Wednesday, July 30. Isaiah 13 – 15

Isaiah 13 begins a long section of oracles against the nations surrounding Israel. The prophet begins with Babylon which is a little strange. Isaiah is an 8th century prophet and Babylon has yet to become the powerhouse it would be two hundred years later. This difficulty has led some scholars to believe that (at least this part of) the book was written not by Isaiah but by someone much later.

This is only a problem if you don’t believe God is actually the one speaking and disbelieve God is controlling history. In fact, God is making this latter point in the section. He is in control of the nations and the foretelling of the destruction of a major power that has yet to even become a major power is proof of that. The heading of chapter 13 says it was written by Isaiah. There is no evidence to the contrary.

In chapters 7 – 12, the major enemy of God’s people is Syria. Ahaz (who was king of Judah), rather than appeal to the Lord for help, instead appealed to Assyria. The result, according to Isaiah, was destruction for Ahaz. At the other end of our section of oracles against the nations, we have the story of Hezekiah. Oppressed by the Assyrians, the king trusts in the Lord and is rewarded for his faith. In between these two stories, we have this section in which God affirms that He and only He is the one His people should trust because, in truth, God holds the fate of all nations in His hands and all of them are headed for destruction.

Our future is not dependent on our government. It is dependent solely upon the Lord. When we act as though all our hope is lost because of the failure of our political system, it demonstrates that our faith is not supremely in the Lord. He will see to the destruction of whatever we have put in His place – even our nation.