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God's Glorious Arm

Is 59:15b-16 God's arm gets the job done (cf., 51:9-11).

Is 59:15b-20 What is the prophet talking about? Compare 15-16 with Jer 5:1.

Jeremiah describes a problem that has doomed Judah to Babylonian captivity.

Isaiah recalls this event and reports that there is a similar need for God's saving arm.

Jim McGuiggan sees this perspective of Isaiah's prophecies to be reasonable (looking back to the Exile rather than forward).

Justice has again gone out of Judah and there is no one to intervene.

Is 63:1-6 Remembrance of how God ended the Babylonian captivity without the Jews having to fire a shot.

Is 63:7-14 It wasn't until Israel experienced captivity in a foreign land did the remember God's saving arm that rescued them from Egypt.

Is 63:15-19 Traditionalists (adversaries) have excluded the faithful from worship in God's sanctuary.

64:1-12 The faithful feel like they are being punished simply because God has not acted yet.

These people suffered more than mere persecution. They were disenfranchised by the official religious leadership.

Sometimes the most painful persecution comes from members of the church. Hopefully not today but it happens and we need to prepare to spiritually survive it.

1 Cor 11:19

Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine.

1 Peter 5:8-11

Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.