Seeing the Glory, Viewing the Dead

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 66 I am coming to gather all nations . . . and they . . . shall see my glory. (v. 18 NRSV) If ever the Bible surprises us, surely it is in the conclusion of Isaiah (v. 24). What a verse on which to end this glorious prophetic book—viewing the dead bodies of the wicked and noting their eternal fate! But Isaiah knew that part of our appreciation for our wonderful salvation is to keep in …

There's a Good Day Coming

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 65 I will not keep silent. . . . I will rejoice in Jerusalem. (vv. 6, 19) Whenever it looks as if the Lord is silent and inactive, say to yourself: But there’s a good day coming! What that means corresponds broadly to the two halves of this chapter: the Day will deal finally with all who have scorned the Lord and flouted his word (vv. 1-16), and it will see the creation of new heavens and …

Where Are You, God?

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 64 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down! (v. 1) If ever the Bible spoke to us in a down to earth way, it is in this chapter. Using his own terms, Isaiah addresses our situation. When he speaks of Zion in ruins and the Lord’s house burnt to the ground, isn’t it easy to transpose the description to the way the world triumphs over the church today? Even the biggest churches reach only …

The Past Speaks to the Present

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 63:7-19 Return for the sake of your servants. (v. 17) As Isaiah looked into the future he saw his people in dire need: very aware of their own shortcomings and of the triumphing of their opponents. Their despondency was deepened by the sense that the Lord was doing nothing. Don’t leap to criticize them. It’s not unusual to feel like that. After all, the world around us could do with a lot more plain evidence of God …

The Grimness and the Glory

Alec Motyer

READ : a:1:{i:0;a:1:{i:1;s:23:”Isaiah 62:1–63:6″;}} The day of vengeance . . . the year for my redeeming work. (63:4 NRSV) Wouldn’t it be nice if it were not so—if there were no wrath, no judgment, no eternal loss? No hell, only heaven! Wouldn’t it be comfortable if words like vengeance could disappear from our Bibles? But it cannot be. Isaiah draws the contrast: for Zion there is the glory of eternal salvation (62:1); for Edom only the crushing experience of wrath …

Transforming Lord, Divine Savior

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 61:1-11 The Lord has anointed me . . . to bind up the brokenhearted . . . he has clothed me with the garments of salvation. (vv. 1-2, 10) Isaiah 61 is the passage Jesus chose to open his public ministry, reading it in the synagogue of Nazareth and applying it to himself (Luke 4:18-19). He has been anointed with the Lord’s Spirit specifically to transform our lives: to bind up our brokenness, free us from bondages, …