Thursday, July 26, 2012

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH // Chapters 13-14: God's Anger and Wrath

Chapter 13
-       Shift back now to Isaiah foretelling the coming destruction of Babylon, or Assyria.
o   Assyria can be assumed as the subject when the text says Babylon. Assyria has been talked about previously in Isaiah and intermixed within this coming section about being the subject of the Lord’s anger 14:24-27. Also, the kings of Assyria commonly took the title, “king of Babylon.”
-       Verse 3: God uses armies, warriors, and warfare to accomplish His purposes.
-       Verse 6: God’s anger and wrath are terrifying. This is not something to be taken lightly.
-       Verse 8: We are helpless in response to God’s wrath.
-       Verse 11: God withholds the right and the power to punish the wicked for their sin. He has every right to be the just, righteous judge of the world.
-       Verse 16: Children killed, homes sacked, and wives raped. God’s wrath is rough.

Chapter 14
-       Chapter 14 is entitled ‘A taunt for Babylon’s King.’ Literally the whole chapter talks about the coming fall of Babylon, and that’s about it.
-       Verse 2: As God is calling his chosen nation of Israel back to Him; he is also bringing in many people of other nations to join them, so called Gentiles.
o   Bringing outsiders into the covenant community.
-       Verse 14: describes what selfish ambition looks like that leads one to this type of fall. The kings of Babylon/Assyria desired to be like God, they wanted power and control, and instead they were destroyed.
-       Verse 27: God is omnipotent. No one can stop Him. When He desires to do something, it will be done. 

It's chapters like these two that often aren't so fun to read. Here you see God taking his anger and frustration out on nations of people that have chosen not to follow Him and to ignore Him. You see God punishing people for their sin. You see Him bringing the justice for our sins down that we deserve, instead of the grace that He has shown for us through Jesus. In Chapter 14 you see God destroying the Kings of Babylon because of their desire for power and control and their will to follow after their own ambition. Ooooo Jesus that hurts. Thats me. Thats so many of us going after our own selfish ambitions. But you see God's response to that right here. It's not fun. It's not pretty to read. But it's God's word. It is how he dealt with those people in that time. God give me the humility and the selflessness to not chase after my own ambition. Help me chase after you instead. Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins so that I could be seen as righteous in Your eyes, and not as the wicked who deserve your wrath and anger. Help me to look more and more like Him each day.

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