A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Isaiah now turns to a prophesy against Israel and Judah's most powerful neighbor
, Assyria (13:1-14:32). Babylon is mentioned as the capitol city of the empire from which the kings took their title, King of Babylon. Only later would the Assyrians be conquered by the Babylonians who would in turn be conquered by the Persians. The Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. The Babylonians conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C., and the Persians allowed the exiles from Judah to return to their homeland in 539 B.C.
In chapters 15 and 16, God's judgment against Moab,
Israel's perpetual enemy is also announced. Moab was, in fact, destroyed by Sargon of Assyria between 715 and 713 B.C. The pride
of Moab will be shown empty
, and it will all happen within the next three years (see 20:3 and 37:30 for other signs that have a 3 year limit.
Next come oracles against several other countries:
Damascus (Syria), then Cush (Nubia, south of Egypt), then Egypt, and, finally, at the point of Assyria's invasion of the Middle East in c. 711 B.C., another prophesy against Egypt and Cush.
God's justice prevails! Sometimes it takes time, but it always prevails.
The judgment against surrounding countries is not only meant to remind His people that God will ultimately punish their enemies, but also to warn them against the kinds of lifestyles and actions which will bring down God's punishment on them.
Have you ever wondered if God really cares about His standards?
The Old and New Testament examples of His punishment often center around people and groups who decide He does not care, is not watching and will not follow through on His threats to punish disregard for His place in life and plan for living. Like the people of Israel and Judah, we may be reminded by Isaiah of God's determination to punish those who violate His standards, but we must also be warned: we can not do so with impunity ourselves!
Today, think through your relationship with God.
Is there anything He has shown you that needs change which you are not changing? Make a decision to move closer to His Way this week and take at least one significant step in that direction. God ultimately vindicates those who follow Him; He also disciplines those who do not. Let Him guide you this week. Make an effort to grow in the ways He reveals.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010