DECLARE the ‘WONDERFUL’ ATTRIBUTES of our SAVIOR-GOD
August 5 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 61-63
"I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, 'Surely they are My people, children who will not lie.' So He became their Savior. In 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 bore them and carried them all the days of old." (Isaiah 63:7-9)
The above verses contain a sermon-prayer by prophet Isaiah for the restoration of the nation of Israel along with God’s protection for the faithful remnant, the servants of God. In doing so, he proclaims the saving mercies of God (see Ps. 51:13–15; 77:12; 89:1). It is possible that Isaiah had in mind God’s redemption of Israel from Egypt when the people were in distress (Exo. 2:23–25) and when God had sent “the Angel of His Presence” to deliver them from their distress (Exo. 12:1–30). Thus, Isaiah ruminated over the great deeds of God in the past for which He deserved to be praised by His people!
The above prayer of Isaiah contained three elements: thanksgiving, confession, and intercession. Isaiah was willing to celebrate and declare the greatness of God before others, and he recalls four wonderful attributes of God that are listed below:
- God’s “lovingkindnesses”: This refers to the past kindness that God had displayed through His mighty acts. The psalmist asks God to show this attribute in his life through this verse: "Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them." (Psalms 17:7)
- God’s “goodness”: This refers to the great and beneficent goodwill that God had extended to the children of Israel in the past. The psalmist declares about the goodness of God in this manner: "Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!" (Psalms 31:19)
- God’s “mercies”: This refers to His sympathizing tenderness towards His people. The psalmist speaks about this attribute of God in very lavish terms: "The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works." (Psalms 145:9)
- God’s “love”: This refers to God’s amazing love that has enabled Him to redeem and sustain the children of Israel. Isaiah declares this matter in his prayer: “in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old" (v. 9). The Apostle John has emphasized this attribute as being the very essence of God when he stated that "love is of God...God is love" (1 John 4:7-8).
Let us understand that the way that God has dealt with His sinful people is rooted in His grace, His deepest sympathy and His inherent goodness. As a mother carefully carries and cares for her children, so did God both carry and care for His people so far, including us. Not only that, Jesus had redeemed us by paying the price of His own blood on the cross of Calvary. This redemption is rooted in His love and His forgiving gentleness toward us. So, like Isaiah, let us declare the wonderful attributes of our Savior-God and join with the psalmist in praising God today!