The watchmen call out, "Who goes there, marching out of Edom, out of Bozrah in clothes dyed red? Name yourself, so splendidly dressed, advancing, bristling with power!" "It is I: I speak what is right, I, mighty to save!"
"And why are your robes so red, your clothes dyed red like those who tread grapes?"
"I've been treading the winepress alone. No one was there to help me. Angrily, I stomped the grapes; raging, I trampled the people. Their blood spurted all over me - all my clothes were soaked with blood.
I was set on vengeance. The time for redemption had arrived.
I looked around for someone to help - no one. I couldn't believe it - not one volunteer. So I went ahead and did it myself, fed and fueled by my rage.
I trampled the people in my anger, crushed them under foot in my wrath, soaked the earth with their lifeblood." All the Things God Has Done That Need Praising
I'll make a list of God's gracious dealings, all the things God has done that need praising, All the generous bounties of God, his great goodness to the family of Israel - Compassion lavished, love extravagant.
He said, "Without question these are my people, children who would never betray me." So he became their Savior.
In all their troubles, he was troubled, too. He didn't send someone else to help them. He did it himself, in person. Out of his own love and pity he redeemed them. He rescued them and carried them along for a long, long time.
But they turned on him; they grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned on them, became their enemy and fought them.
Then they remembered the old days, the days of Moses, God's servant: "Where is he who brought the shepherds of his flock up and out of the sea? And what happened to the One who set his Holy Spirit within them?
Who linked his arm with Moses' right arm, divided the waters before them, Making him famous ever after,
and led them through the muddy abyss as surefooted as horses on hard, level ground?
Like a herd of cattle led to pasture, the Spirit of God gave them rest." That's how you led your people! That's how you became so famous!
Look down from heaven, look at us! Look out the window of your holy and magnificent house! Whatever happened to your passion, your famous mighty acts, Your heartfelt pity, your compassion? Why are you holding back?
You are our Father. Abraham and Israel are long dead. They wouldn't know us from Adam. But you're our living Father, our Redeemer, famous from eternity!
Why, God, did you make us wander from your ways? Why did you make us cold and stubborn so that we no longer worshiped you in awe? Turn back for the sake of your servants. You own us! We belong to you!
For a while your holy people had it good, but now our enemies have wrecked your holy place.
For a long time now, you've paid no attention to us. It's like you never knew us.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)