“Thus says the Lord: ‘As the new wine is found in the cluster, and they say, “Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,” so I will do for my servants’ sake, and not destroy them all. I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and from Judah possessors of my mountains; my chosen shall possess it, and my servants shall dwell there.'” (Isaiah 65:8-9)

The Lord here is speaking words of judgement against His people Israel. He warned them that He is calling out to those who do not seek Him or know Him, that is, nonJews, Gentiles. The verses here confirm for us that when it comes to salvation and grace it is God who does the seeking, God who does the saving. We human beings are so totally rebellious and self-centered that we do not seek God first. Once He calls us and convicts us of sin we can, by the faith imparted to us, turn to Him. Without such faith we remain in sin and rebellion.

The nation of Israel was granted grace, chosen and called by the Lord to be the means by which He dispensed grace to all the world. But Israel and most of her people, were rebellious, marked by idolatry of the grossest kind. Isaiah also notes that the people of Israel were filled with self-righteousness for they called on the Lord to stay away from them. They had no need of Him. Perhaps this was their greatest sin, the greatest sin of all human beings. They want nothing to do with Him. They have no need of Him for they think they can be righteous and holy without Him. Such an attitude lies at the root of all sin, violence, hatred and racism.

The Church is the Kingdom of God. As such the people of God called to be a light to the world. We are His instruments of grace called and made holy by the blood of Christ. Holiness comes not by doing good works, or by works of the Law, but only by the grace of God.