28 Mar Unmerited Favor and Coming Vengeance – 3/28/20
Noah and Angi Walker
Isaiah 61:2 – “…to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God…”
May we declare the truth about God’s favor and vengeance both to ourselves and the world!
Three thoughts about this short verse:
1. The favor of God! Can we even imagine all this means? Furthermore, if our perfect God is granting favor to such sinful recipients as us, then that means that the favor is unmerited… and unmerited favor is nothing short of grace itself. Thus, as we live in the days following the resurrection of Christ, we are living in an age of God’s abundant grace. May we make “the best use of the time, because the days are evil” and yet God’s grace “increased all the more” ((Eph. 5:16, Rom 5:21). May we declare the wonders of “the immeasurable riches of [God’s] grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7).
2. No matter the season of our lives, this is an age of God’s favor. Are you stuck in some sort of dungeon in life? Recently laid-off? Struggling with doubts? Worried about your health or the health of others? The Gospel declares that, no matter our circumstances, this is the year of the LORD’s favor; the age of His grace. He has “destroyed him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14). Thus, we “count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”(James 1:2-3). Truly, in this age between Christ’s Resurrection and Judgment Day, we live in an age of God’s favor and grace. Praise Jesus!
3.There is a day of God’s vengeance that is coming.Revelation speaks of this day: “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war….” (Rev. 19:11-16). We cannot declare the riches of grace to others without also declaring our vast need for it. God’s infinite beautiful, mesmerizing, dissonance-destroying perfection and justice requires it. There will be a day when God puts everything right in the world: no more arguments, no more COVID-19, no more shame, no more guilt, and no more sin. This is the goodness of God that stretches beyondour imagination. And, outside of Christ, we stand on the wrong side of such perfection. He’s paid a heavy price so that the world can be put right – either on the cross or in hell. This work will be brought to completion one day through His vengeance. May we not shy away from such a glorious, wonderful truth.
- If you have not received Christ as your Lord and Savior, now is the time. As it is written, “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:1-2). If you have received this grace, then praise God for this life you are living in His favor!
- Pray that our church would continue to proclaim the gospel to the community and make known the favor and the grace of God to all!
- Pray for our city – that all in the city might become especially awake to the fear of the LORD. As it is written, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 9:10).