I am surrendering all to my lord. My heart, my mind, my will? – My will? It is my will that is obstreperous, contrary – I need to bring it in line with Gods will – let Your will be done in my life as it is in heaven.
I have been singing “The anchor holds” – picture of a ship, sails torn, battered and sinking – being washed onto the rocks by the storm tossed sea. But there is an Anchor, the Lord is my anchor – I hold on to Him, but he is holding on to me with a grip which will never yield. The words of Romans 5:1,2, come to mind – “since you have been justified you have peace with God through Jesus Christ, through whom you have gained access, by faith into this grace in which we now stand”. The picture is of a safe harbour and a ship which was exposed to the storms of life, sailing into that harbour of Gods grace in Jesus, the water smooth because of Jesus‘s work on the cross. Psalm 46 says “be still and know that I am God“. It comes to me that it is not enough to know that Yahweh is God, but one must know him personally so that he can be my anchor, so that he can usher me into the peace of the harbour of His grace. I need His work every day in my life, because my will is demanding my way all the time and that will prevent me from experiencing that peace.
My head is dizzy from all the catastrophes that seem to be rolling in endlessly over our country and the world, especially in the last few years. I suppose we all hope that the worst is past, but looking back at history that is a vain hope. As I read Isaiah 63:1-6, a shiver passes over me. The same shiver I felt time and again when we studied Revelation together. Here we meet the Saviour again. The same Saviour, a suffering Saviour (63:9) who takes the goblet of God’s wrath out of Israel’s hand in 51:7b. And as we know from Luke, he drinks it on our behalf, in “vindication” (63:1b)
Stand back a bit. Look at the description of God’s wrath in 63:1-6. Allow it to sink in. “Crimson stained garments, red from the winepress (of His wrath), blood spattered garments and stained clothes. Nations crushed in His anger, drunk from His wrath He has poured out their blood on the ground.” Taste it, feel it. It is huge, it is frightening and yes, I know it will only be released fully at the end times, but is what we are experiencing now not just a fore-taste of it? The so-called “natural disasters” and wars. Notice the coupling of His “power to save” with this lurid description of His judgement. Notice also how Yahweh speaks in vv 3 – 5, stressing the fact that He alone has the power and mandate to pronounce His judgement.
If you read Revelation ch 14 you will see some of this language repeated there.
Do you really comprehend what waits for the unsaved and what we have been saved from? The pictures of war, floods, plague are simply that, mere pictures warning of the great judgement that is still going to come. Reading a passage like this should cause us to fall on the ground in thanksgiving that we have been saved. And rising, redouble our determination to share the “Good News” of the Gospel.
Thankfully we can read on in the next 8 vv about a compassionate God full of faithful love (Chesed). Here He speaks of His relationship with His people Israel, whom He saved again and again. However they rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit (Vs 10), so He became their enemy. Nevertheless, He relented and put His Spirit among His flock again. That is the God who sent His Son to drink the cup of His wrath on our behalf. And why? For His glorious Name’s sake. (V14.b).
“To make a glorious Name for Yourself”. The glory of God. A refrain repeated over and over. I cannot fully understand all this, but this is His priority and I am continually drawn to glorify Him and the Name which represents Him and who He is.