Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There is a precious morsel of truth often overlooked in Isaiah 61 where we read that "the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good tidings to the meek."
Those good tidings include the blessed truth that God's time for vengeance is much shorter than His time for blessing: vengeance lasts for only a "day," whereas His blessings are immeasurably longer. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me," says Jesus; "because the Lord has anointed Me ... to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, [but only] the day of vengeance of our God" (Isa. 61:1, 2).
The time of God's "vengeance" is only 1/365th of the time of His blessing! Can you imagine such a fraction? Yes, there is a time when God must take "vengeance," and it is a frightful time for those who are not reconciled to Him; but the character of God is such that His "acceptance" is far greater than His "vengeance."
"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy" (Psalm 103:8). "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion" (111:4). His glorious character is beautifully unveiled in Jesus in His incarnation. Did He go around cursing people? No, Everywhere He went, He was only a blessing. He tells us, "That's what My Father is like!"
Finally, when wicked people could not stand His presence on earth and they crucified Him, in the midst of His physical and spiritual anguish He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing" (cf. Luke 23:34).
Let your alienated, worldly human heart be melted by beholding the Lamb of God!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 16, 2009.
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