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The Man From Bozrah

Bible Verse: "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? It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save." (Isaiah 63:1-3).

Here comes our hero, Jesus Christ. He is the man coming from Bozrah, "with His garments stained crimson" (Isaiah 63:1-3). He comes with victory, "robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of His strength." When Jesus died on a Roman cross, He defeated our great enemy Satan an set his prisoners free (Hebrews 2:15).

Jesus Christ "trod the winepress of God's wrath alone.... and the blood spattered His garments." Why did He do it? He did it because the Father commissioned Him to do it. It was the Father's will; it was the Son's obedience - "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross." (Phil 2:8).

To all the world, men and women and children alike, the "day of redemption" had come. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16).

"He (God, the Father), had predestined us to be adopted as His son through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace... (Eph 1:4-6). All this too place in the heart of God "before the foundation of the world."

The prophet used Israel's victory over the Edomites to picture Christ's victory over all God's enemies. The Edomites were punished because they had rejoiced over the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (Psalm 137:7). They "cut off" those who were escaping from the city (Obad 12,13) and destroyed them.

But the prophet speaks here of a spiritual victory. God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:57). "This is the kindness [chesed] of the Lord..." (Isaiah 63:7). God's kindness is not expressed by the English word we use. His kindness is a covenant love and loyalty to His promises. Here the prophet would teach us to rejoice with holy joy to honor our Lord, who is the Bridegroom. His Bride, the Christian Church (called "the house of Israel") is clothed, not with jewels, but with a robe of righteousness and the garment of salvation which Christ has provided.

This salvation was introduced had always been available to men and women of faith, and was repeated in the first gospel song: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." (Luke 1:46-47). This righteousness springs up before the nations - it is seen in the lives of His people.

Righteous lives receive their final inheritance. The garment of righteousness is our passport to heaven - the two go together. His blessing is not for any age or dispensation, but grew up and spread afar, repeated in every land, until every nation and people group heard and rejoiced (Matt 24:14).

God was merciful to Israel of old. Their cries of distress moved Him to action (Exodus 2:24). When He brought them out of Egypt, He entered into a new relationship with them. He sent His Angel before them to show them the way (Exodus 23:20-25). The prophet prays for the nation. "For a little while Your people possessed Your holy place, but now our enemies have trampled down Your sanctuary... " (Isaiah 61:18). He was ready and willing, offering a New Covenant in His blood (Luke 22:20). But they did not embrace the victory He was to win for them.

Every day, the man from Bozrah goes before us. He revives His weary Church. If you know Him as your Savior, you can say with the song writer,
"All the way my Savior leads me
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercies
Who through life has been my guide?"

    "Heavenly peace, divinest comfort
    Here by faith in Him to dwell
    For I know what'ere betide me
    Jesus doeth all things well..." - Fanny Crosby

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