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Isaiah 21-23


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year

        In chapter 21, Isaiah's prophesy against the Assyrians at Babylon continues.  God's judgment is coming on the nation which destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel: the one's who laid waste to the cities of the north, will in her turn be transformed into a wasteland (see also Isaiah 13:20-22).  Then a prophesy against Edom is pronounced (Seir is another name for Edom).  This particular judgment of God is spelled out further in 34:5-15). 
        Now, after the condemnation of its neighbors, Jerusalem is condemned even more harshly:  In fact, it is clear that nothing can change God's mind regarding the punishment of Judah:  The LORD Almighty has revealed this in my hearing:  Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for.    
        Interestingly enough, the judgment goes beyond Jerusalem to Tyre, so famous and prosperous that in her pride she forgot to care about anything but herself.  Too powerful and politically astute to be overwhelmed or destroyed by kings of earth, none the less, God's judgment will be carried out.
        The tone of prophetic writing is often negative, whether in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, or any of the other 12 minor prophets. Yet God's judgment is not the last word on His plans for the world (as we will see).  Rather, it is part of the preparation for the end of all things when Christ returns and history ends in front of God's judgment seat and His eternal kingdom begins.
        God's patience should, none the less, be our focus, not just His judgment.  The nations condemned have deserved punishment for hundreds of years.  When it finally comes, there is so much to be accounted for that no rationalization or pleading can help.
        In our own lives, God's patience is at the heart of His grace:  as David says in Psalm 130:3, If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O LORD, who could stand?  Yet God proises that if we turn to Him in faith, submitting ourselves to Him as Savior and Lord, He will overcome the distance between us (in the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross) and make it possible for us to be united with Him forever.
        Have you ever done a study regarding the patience of God?  His love is everlasting and undefeated.  We could have no possibility of relating to God if God had not provided the way:  in His Son, Jesus Christ.  When we put our faith in Him, turn away from our self-centered (or sinful) lifestyles, and ask His forgiveness and guidance for our lives, He begins to change us inside and out.
        Today, whatever you face, do not allow yourself to forget that the God who created the heavens and the earth loves you and wants to be visibly involved in your life.  Then give thanks for the sacrifice of Christ Jesus on our behalf.  Make a commitment to re-calibrate your attitude so as to be more focused in your response to God's love by living His way, and inviting others to discover that way as well.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010