scripture that God has used in your life lately. Seek to memorize this Scripture and ask God for opportunities to share His word with others.