Theme: Jesus, Mighty to Save
This week’s lessons show us that because God is faithful, we are to praise him and live in confident hope.
Scripture: Psalm 108:1-13
How can we take this psalm from its ancient setting and carry its value forward into our own time and beyond? We have already considered that this is a psalm that can provide strength for our conflicts. Today we look at another way.
2. The warrior from Edom. And that leads me to the last thing I want to say about Psalm 108 and Edom, carrying the use of the psalm forward from our own time into the future. It concerns the Lord Jesus Christ. In the first four verses of Isaiah 63 there is a dramatic scene in which a blood-stained divine warrior comes marching up the valley of the Kidron from the west toward Jerusalem, and the cry rings out: “Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?” The warrior answers, “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
The prophet, looking down from the walls of the city of Jerusalem, then has another question, which he throws out to the warrior: “Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?” The traveler answers, “I have trodden the winepress along; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come.”
Who is this warrior? He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, returning to Jerusalem after having subdued the hostile peoples of this evil world. This is a vision of the end of time, a vision that takes us forward to the kind of descriptions we find in the very last book of the Bible, Revelation. Here we see the sure punishment of the wicked and the certain vindication of those who trust God and look to him for their deliverance.
That day has not yet come. So for the time being there are still hard times and defeats for God’s people. But if the day of the vengeance of our God has not yet come, it is in order that God might show grace now to more people. In Peter’s day there were skeptics who were saying that because things seemed to continue as they have been from the beginning, therefore there will not be a judgment. It will never come. “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation,” they mocked (2 Peter 3:4).
But Peter answered, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (v. 9). This means that God is delaying the ultimate working out of judgment until those whom he will call to faith in Jesus Christ come to him. Judgment is not yet; this is the day of God’s grace. But judgment will come. If you are not a believer in Jesus, God warns you to believe on Jesus now, while there is still hope.
Explain the second application of the psalm for us today.
What is the vision of Isaiah 63:1-4?
Why are there still defeats and hard times for God’s people?
Prayer: Pray for others to believe so they will not perish.
Key Point: If you are not a believer in Jesus, God warns you to believe on Jesus now, while there is still hope.
For Further Study: Reading and studying the book of Psalms will help you in your praise of the Lord, as you learn more of who he is and how he acts in grace and mercy toward you. Order your copy of James Boice’s three-volume expositions on the Psalms, and receive 25% off the regular price.