Daddy, someone told me yesterday that the first 40 chapters of Isaiah were all about your wrath, and that it wasn’t until chapter 41 that we see your mercy.  He seemed surprised when I answered him with my thoughts on the contrary.  Because Lord, I’ve begun to truly see your compassion and mercy in everything.  It’s like a mighty flood gate has opened and your love and mercy have poured out of it with POWER!  I’m seeing your love in everything!  Especially after hearing a sermon explaining how you define yourself from Exodus 34. God, your love really does endure forever.

You are “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” Exodus 34:6

So, when I was reading Isaiah this morning, and particularly reading in the early chapters that my friend had named chapters of your wrath, all I could see was your great mercy and love!  Wow!  In Isaiah Ch. 9-10 you pronounce the wrath that you will pour out on all things evil that have torn people away from the light and love of your faithfulness.  You promise that you will destroy all the things that have stolen people away from the peace and joy that You provide.  And you warn the people through Isaiah over and over and over:

“For all this anger had not turned away, and his hand is outstretched still.”

Every commentary I looked at said that  your outstretched hand is the hand that will smite the people.  But I just couldn’t make sense of that.  It seemed wrong to me, God.  And so I kept reading.  And sure enough, you showed me the truth.  After the warning of utter destruction you promise, comes your outstretched hand of MERCY.  In chapter 11 you announce that your judgement has a protection clause, and that protection of judgement will come in the form of Messiah Jesus!

“In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remains of his people”

Isaiah 11:11

You extend your hand of mercy!  You offer your hand for protection from selfishness and evil intent.  You are offer your hand to any who will take it.  Your judgement comes and

You will say in that day;
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
2 “Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4 And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Isaiah 12

Your outstretched hand is the hand of mercy and love.  Your hand is extended for all to find cover and protection from the destruction that awaits any who would rather stand on their own, apart from you.  You keep telling us that we cannot save ourselves when the destruction comes.  Only the one who made us can save us.  So, Lord, help people to see that your way is salvation, not destruction.  Your mercy and love will have their way and you will put an end to evil.

“He will raise a signal to the the nations”

You said that “He will raise a signal to the the nations” (Isaiah 11:12) so I’m asking you to burn that signal brighter, so that people will see your love and your offer of protection and be saved.

Amen.

(Sermon Link: What God says about Himself)

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