March 23, 2016

Isaiah 63:1-19

Sometimes we put off reading the daily papers or watching television news because it seems like every day is frightening. Enemies want to do harm to Christians everywhere and we may wonder who is in control. Today's verses remind us God has a history of bringing judgment against his enemies.

Years ago, during grape harvesting, the Israelites took part in a time of celebration. They would place grapes into a large vat and crush them with their bare feet until juices ran into a lower vat. As they sang in celebration, they remembered how the Lord used to crush his foes.

This symbol reminded them of all God had done for them: delivering them from Egyptian slavery, parting the Red Sea, and taking them to the Promised Land. It was his loving-kindness that again made Isaiah comfortable enough to ask for pardon for rebelliousness. Like a wayward child, he went back to his knees before God.

Sometimes today we feel we have no hope of peace, neither world peace nor personal peace. If we will remember the One who led us in the past, if we will reach out to the One who knows us best and still loves us most, we will feel his strong arms. He will hold us as he says, "My peace I give to you." Then we can sing "It Is Well With My Soul."