5 January 2023 Anno.Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
(Isaiah 63:1-3; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
There is a loneliness of the soul that is endemic to all who are not of the family of God. The soul of man inhabits a body of flesh alone – there cannot dwell two souls in one body and one spirit apart from the indwelling Spirit of God in its chosen Temple, the heart of the redeemed of the Lord for that heart is His Temple. But the spirit of man continually wars with the Holy Spirit even of the righteous. We are weak and frail to resist every sin, and we stumble ofttimes in our walk of faith. Regardless of the multitudes who are in our company, we still remain alone in our souls and bodies unless we are blessed with the Spirit of God to give us solace and courage. But that soul that is rebellious to God remains forever resoundingly ALONE!
Our introductory text is an illustration of our Redeemer who faced the dark curtain of a sacrificial death for us – alone. There was none with Him, nor could there have been. Each of us must pass through the gate of death alone, but Christ was the only one who could face death alone and conquer that dreadful grim reaper. Those who have received Christ into their heart of hearts will not be compelled to go into that dark night alone because they enter therein in the company of Christ – and death cannot exist in the presence of the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE.
Death is the ancient foe of man, and the inevitable victor over those who know not Christ. Christ faced the massed enemies of death and hell to redeem us from the wrath to come. There was NONE with Him, nor NONE to help Him as that rider who comes as victor alone from Edom. Edom was the ancient enemy of God’s people, Israel; and this rider conquered them alone. His garments are dyed red with the blood of the battle, that blood is His which He shed on Calvary. “For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom, upon the people I have devoted to destruction.” (Isaiah 34:5)
As the curtain of silent sleep will certainly fall upon every reader of this devotion, the Christian will not face the stark darkness of death beyond the veil as do the lost, but the brilliant light of eternal bliss will welcome the believer. But each of us will make one last appearance ALONE before the Lord. We die alone, and we shall face our Maker alone as well. But our Advocate will accompany us into the Halls of Grandeur if we have believed in the only Begotten Son of God.
There is an old country, Gospel song which says, “I will not have to cross Jordan alone,” and that is a comfort to those whose balance begins to fail as the sands of time or illness begin to settle beneath and uncertain step. We may feel that ground upon which we have always felt stability give way under our feet, and the rushing tide gather about our souls as we approach the stormy banks of Jordan Waters. But just at the last, we will feel the hand of the Lord strongly grasping us as we cross those turbulent waters with a lightness we have never before known. Such is the specter of death to the believer. Our victory over death was accomplished by Him who ALONE withstood the devil and conquered every enemy of our souls.
Are you facing your giants of life alone, or do you have One with you always who ‘sticketh closer than a brother’ and who gave His life that you may have yours eternally?