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Joshua 8; Psalm 139; Jeremiah 2; Matthew 16

Jul 05, 2014 | Don Carson

Joshua 8; Psalm 139; Jeremiah 2; Matthew 16

FEW PASSAGES IN THE Synoptic Gospels have been more disputed in the history of the church than Peter’s confession that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and its aftermath (Matt. 16:13-28). Here we may venture only three reflections:

(1) Judging by his response, Jesus sees this confession as a significant advance, achieved by revelation from the Father (16:17). But that does not mean that before this point Peter had no inkling that Jesus is the Messiah. Nor does it mean that he understood “Messiah” in the full-fledged, Christian sense associated with the word after Jesus’ death and resurrection. At this point, quite clearly, Peter was prepared to accept Jesus as Israel’s King, the Anointed One from the Davidic line, but he had no idea that he must be simultaneously Davidic king and suffering Servant, as the ensuing verses show. Both Peter’s understanding and his faith were maturing, but still painfully lacking. Part of Peter’s coming to full Christian faith on these matters depended absolutely on waiting for the next major redemptive-historical appointment: the cross and the resurrection.

(2) Jesus’ words, “[Y]ou are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church” (16:18), have been taken to be the foundation of the Roman Catholic papacy. Even on the most sympathetic reading, however, it is difficult to see how this passage says anything about passing on a Petrine precedence, still less about gradually developing and enhancing the papacy until in 1870 the doctrine of papal infallibility was promulgated. Offended by such extravagant claims, many Protestants have offered exegeses equally unbelievable. Perhaps Jesus said, “You are Peter” (pointing to Peter) “and on this rock I will build my church” (pointing to himself). Or perhaps the “rock” on which the church is built is not Peter, but Peter’s confession—which scarcely accounts for the pun in Greek: “you are petros and on this petra.”

(3) It is better to see that Peter really does have a certain primacy—what has been called “a salvation-historical primacy.” He was the first to see certain things, the leader gifted by God in the first steps of organization and evangelism after the resurrection (as Acts makes clear). But not only was this leadership bound up with Peter’s unique role in redemptive history (so unique that it could not, in the nature of the case, be passed on), but the gospel authority extended to him (16:18-19) is extended to all the apostles (18:18). This is what we should expect: elsewhere we are told that the church is built on the foundation of prophets and apostles (Eph. 2:20, italics added). As the ancient formula puts it, Peter was primus inter pares—first among equals.

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Joshua 7; Psalms 137-138; Jeremiah 1; Matthew 15

Jul 04, 2014 | Don Carson

Joshua 7; Psalms 137-138; Jeremiah 1; Matthew 15

JEREMIAH LIVED IN DAYS of threat and declension. Called to be a prophet in the thirteenth year of the reign of King Josiah, Judah’s last reforming king (about 627 B.C.), Jeremiah served for more than forty years. The fall of Jerusalem took place in 587 (forty years after Jeremiah’s call), and the prophet continued his ministry for a while after that. His ministry was doomed to apparent fruitlessness. But God had called him to speak the truth about the nation and about impending judgment, regardless of whether or not his words were well received. One senses Jeremiah’s growing maturity and resolve as the years of his ministry slip past.

The call of Jeremiah occupies the first chapter (Jer. 1). Some important elements:

(1) Not only was Jeremiah’s commission from God, but God had chosen him even before he was born (Jer. 1:5). In the hours of darkest opposition and brutal treatment, that reality doubtless proved immensely stabilizing to Jeremiah.

(2) Clearly, Jeremiah was only a young man when God called him to his first commission. Jeremiah protested that he was too young, “only a child”—but God would not accept the excuse, for he is perfectly capable of equipping anyone he chooses. God himself would put words in Jeremiah’s mouth and make him a prophetic voice, not only over Judah but over the surrounding nations (Jer. 1:7-10).

