Summary: From the Book “Saved and Kept – Counsels to Young Christians” by F B Meyer
From the Book “Saved and Kept – Counsels to Young Christians”
By: F B Meyer - (the words in italics were added to the original text)
Chapter 11 - THE CONQUEROR FROM EDOM
ISAIAH 63:1 Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in the greatness of His strength? "It is I, the LORD, speaking in righteousness! It is I, the LORD, who is mighty to save!"
2 Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. It is their blood that has stained my clothes.” NLT/NKJV
ISRAEL and Edom were hereditary foes. This was the more remarkable because their ancestors were brothers. But from the earliest there was strife between these two, and the antagonism of the cradle was perpetuated throughout the history of the great nations which owed their existence to Jacob and Esau respectively.
When Israel pleaded for permission to pass through the land of Edom and so curtail the weary desert march, Edom refused and came out against him with much people and with a strong hand—an affront which was never forgotten. It was a grim satisfaction, therefore, to Israel when the whole band of Edom was temporarily subdued under David. But the subjection could not be maintained, and through the troubled reigns of the kings we find the Edomites always giving trouble, siding with Israel's inveterate foes, and taking every opportunity of molestation and injury. When Nebuchadnezzar made the final assault against the Holy City, it was the children of Edom who cried, "Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof."
Esau may fairly be taken as an emblem of the imperious desires of the flesh that will hardly tolerate restraint, but lust against the spirit, fretting for their wild and unrestrained indulgence. For one morsel of meat Esau sold his birthright; and we all know moments when, for one brief spell of gratification, we are disposed to barter away our noblest prerogatives and squander our most sacred trust. Who has not stood between the basin of steaming pottage—which appeals so daintily to the hungry sense—and the power to pray, to know God, to bless mankind, which are the sacred prerogatives of the soul? Many a time has our choice wavered in the balance; and what was true years ago may perhaps be true still. Edom still vexes us and makes incursions into the sacred territory of the soul; the flesh is still vehement within us; the old Adam is more than a match for the young Melanchthon (a youth in the Reformation – representing an immature and still weak spirit).
One day a novel and blessed spectacle greeted the prophet's gaze. Standing on the last ranges of the low hills which sloped down from Jerusalem toward the Edomite territories, he descried (could make out) in the distance the figure of a mighty conqueror coming from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, its capital city, glorious in his apparel, and traveling in the greatness of his strength. When within speaking distance he asked who it was, and received in answer the reply:
"The mighty Savior!"
Again he asked the reason for the stains on his dress, as of the treader of grapes in the wine-press, receiving the reply:
"It is the life-blood of Israel's foes, the juice of the vintage of Edom."
From that moment Israel had no further need for alarm, from that quarter at least. There in the desert haze she could always still see the figure of that almighty Victor by whom Edom had been subdued. Her cities were in ruins, her palaces leveled to the ground, her soldiers had bitten the dust, and there was therefore now the most absolute security.
The lesson for ourselves is obvious and hardly needs enforcement. Jesus died in the likeness of sinful flesh; in dying it was rent. The rending veil of the temple and the rending flesh on the cross teach the same lesson —that Jesus mastered the flesh by the spirit, overcame it as He uttered His dying cry of victory, and in His resurrection came up from the Edom of our foes radiant with victory, though stained with the blood-juice of the battle.
Whatever the flesh means for any one of us, with its passion and pride, its self-assertion, its imperious will, its restless yearning for gratification and license—all has been met, vanquished, and forever trodden under foot by Him who is mighty to save and who travels in the greatness of His strength to succor (to deliver from captivity to their flesh or to their sinful human nature) the weakest and most often defeated of His disciples.