I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love (vs. 7). For he said, ‘Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely.’ And he became their Saviour (vs. 8). 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; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old (vs. 9) . . . . . like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name (vs. 14). – Isaiah 63:7-9, 14
Some passages yield more pure gold than others when memorized and meditated upon. Isaiah 63 is one of those gold mines of Scripture. If you dig in, you will come out with some precious gems.
Here Isaiah “recounts” God acts of love, kindness and mercy. He remembers all the Lord has granted to Israel in his great goodness that comes from the sheer compassion of Jehovah. What kind of recounts does the prophet do?
1. God making and naming unworthy people as “His people”- (vs. 7)
2. He became their Saviour (vs. 8)
3. In all their affliction, he is also afflicted (vs. 9)
4. The angel of his presence saved them (vs. 9)
5. He redeemed them ( vs. 9)
6. He lifted them up (vs. 9)
7. He carried them all their days (vs. 9)
8. He gave them rest (vs14)
9. He led them (vs. 14)
A good count, when you think about it. Isaiah recounts all these acts of God specifically. The questions arises: Why would God be so good and loving to a bad people? There’s none good, no not one. Israel was not. What motivates God to pour out gracious acts which have to be numbered and recounted, so as to be able even to recognize them?
We have all heard silly songs that say, “What did I ever do to deserve even one of the blessings You’ve shown?” “Why would God love me?” “What did He see in me?”
Those who write such songs or ask such questions simply don’t get it. Here’s the answer. God did not see anything in us. Nothing, nada, zip, zero, absolutely nothing. The only thing that would have been there to see was sin. He saw nothing but sin and filth and pollution.
So what’s the answer? Or is there an answer? Some say, “No, there is not an answer as to why God loved us and has acted so graciously. It cannot be known.”
Wrong answer– Isaiah tells us why in vs. 14– “to make for yourself a glorious name.”
He does it all–for the fame of His name. Reason enough. That’s why God does all that He does.
God did it first for his glory, for the fame of his name, and not for us. He always does. He does all things for his glory, sometimes showing mercy on the most unworthy of people and sometimes executing judgment on people that deserve judgment as much as the people who receive mercy. Those who receive mercy deserve judgment just as much as those who receive judgment. Judgment is deserved by all and mercy is deserved by none. Whether showing mercy or judgment, God is glorified.
When have you and I last recounted God’s mercies? That’s a good math problem to work on. We will never solve it. Numbers don’t go high enough for us to be able to solve the problem. Far too many mercies.
But we can join Isaiah in saying, “I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.” That’s you and me. Christ has done all He has done for us for the fame of his name. So let us recount those mercies regularly.
– Mack Tomlinson