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63. God's Day of Vengeance and Redemption

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

7I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. 8For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. 9In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

10But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. 11Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him? 12That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? 13That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? 14As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.

15Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained? 16Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

17O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. 18The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. 19We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.

19. We have been of old. The words of the Prophet admit of two meanings. Some view this passage in such a light as if the people argued with God on this ground, that they were elected at that time when the rest of the nations were rejected, and that this covenant was ratified “from of old,” that is, for a long period. Another meaning, which I prefer, is this, that the people argue with God, and complain that they seem as if they did not differ at all from unbelievers; that is, because they receive from him no assistance or relief in adversity, which is unreasonable and improper. This statement is remarkable and worthy of notice; for, whenever we are oppressed beyond measure with adversity, we are permitted to complain to God, and to represent to him our calling, that he may render assistance, and shew how wide a difference there is between us and strangers.

On whom thy name hath not been called. This is of the same import with what goes before; for it means that the calling of God must not be made void. And indeed the Lord does not wish that we should call upon him in vain; for prayers would be unprofitable and useless, if the Lord took no care of us. Now, the Church is distinguished by this mark, that “his name is called upon her.” Unbelievers cannot call upon him; for there is no access to him but through the word, of which they have no knowledge; and therefore, wherever there is faith, there is also calling on him; and if there be no faith, it is certain that there is no hope or confidence.


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