(3) Two visionary vignettes clarify Jeremiah’s call. The first is an almond branch. The Hebrew word sounds much like the Hebrew for “watching over.” The almond branch was the first to bud in the spring, and thus points to the advent of spring; in the pun, God’s word points to its own fulfillment, which must inevitably follow. Thus Jeremiah is encouraged to speak God’s words with utter confidence that all that God says is true, and all that he predicts will take place (Jer. 1:11-12): God watches over everything. The second visionary element is a boiling pot, tilting away from the north—a graphic way of indicating that the boiling cauldron of judgment, the judgment that Babylon would mete out to the tiny nation (Jer. 1:13-16), would pour down on Judah from the north.

(4) Above all, God tells Jeremiah not to be afraid—a common divine word to God’s servants (e.g., Abraham, Gen. 15:1; Moses, Num. 21:34 and Deut. 3:2; Daniel, Dan. 10:12, 19; Mary, Luke 1:30; Paul, Acts 27:24). God does not sugar-coat the difficulties: Jeremiah will be opposed and will at times stand alone “against the whole land” (Jer. 1:18)—but they “will not overcome you,” God says, “for I am with you and will rescue you” (Jer. 1:19). Only such promises are sufficient to breed titanic prophetic courage.

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Joshua 6; Psalms 135-136; Isaiah 66; Matthew 14

Jul 03, 2014 | Don Carson

Joshua 6; Psalms 135-136; Isaiah 66; Matthew 14

ALTHOUGH ISAIAH 66 ENDS on a note of apocalyptic decisiveness and hope (Isa. 66:18-24), intermingled with a frankly missionary theme (Isa. 66:19), the beginning of the chapter provides one more warning. This warning (Isa. 66:1-6) captures our attention here.

The text envisages the time when the temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt. All along Isaiah has predicted that Jerusalem would be destroyed and with it, implicitly, the temple. He has also prophesied that a remnant would return to the city and begin to rebuild. Yet never should they forget that God cannot be reduced to the dimensions of a temple: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” (Isa. 66:1-2). Solomon understood this when he led Israel in prayer at the dedication of the first temple (1 Kings 8:27). Nevertheless it is a lesson soon forgotten as successive generations slip into a religious ecclesiasticism. Somehow they think they are good because they go through the prescribed religious motions. But God insists that offering a prescribed animal at the newly built temple when one’s heart is far from the Lord is no better than offering up the sacrifice of an unclean animal—indeed, it may be as repulsive to the Lord as sacrificing a human being, for the entire exercise becomes so awesomely God-defying (Isa. 66:3). These religious people finally descend to religious persecution of those who want to follow God’s word (Isa. 66:5). Once again the Lord threatens massive judgment (Isa. 66:4, 6).

What, then, will the Lord look for among the remnant that returns from exile? “This is the one I esteem,” God says: “he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isa. 66:2). A few verses later, Isaiah directly addresses the faithful as “you who tremble at his word” (Isa. 66:5). They are contrasted with those who do not answer or listen when the Lord calls and speaks (Isa. 66:4). None of this is new. One of the lessons the Israelites were to learn through their years of wilderness wandering was that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:3). This is of perennial importance—not only careful listening to every word that God has spoken, but listening characterized by humility, contrition, and godly fear (Isa. 66:2). In every generation, what ultimately distinguishes the true from the false among God’s people, the blessed from the cursed, is faithfulness or unfaithfulness to the Word of God.

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Joshua 5; Psalms 132-134; Isaiah 65; Matthew 13

Jul 02, 2014 | Don Carson

Joshua 5; Psalms 132-134; Isaiah 65; Matthew 13

ISAIAH HAS PRAYED, “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down” (Isa. 64:1). Now (Isa. 65) God replies with two complementary perspectives.

