God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16 - Isaiah 13-17: God's Punishment of the Surrounding Nations

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 13-17

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God would deliver Israel from their captives because He still loves them.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

To Babylon via Isaiah: God will destroy you as judgment against your evil deeds. No mercy will be shown. Your land will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God is done. Nomads will avoid it.
Israel, though, will be restored. They'll taunt you, their former slave masters by giving praise to God, "Babylon, attempting equality with God brought your downfall!"
Moab would be destroyed because of their arrogance. Judah would mock their fall.
Aram would be destroyed.
Someday, Israel would shrivel and others would look to the Holy One of Israel. Why? Israel forgot God and served other gods.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God's judgment came down on all of the nations in the region.

Earlier, Isaiah spoke of God's punishment of Assyria because they took God's task of punishing Israel and morphed it into their own wrongdoing. Babylon fell into the same problem. They took their strength and attempted to be equal with God. Now, Babylon's fate is the same as Assyria's. God's punishment is for all—no matter how He intended to use you.

God would reinstate Israel because of His Love.

Yesterday we read about Israel going into exile because of their sin. Today we read an encouraging (at least at first) tale of God bringing them back and giving their enemies as helpers to finish reviving the land. The kingdom would be restored and a king similar to David will take the throne. God never removes His Promise forever. Punishment is only to purify His Chosen People.

God's plans are irrevocable and unavoidable.

The only thing that can make God's plans fail is if He wants to use humans to accomplish it. When it comes to destroying a city, though, no nation will object.

Israel's reinstatement would not be final.

Unfortunately, Israel would once again disobey God and go after other gods. In an ironic twist, they would go off into captivity and people from other lands would replace them. These people will see the futility of their idols, altars, rituals, and religions and return to the Holy One of Israel. Israel, however, would wilt away. God will protect only those who seek Him.

Are you seeking God?

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