The biblical picture of a gracious God is one that also demonstrates that he is holy. Isaiah when he proclaims the word of the Lord shows the richness of God’s grace but he never forgets that God is just and holy. We need in our day to come back to this confession of a holy,gracious and sovereign God, in much of evangelical and charismatic circles we hear much about the love of God but very little about his holiness.
In this chapter we see Isaiah rejoicing in the wonder of God’s grace but at the same time he is aware of God as holy and just.
“For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the LORD has blessed.”
The LORD loves justice,this is an attribute of God we need to imitate, we should be people who love justice, we live in a world where there is much injustice and the word of God calls us to maintain justice. Notice that God hates all robbery and wrongdoing,one day he will come to judge the world and all will have to stand before the throne and give an account for their wrongdoing. Some people make a lot of the fact that when Jesus quoted the earlier verses of this passage of Scripture, he left out the reference to
the day of vengeance of our God,
By this Jesus is not saying that he will not judge but rather in his ministry, he was called to bring salvation and healing to people. Jesus knew that the day of vengeance would take place at his second coming. He therefore only quotes those parts of the passage that applied to his ministry. Throughout his teaching we see a constant reference to the judgement of God (for example read Matthew 25).
Yet the main emphasis of this passage is on the graciousness of God towards his people, he has made an everlasting covenant with his people. The emphasis here is that God’s people walk with him in integrity, that he will bless them and uphold them.
10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.
The prophet here rejoices in the amazing grace of God and he delights in the Lord, he seems to be overflowing with praise to God. He has been clothed in garments of salvation, very often when the garments of salvation or the robes of righteousness are referred to we are told that God the father does not see us any longer because he sees Jesus.We need to see that this passage does not say that we are not seen, rather it says that our sins are not seen but we are made to look beautiful. Look at the illustration that Isaiah use of the bridegroom and the bride, if we take his illustrations seriously we will see that Father god sees us those he deeply loves. I have recently attended two weddings, when the bride entered we saw a beautiful bride coming down the aisle and a handsome bridegroom waiting at the front of the church, it was not their clothes that made them special, it was because they were special that they wore the clothes. When God looks at us he sees us as being very special in his eyes. We have been saved by grace and are therefore new creatures in Christ Jesus,yes we are clothed in his righteousness but he stills the unique you that he created,saved and loves.
Isaiah sees the result of all this is to be rejoicing and praising god for all his goodness and grace, do we have the same perspective?