Reading through Isaiah the past few days has raised many questions for me. I was struck by the harsh judgement that Judah and Jerusalem received from God. How could this be the same gracious and loving God from the New Testament?
After nearly four chapters of judgement, woes, and promises of lament to come, Isaiah 4:3-4 says, “And He who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy…when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodlines of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment.” Reading this blew me away. This judgement is actually leading towards something: holiness! He promises to wash all of the filth away. The one who is holy now calls his people holy.
These passages have revealed to me more about God’s character than I could imagine. Our God is a God who cares for justice and will rightfully judge all evil and wrong. But, he is a provider; even in the midst of judgement. God provides shelter and cares for His people,“There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” (Is. 4:6)
As I reflect on what I’ve been learning and as I ask God to search and know me, I’m gaining a deeper conviction of my own sin. However, the truth that ultimately Jesus cleanses and washes away my iniquity, has at the same time sunk deeper into my soul. The spirit of judgement has been sealed by death on the cross and a risen King Jesus. Although God’s people deserved destruction upon them, ultimately they were cleansed and healed. In the same way, we rightly deserved death on a cross but have received a servant King who wants to give us the Kingdom.
Jesus my sole foundation, Jesus my one delight
Oh lead this generation, Into Your wondrous Light