First, God says that he is not as distant as Isaiah thinks. Throughout Israel’s troubled history God revealed himself to the people again and again (Isa. 65:1). He kept disclosing himself, through a long stream of prophets, to people who did not ask for him, to those who did not seek him, to a nation that did not call on his name. He was busy saying, “Here am I, here am I” (Isa. 65:1)—but they proved to be an obstinate people, walking “in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations” (Isa. 65:2). Doubtless Isaiah wants God to come near, but by their persistent rebellion in every domain the people are saying, in effect, “Keep away; don’t come near me, for I am too sacred for you!” (Isa. 65:5). This habit of thinking oneself better than God is prevalent today. We are so interested in “spirituality” and so committed to exonerating ourselves on every side that we cannot possibly allow ourselves to submit to what God says. We judge what he says to be unreasonable; we are wiser and better than God, more sacred than he. That is what stands behind his judgment (Isa. 65:6-7).

Second, notwithstanding the threat of judgment, God holds out a vastly different prospect for the chosen remnant who seek his face in contrition and faith. What he promises them is far more than a somewhat more secure empirical Zion. He holds out to them nothing less than a “new heavens and a new earth” (Isa. 65:17). That is what “Jerusalem” ultimately means (Isa. 65:18-19); as in Revelation 21, Jerusalem is not so much a center in the new heavens and the new earth as another way of conceptualizing the same reality. The vision is spectacular (Isa. 65:17-25), akin to what was foreseen earlier (Isa. 2:2-5; 11:1-16). But it is not for everyone without exception. As clearly as any in the book, this chapter distinguishes between, on the one hand, God’s chosen ones (Isa. 65:22), the people blessed by the Lord (Isa. 65:23), those who seek him (Isa. 65:10), his servants (Isa. 65:9), and, on the other hand, those described in the first seven verses, who amuse themselves with notions of magic, playing their games of Fortune and Destiny (Isa. 65:11). The bottom line is that when God called they did not answer, when he spoke they did not listen. “You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me” (Isa. 65:12). Nowhere is the distinction clearer than in Isaiah 65:13-16. “My servants,” God says, will experience unimaginably fine blessings, but the “you” whom he addresses will face utter abandonment and reprobation.

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Joshua 4; Psalms 129-131; Isaiah 64; Matthew 12

Jul 01, 2014 | Don Carson

Joshua 4; Psalms 129-131; Isaiah 64; Matthew 12

IN A PREVIOUS CHAPTER, ISAIAH WROTE, “You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isa. 62:6-7). Now Isaiah follows his own advice. Isaiah 64 (more precisely, Isa. 63:7-64:12) records one of the great intercessory prayers of Scripture.

The earlier part of the prayer (Isa. 63:7-19) begins with an affirmation of God’s goodness, manifested especially in the rescue of Israel in the days of Moses. Isaiah does not sugar-coat the problem: the people rebelled so grievously that God himself became their enemy (Isa. 63:10). But to whom else could Isaiah possibly turn? He appeals to God’s “tenderness and compassion” (Isa. 63:15), to God’s covenantal faithfulness as the Father and Redeemer of his people (even if Abraham and Jacob might want to disown the people, Isa. 63:16).

But now in Isaiah 64, the prophet utters one of the most wrenching pleas found in Holy Scripture: “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!” (Isa. 64:1). That is the only hope we have: we cannot save ourselves. Nothing of our resolutions and gimmicks and religion will suffice. God himself must rend the heavens and come down. Isaiah is not denying God’s immanence; rather, he is saying that God must actively intervene on our behalf to save us, demonstrating his power once again, or we are lost.

Three other elements of Isaiah’s intercession must not be missed. First, no one recognizes more clearly than Isaiah that the God to whom he is appealing is also the Judge whom we have offended. “But when we continued to sin … you were angry. How then can we be saved?” (Isa. 64:5), he asks. That is the heart of the dilemma—and the hope. Second, not only does Isaiah understand that sin separates us from God, he also identifies himself completely with his sinful people: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6). The greatest intercessors have always recognized that far more connects them with the common lot of sinners than what distinguishes them—and in any case they do not hesitate to plead with God on behalf of those who will not plead for themselves. Third, Isaiah deeply understands that if God rescues us, he must do so out of grace, out of mercy, out of pity—not because we have any claim on him. That accounts for the moving tone of Isaiah 64:8-12.

