Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way: say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with a vengeance: with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. – Isaiah 35:4-7a
A child is molested. One group of people tries to annihilate another. Terrorists kill the innocent. Some question: Why doesn’t God step in … if there is a God? I can add to that. There are plenty of people who sin against God without fear of punishment. There are people who laugh at the idea of facing God’s judgment for their sins. Why doesn’t God step in?
Isaiah talks about God coming with “vengeance” and “divine retribution.” And the prophet says that the result of God’s coming with “divine retribution” is that “the lame leap like a deer,” “the eyes of the blind are open.” All kinds of good things happen. It sounds like a “happy” vengeance.
The coming of God is the happiest of all events because he comes to “save you.” God comes to tackle a sinful world – not by destroying it, but by saving it. The words of Isaiah the Old Testament prophet were fulfilled when Jesus came and died for the sins of the world. Jesus did the only thing to sin that really helps. He paid the penalty for it. He washed it away in his blood shed on the cross.
The whole world can rejoice because the promised Savior has come with vengeance to free us from the guilt of our sin. With eyes and ears opened to the good news of Jesus, we jump and shout for joy because his salvation gushes into our hearts with life-giving power and hope.
Prayer: Oh, Lord, our God, I thank you for coming to save this sinful world by offering yourself for me and the sins of the whole world. Help me to see your salvation and rejoice in it every day. Amen.