by Sal Huckel
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See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again (Isaiah 51:22b).
We continue with this difficult Isaiah passage today, reading about the wrath of God and his righteousness and judgement – but we also know that we have redemption through the cup of suffering from which Jesus himself drank.
At the beginning of the passage, we see that Jerusalem has fully drained the cup of wrath right to the bottom. We also learn that the Lord says he has taken that cup away and put it into the hands of their tormentors.
We are reminded again of the righteousness of God through his law and the redemption and salvation through his Son Jesus’ death on the cross. Law and grace.
At my husband’s ordination, we took a photo of ourselves for fun: me representing law (lawyer) and him representing the gospel (pastor). Finally, we ‘were’ law and grace. Our personalities complement each other, and I have learned through many avenues in my faith that we not only need the law, but we need grace, and we have forgiveness too.
However difficult passages like this can be, we see the use of opposites and turnarounds in Scripture. We cannot have gospel without law. The law is the lens through which we must identify and acknowledge our sins – the gospel is our redemption through God’s grace.
Which side of the fence do you tend to dwell on: law or gospel? ‘Loving’ people without correction or pointing out their faults with little love? Can we really love without the full spectrum of law and gospel? Can we really love God without accepting and acknowledging our sins, as reflected by his law?
Lord, help me appreciate all aspects of who you are: the mighty, righteous God and loving Heavenly Father who protects and shelters his children. Please help me live out my faith with all of this in mind. Amen.
Sal is married to Pastor Matthew Huckel, and they have six wonderful children – now an entire worship band as they serve together in ministry. Sal wears many other hats: she loves writing, speaking, and working as a wellness coach for Weight Watchers.