Isaiah 63

CLICK HERE to read Isaiah 63.

The Lord says that when Israel is restored and redeemed, everyone will know it and understand it.  This will prepare them to also receive the gospel, though opposition will also increase again with greater wickedness.  “It will finally become as evil as the degenerate debauchery which the people attained in the days of Noah, when the Lord felt compelled to destroy them in the Great Flood.  Jesus predicted the same degree of wickedness in this particular period of the latter days as that which existed just before the great flood (see Matthew 24:37-39; JSM 1:41-43)” (Skousen, p. 735).

It is in this context that the Savior will return from heaven, from “regions that are not known” (D&C 133:46-47) to declare Himself to be the Messiah King (verse 2).  His red robes will symbolize the atoning sacrifice He has made for us all (Genesis 49:10-11; D&C 133:48; 3 Nephi 18:8-11), a sacrifice which only He could do and no one could help Him or make it easier (verse 3).  But those who have rejected His sacrifice will be destroyed like those in the Flood, but this time by fire.  Since they have rejected His blood as meeting the demands of justice for their sins, then they must pay for their sins with their own blood (verse 3).  This has been the plan all along, and it has been announced through prophets so that all people know of it and there will be no excuses (verse 4).  No one can say that His sacrifice was not enough, or that there was another way, because the Lord Himself clarified that with the Father before He was ever put on the cross (Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42-43; Acts 4:10-12; and Matthew 26:42).

Because the Lord completed the work of the atonement, He has the authority and power to deliver both justice and mercy as is appropriate, based on what people have chosen for themselves (verse 6).   The Lord is good and full of mercy, but will not force mercy on those who do not want it (verse 7).  This was the plan since our premortal agreement, that He would provide the atonement and we would testify of it (verse 8)  The Lord also reminds them how He has cared for them as a people through so many experiences, including delivering them repeatedly (verse 9).  But when they will not turn to Him as a people, He has delivered the justice they have chosen (verse 10).  Yet even when the people are in captivity, the Lord is willing to deliver them if the people will choose Him (verse 11).  He consistently and repeatedly delivers them through Prophets (verse 12), and preserves them as long as they choose holiness (verse 13).  This is why He is called the Deliverer, because He has delivered; and the Redeemer, because He has redeemed; and the Savior because He has saved (verse 14).

Isaiah then acts as a type of Christ, advocating for the people (verse 15).  He calls the Lord’s attention to this pattern that the Lord Himself has just pointed out, and asks again for the people to be delivered by His great mercy which has been provided and offered.  He explains to the Lord (who knows already) that the other tribes have already been scattered and forgotten Judah, but tells the Lord that He knows even as bad as things are, He will not forget the covenants made to Abraham (verse 16).    He pleads with the Lord to send spiritual leaders to the people of Israel, that all the tribes may again be gathered unto Him as promised (verse 17).  He reminds the Lord that they have no temple, and so it is far more difficult for them to be empowered and enabled to be obedient as they are asked (verse 18).  He says those who have destroyed the temple have never been God’s holy people, and so have no right to be there – and so boldly asks for the holy people to be restored to His holy house (verse 19).

But that’s exactly how we boldly approach Heavenly Father’s presence, knowing we can because of the atonement and for good purpose as prompted by the Spirit.  When we are in Order this way, He will hear us and answer us.

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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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