This devotional was penned by Barry.
Our portion of scripture today (Isaiah chapters 13-23) seems pretty relentless. Isaiah means “God is salvation” Yet through His man, God is speaking more judgement than salvation upon all the surrounding nations most of whom have been Israel’s sworn enemies at one time or another. Yet surely He will have a ‘saving’ word for His own people (Isaiah 22)?
The focus is on Jerusalem built on Mount Zion yet He calls it the valley of vision. How low can you go…..? It’s not looking good.
So let’s enter her gates and take a look. There’s quite a stir…..the party is well under way. There’s shouting on the rooftops and dancing in the streets. What are they celebrating? What is this holy feast? After all they are slaughtering the oxen and sheep. Is there to be a great sacrifice to the LORD? The great disappointment is that they are not celebrating God and His kindness and goodness to them as His privileged people. But no. It is more reminiscent of Berlin in the 1920’s. Let’s escape reality. Let’s just live for pleasure. Let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die (22:13)
The sad truth is that they had had enough of godly restraint and they were just going to cast it all to one side and do what they wanted to do. Let’s not allow God to spoil our fun.
Isaiah saw thing differently. Reality check! Your leaders have fled and have been captured and you are about to be destroyed. Weep don’t laugh!! When that day comes you have a choice. You can rely on your weapons, your fortifications, your ingenuity OR you can look to God. Carry on in your own worldly wisdom and strength OR repent of your sin and maybe He will relent.
Remember your privileges. God has been good to you. For as much has been given much will be expected. If you think the judgement on your enemies is bad then how much worse will it be for you who have seen the Light and turned away from it?
Don’t be like Shebna the governor of the palace. He wanted to make peace with the enemy.
He wanted to make a name for himself. He wanted an easy life. Like an Olympic athlete throwing the ‘hammer’ God will whirl him around and fling him away. Don’t be like Eliakim who started well but finished badly….entrusted with much yet abused his privileges giving his family the top jobs.
How is your spiritual health?
Are you wanting an easy life?
Why not take time out for a reality check?
What is the desire of your heart - pleasing yourself or pleasing God?
Are you on track for finishing well or do you need God’s help to pull things back round again?
Look to Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith…..(Hebrews 12:2)