When have we last prayed with such insight and passion?

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Joshua 3; Psalms 126-128; Isaiah 63; Matthew 11

Jun 30, 2014 | Don Carson

Joshua 3; Psalms 126-128; Isaiah 63; Matthew 11

WE SHOULD NOT IGNORE THE OBVIOUS: in this passage (Matt. 11:2-19) John the Baptist is discouraged.

He is discouraged because Jesus is failing to meet his expectations. John has announced someone who would not only baptize people with the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11), but who would come in stern judgment, separating wheat and chaff and burning up the latter (Matt. 3:12). Yet here is Jesus, preaching to vast crowds, training his own followers, performing miracles—but not obviously imposing judgment on the wicked. John the Baptist languishes in prison for the fiery way he denounced Herod’s illicit marriage. Why hasn’t Jesus denounced Herod and then, utilizing his astonishing power, imposed judgment?

Jesus answers (Matt. 11:4-6) by describing his ministry in terms of two crucial passages from Isaiah—Isaiah 35:5-6 and Isaiah 61:1-2. But John the Baptist certainly knew the Isaiah scroll very well. Elsewhere he himself quotes from it (Matt. 3:3, quoting Isa. 40:3). So if Jesus is going to refer to these passages (John might well ask himself), why doesn’t he also mention the judgment theme in the same contexts? After all, Isaiah 35:5-6 mentions not only the lame leaping and the like, but “divine retribution” as well. Isaiah 61 talks about preaching good news to the poor, but it also anticipates “the day of vengeance of our God” (Isa. 61:2; see meditation for June 29). Why does Jesus mention the blessings without the judgments?

It is as if Jesus is saying, in effect, “John, look closely: the promised blessings of the kingdom are dawning. What I am doing fulfills Scripture exactly. If the judgment has not yet dawned, it will come, but not yet. Right now, focus on the good that is being done, and let it confirm that I am who I say I am.”

Jesus takes three more steps to defend John, of which I briefly mention two. (a) He warns those who were listening in on this conversation not to suppose for a moment that John is really some fickle reed, swayed by the winds of harsh circumstances, and still less someone interested in feathering his nest (Matt. 11:7-8). Far from it: (b) John’s role in redemptive history makes him the one who announces the coming of the Sovereign, pointing him out, in fulfillment of a Malachi prophecy (Matt. 11:10). That is what makes John the Baptist the greatest man born of woman up to that point—greater than Abraham or David or Isaiah—for he actually announces Christ and points him out explicitly. That is why the least in the kingdom, this side of the cross, is greater still (Matt. 11:11): you and I point out who the Messiah is with even more immediacy and explicitness. That is where our greatness lies.

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Joshua 2; Psalms 123-125; Isaiah 62; Matthew 10

Jun 29, 2014 | Don Carson

Joshua 2; Psalms 123-125; Isaiah 62; Matthew 10

MUCH OF THE POETRY OF ISAIAH 62 picks up the circumstances of earthly Zion. But the language is so exalted and the promises so sweeping it soon becomes clear that much more than the restoration of empirical Jerusalem after the exile is in view.

At the end of chapter 61 Isaiah delights in the triumph of the Servant-Messiah who transforms the people of God. Here Isaiah still speaks, and then increasingly in this chapter it is the Sovereign Lord who speaks. Initially Isaiah says that, in light of the glorious promises for Zion, he “will not keep silent” until Zion’s peace and glory are established. This means more than that Isaiah will continue in faithful proclamation. Intrinsic to the task of the “watchmen” posted on the walls of Jerusalem (Isa. 62:6) is the warning of judgment to come where there is no repentance, or where there is thoughtless lapse into sin (cf. Ezek. 33). But if there is horizontal proclamation—i.e., preaching to the people—there is also vertical intercession: “You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isa. 62:6-7). Like Daniel interceding with God in light of the promises God himself had made (Dan. 9), Isaiah wants faithful men and women to pray to God, giving him no rest till all his glorious promises regarding Zion are fulfilled. Here, then, is a call for fervent and persistent intercession: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

