Today’s Reading: Isaiah 14:24-27; 15 – 17; 34:1- 4
The first section talks about the anger of the Lord against the nations, who took advantage of the chance to help the Lord to execute the Lord’s discipline against His people, but they took pleasure in punishing to an excessive degree! So did they think they would escape? So the Lord tells Assyria that what He planned to do to them as a punishment – He would not be thwarted! Yet because Israel still didn’t repent, His hand would be stretched out until His purpose was accomplished! I hope I will not be as stubborn as they were! And it is because of His love, that He doesn’t give up on me, when He is disciplining me! There is certainly a big difference between discipline (on people who belong to Him) and judgment (on those who have rejected Him as Saviour)!
I can’t pretend to understand all of this which is pronounced against Moab, but there still seems to be some mercy mixed in with the judgment? “My heart cries out for Moab…” “Hide the fugitives, do not betray the refugees. Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you; be their shelter from the destroyer”! God is ever the God of mercy, while He is still holy in every sense of the word, when he judges – it is His character to be merciful, even when judging – not that “dirt is swept under the carpet” so to speak, but I find it very touching, that when the price for sin is paid in judgment, I discover that He is Saviour, Who has paid the price personally Himself!
To me, beautiful – that although His people, who are called Jacob, are beaten like an olive tree, they are not destroyed – “leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches, four or five on the fruitful bough,” – a graphic picture showing His mercy and His unfailing love!
The nations may rage like the raging sea, but there is no rest for them, but Israel because they belong to the Lord God Almighty, still has hope that in the end – they will be saved because they belong to the Lord! So amidst the sorrow that He allows in my life, I always can have HOPE, because I belong to Him! – So why would I forget to look to my Maker and turn my eyes to the Holy One of Israel!? So on our national day, the words come to me from Hebrews 11:16, “they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. THEREFORE, God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them (the Heavenly Jerusalem!)