Isaiah 61-63
(Mighty to Save)
August 1st

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

Who is this coming from Edom,
    from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?
Who is this, robed in splendor,
    striding forward in the greatness of his strength?

“It is I, proclaiming victory,
    mighty to save.”

- Isaiah 63:1 (NIV)

Summary of Chapters

This set of chapters continues the final section of Isaiah, which describes the coming of the "Glory of God." Chapter 61 describes one on whom the Spirit of the LORD has descended. This person says that he will bring hope by "preach(ing) the good news to the poor (61:1 NIV)," curing the broken-hearted, and freeing captives. He also describes how the people will rebuild Jerusalem, the vineyards will be restored, and the foreigners will serve them instead of the other way around.

In chapter 62 the prophet records the LORD promising to restore and protect Jerusalem "Never again will I open your grain-filled barns to your enemies to loot and eat. Never again will foreigners drink the wine that you worked so hard to produce. (62:8 MSG)." The prophet concludes the chapter by saying that the Jerusalem will have a new name:

Chapter 63 describes "God’s Day of Vengeance and Redemption." In the beginning verse, the prophet asks who it is that approaches "with his garments stained crimson (Is 63:1 - NIV)" and the LORD answers " 'It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save (Is 63:1 - NIV).' "

The LORD describes how he has trod the winepress alone as a symbol for his single-handed destruction of other nations: "I trampled them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments and I stained all my clothing (63:3 - NIV)."

The second part of this chapter speaks of redemption. In it, the prophet recalls the kindness of the LORD and the ways he has saved them, including the parting of the Red Sea to allow Moses and his people to safely escape Pharaoh's army. Near the end of the chapter, the prophet calls on the LORD on behalf of the people:

They ask the LORD to return to them because they had possessed the Holy Place for only a short while, yet they are God’s people and the others are not.

Reflection and Application

Some commentators state that chapter 61 was speaking of Jesus, others suggest it might be someone else. In either case we know that Jesus did come and fulfill these words, as he preached to those who were poor in spirit, encouraged the broken-hearted, and freed us from captivity of sin.

What does it mean in verse 63:1 when God says he is "mighty to save?" We can reflect on the meaning by looking at an interpretation in the song, "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong Australia

Our Mighty God can intervene at any time to protect us or trod on our enemies, God can help us conquer any obstacle if we turn to him and ask him to travel with us through our troubles. He is willing to dirty his garments to save us, as he showed by sending his son to suffer and die on the cross for us. We will see the image of God trodding the vineyards once again in the last few days of our study, when we will be reading the book of Revelation.

There is a song that goes with this verse also. Maybe we will look at that on a later date. Meanwhile, the truth keeps marching on.

The end of chapter 63 presents an intriguing prayer from the people. Is it acceptable to blame God for our wandering? This is a question worth wondering about. God wants us to accept responsibility and take action. Perhaps this verse is a true reflection of the people’s feelings at the time, but is not necessarily an endorsable approach. God does want us to be honest with our feelings and encourages communication, but if we blame him for all our transgressions than we will never grow in our faith.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

Related Questions
  1. What recent experiences have you had where you were lost? For example, perhaps you were driving to a new town or a new neighborhood. How did you feel when you were lost and how did you feel when you finally got back on track?
  2. To what extent can we blame God for being physically or spiritually lost?
  3. What is the mountain that you would like God to move for you today? Have you asked him yet?

Recommended Prayer
Father in heaven, we know that you are mighty to save and reserve your wrath only for those who stubbornly resist you. Help us to accept your saving Grace.

Suggested Prayer Concerns
Christian Musicians in churches and in arenas

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow's reading: Isaiah 64-66 (A New Heaven and Earth)

Comments and Questions
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