December 23, 2010

Breathing Room (part one)

Finally, I have a few minutes to share with you what I wrote in my journal the week I decided to re-debut this blog. There is a lot of Scripture in this post, so I am going to break it up into a couple of entries over the next day or two. They are all finished, so I will send them live over the next couple of days. I am excited that this is a meditation that some of you will read over the Christmas holiday. For those of you coming later, I am sure the timing will be of no less import for you.

I began this blog over a year ago filled with deep and heartfelt emotions, and the walk through Scripture with the Holy Spirit on the day I wrote this (12-16/10) was prompted by similar emotions of anger, helplessness, and discouragement. I was feeling trapped and hemmed in with no clarity.

As I took these feeling to Him, I sensed that He wanted to share something with me, so I sat and listened. I asked him where to read, and the Scripture reference Isaiah 63:1-6 popped into my mind. From there, He guided me with word phrases and my handy concordance. Here are the first passages I read:

"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.'

"Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?

"'I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.'"

This struck many cords within me, not the least of which was a conversation I had with a friend over a year ago about the passage in Revelation about the winepress. Here is that passage (Revelation 14:14-20):

"I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one 'like the son of man' with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, 'Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.'

"So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

"Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, 'Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe.'

"The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia."

In this conversation with my friend, we were puzzling over the gore and harshness this scene evoked. We didn't know then about the correlated passage in Isaiah, and we didn't know what I have since learned about the word translated 'wrath.'

Tomorrow, I will share the Greek word for wrath and its definitions. Until then, may His face shine upon you.


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