Isaiah 27:2-4 (ESV)
In that day,
“A pleasant vineyard, sing of it!
I, the LORD, am its keeper;
every moment I water it.
Lest anyone punish it,
I keep it night and day;
I have no wrath.
Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!
I would march against them,
I would burn them up together.
Isaiah 24 speaks of a day when Israel’s enemies are destroyed, and she is called home from exile. “And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem” (Isa 27:13 ESV). There is coming a day of reconciliation and restoration.
This was originally written on Resurrection Sunday. The risen Savior is the guarantee of God’s victory. 1Thessalonians 1:9-10 speak of God’s deliverance for those who “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” The wrath of God and the love of God come together at the cross. Romans 5:9 encourages us, “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
We could spend a lot of time answering the question of why God is angry. The answer to that question starts with God’s created order and our destructive choices. The solution is found in Jesus’ death and resurrection. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).
We see that same love of God in Isaiah 27:4-5. Isaiah writes, “Would that I had thorns and briers to battle! I would march against them, I would burn them up together.” But he doesn’t stop there. He goes on with an invitation to move from destruction to protection. “Or let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me, let them make peace with me.” This is the invitation God holds out to a broken world. “Let them make peace with me.” How is that peace made? “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).
Is God upset with what we have done to his creation? Absolutely! Will he judge the world, pouring out his wrath against it? Yes. Is that wrath inevitable? No, not on a personal level. That is the Good News. He holds out to a broken world the open invitation, “Let them make peace with me” (Is 27:5). The solution is in Jesus Christ who carried our sin to the cross, left it in the grave, and rose to give New Life. The wrath of God and the love of God come together at the cross. That is the Good News of Resurrection Sunday! He is risen! Trust him and celebrate!