This Zion will be “called by a new name” (Isa. 62:2, 12); it will have a new identity. It will no longer be called “Deserted” and “Desolate”; now it will be called “My Delight Is in Her” and “Married” (Isa. 62:4)—picking up the massive typology found so often in the Old Testament: the Sovereign Lord is the husband; the covenant people, here represented by Zion, is the bride (cf. Isa. 62:5). Verse 12 rolls out more names: “the Holy People,” “the Redeemed of the LORD” (which reminds us again how they have been transformed), “Sought After,” “the City No Longer Deserted.” This is far more than empirical Jerusalem after the exile. This is the covenant people themselves, and this community raises a banner “for the nations” (Isa. 62:10). This is the anticipation of “the Jerusalem that is above” (Gal. 4:26-27, where Isaiah is quoted), of “Mount Zion,” “the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God” (Heb. 12:22), of “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem,” “prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev. 21:2).

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Joshua 1; Psalms 120-122; Isaiah 61; Matthew 9

Jun 28, 2014 | Don Carson

Joshua 1; Psalms 120-122; Isaiah 61; Matthew 9

HERE I REFLECT ON TWO THINGS: first, the place of Isaiah 61 in the developing argument; and second, its contribution to biblical theology.

(1) Isaiah 60 made it clear that the present order of things cannot go on forever: a time is coming that will be characterized by both unqualified blessing (Isa. 60:19-21) and irremediable judgment (Isa. 60:12). This bifurcation is picked up in Isaiah 61: here is proclamation both of “the year of the LORD’s favor” and of “the day of vengeance of our God” (Isa. 61:2). The vengeance theme is not developed until chapter 63. Immediately at hand is “the year of the LORD’s favor” (chaps. 61-62). Isaiah 61 opens with someone proclaiming that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him to accomplish the Lord’s redemptive purposes (Isa. 61:1-6). Then the Lord himself speaks (Isa. 61:7-9), proclaiming an everlasting covenant characterized by both joy and justice. The chapter ends with a solitary voice, presumably Isaiah’s, exulting in the anticipated fulfillment of these promises (Isa. 61:10-11).

(2) But who is the one who speaks in Isaiah 61:1-6? The most important clue is in the first line: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,” he says—and thoughtful readers recall two previous passages. Isaiah has already said that the Spirit of the Lord will rest in peculiar measure on the Messiah (Isa. 11:1-2; cf. John 3:34), and has pictured God saying to the Servant, “I will put my Spirit on him” (Isa. 42:1). The most obvious conclusion is that the one who speaks in Isaiah 61:1-6 is this Servant-Messiah, the superlative suffering Servant of Isaiah 40-55 and the expected Messiah of Isaiah 1-35. Small wonder, then, that in the synagogue in Nazareth, the Lord Jesus reads these lines from the Isaiah scroll and deliberately applies them to himself (Luke 4:17-19).

This Spirit-anointed Servant-Messiah brings in “the year of the LORD’s favor” (Isa. 61:2), almost certainly an allusion to the Year of Jubilee when, according to the Mosaic covenant, slaves were freed and those forced to sell their property were to receive it back again (Lev. 25:8-55). The Servant-Messiah comes “to preach good news to the poor” and “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” “to comfort all who mourn”—to bestow the “insteads”: a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isa. 61:1-3). If the initial installment of such blessing was in the return from exile and the first restoration of the ruins (Isa. 61:4), the ultimate fulfillment bursts these categories (chap. 62).

