Isaiah 49:26: I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, and they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; and all flesh will know that I, Yahweh, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Jacob.
Isaiah 49 ends with a macabre feast worthy of Stephen King. Yahweh promises to plunder the plunderers and rescue the sons of Zion from those who have taken them captive. And He promises to give Israel’s enemies over to self-cannibalism.
We recoil, but Isaiah is not merely being gross. For starters, the Lord says that this proves He is Yahweh the Savior. If we want Yahweh as our Redeemer, we have to learn to love the God who stuffs our enemies full of their own flesh.
There is an eye-for-eye justice here.
The nations eat Israel’s flesh and drink her blood, and Yahweh reciprocates: Flesh for flesh, blood for blood. Nations that sacrifice the innocent become their own sacrificial food. God gives them over to a horror movie Eucharist.
Here we see the grim irony of violence. Israel’s enemies thought they were making themselves fat on Israel’s flesh. They thought they were trampling Israel, but they discover they were trampling themselves. To their dismay, they realize the arm they have been gnawing is their own.
God prepares two tables, and you’re going to be at one of them. For unrepentant oppressors, brutal tyrants, cruel husbands, those who war against the saints, He prepares a cannibal feast. For those who receive unworthily, this table becomes that cannibal feast.
To those who wait with suffering hope, He offers this meal, where He satisfies us not our own flesh but with the life-giving body and blood of the Son who gave Himself for us.