I can get the drift of Isaiah 63.
It starts talking of God’s judgement. Dramatically he appears from Edom, a neighbouring country in clothes red with blood which he compares to trampling the grapes in a wine press.
It’s a grisly image, jarring after 3 glorious chapters about his love and salvation. But it’s making the point that God alone can judge the world.
And it is quick to make the point that there is much more to it than judgement. God reminds us in his self description that he is “mighty to save”. He has a day of vengence but a year of Jubilee.
Then there are passages remembering his mercy and promises in the past, and praying for his forgiveness and salvation now. The author goes so far as to blame God for his sin, wondering why God made us capable of rejecting him.
It’s a huge cry of pain. It’s a message to those of his chosen people either facing ruin, as their enemies grow stronger, or feeling bereft in exile having been defeated. People full of fear and anger.
And it’s urging them, shocking them even, into staying the course with God. Channel your fear into anticipating God’s peace. Channel your betrayal into trusting God’s justice.
To tell the truth I’m feeling a bit of betrayal and fear this week having lost my job. It’s tempting to let gloomy feelings about my situation blur into sadness over my children and aspects of the world in general.
I’m tempted to escape into achievable activities, or laziness, variations of putting my head in the sand. Or full on self pity, that advances my situation not a jot.
I need to trust God and act sensibly to remedy the situation.
Pray I will stay the course with God.