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Deuteronomy 33-34; Psalm 119:145-176; Isaiah 60; Matthew 8

Jun 27, 2014 | Don Carson

Deuteronomy 33-34; Psalm 119:145-176; Isaiah 60; Matthew 8

IF ISAIAH 59 IS EXTRAORDINARILY BLEAK, Isaiah 60 blazes with glory. Here Zion returns—not the Jerusalem that the returning exiles gradually rebuilt, but the ultimate Zion, the kingdom of God coming to earth. If much of the symbolism still springs from the historical city, that is no surprise. Yet the vision transcends any merely earthly hope. As evidence, we note that there is no longer any sun or moon, “for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory” (Isa. 60:19; cf. Rev. 21:23). Here the sovereign Lord himself arises, infinitely more glorious than any earthly sunrise: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you” (Isa. 60:1). The previous chapter establishes the desperate need of the people, the raw evidence that they cannot really transform themselves. This chapter picks up on that dark picture and introduces the only possible solution: “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isa. 60:2-3).

Three further observations:

(1) This Zion is home to nations and foreigners and kings, to “islands” (a way of referring to people a long way off), to people from countries that have nothing to do with the Promised Land (Isa. 60:3, 9-10, 14). Gentiles will join Jews in this kingdom, honoring those of the faithful Israelites who belonged to Zion before them. The light dawns in Jerusalem and spreads to all nations.

(2) All who refuse this glory face judgment: “For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined” (Isa. 60:12). The text offers no hope that the final Zion embraces all without exception; rather, it embraces all without distinction, provided they embrace “the Holy One of Israel” and “the City of the Lord” (Isa. 60:14).

(3) Above all, there is a glorious prospect of eternal longevity to what this kingdom brings. “I will make peace your governor and righteousness your ruler,” God says. “No longer will violence be heard in your land … but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise” (Isa. 60:17-19, italics added). Follow the temporal terms: the sun will no more be your light; the LORD will be your everlasting light; your sun will never set again; your days of sorrow will end; the people will possess the land forever (Isa. 60:19-21). The cycles of rebellion and repentance will end; the cycles of blessing and cursing will be no more. “I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly” (Isa. 60:22). Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

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Deuteronomy 32; Psalm 119:121-144; Isaiah 59; Matthew 7

Jun 26, 2014 | Don Carson

Deuteronomy 32; Psalm 119:121-144; Isaiah 59; Matthew 7

ISAIAH 59 IS DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS. If taken out of its context in the book, it could be taken to describe the descent into sin and degradation that characterized many periods of Israel’s history, and that still characterizes many periods of the church’s experience. But both its position in the book and the closing two verses suggest that the prophet has in view the community of the people of God after they have returned from exile. They are still characterized by sin, and there is no hope but one.

The first section (Isa. 59:1-8) describes the people in their desperation. The reason for their plight, the prophet insists, is not some inadequacy in God: “the arm of the LORD is not too short to save” (Isa. 59:1). Their plight turns on their own sin: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:2). The wearisome list follows: injustice, want of integrity, violence, conspiracies. At the heart of it all is human character: the evil emanates from within. “Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace” (Isa. 59:7b-8). Small wonder that the apostle Paul quotes several of these lines in his own indictment of the human race (Rom. 3:15-17). What can be done with a brood so persistently sinful? Even the enormous trauma of the exile proves insufficient to transform them.

In the second section (Isa. 59:9-15a), the verbs become first person plural. The language is that of communal lament. These mourners (compare Isa. 57:19) grieve for their sins. The language is brutally honest. Like Isaiah himself, like a Daniel or an Ezra, they confess not only their own sins but the sins of their people (Isa. 6:5; Dan. 9:4-19; Ezra 9:6-15). They know their situation is desperate. And that itself, of course, is a mark of grace. The people of God are farthest from reformation and revival when they are smugly content, like the church in Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22). There is hope when by God’s grace they writhe in an agony of honest confession, horribly aware of the insidious and pervasive power of sin in their lives and their culture.

The third section (Isa. 59:15b-21) provides the relief. Only God is adequate to this situation—and he is more than adequate. God saw there was no one else who could save the people, “so his own arm worked salvation for him” (Isa. 59:16). And once again, this vision of hope and promise ends in apocalyptic proportions and in the categories of the new covenant (Isa. 59:20-21).

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