Tag: God’s sovereignty
Scripture reading for July 23rd: Isaiah 21-23
The oracle in Isaiah 22 concerns the “Valley of Vision”. According to ancient sources, this was an early name for Jerusalem because it was situated on a hill that offered a view of the surrounding countryside and the valley all the way down to the Dead Sea, some 3600 feet below. Another reason for this name could be associated with God’s Temple and His manifest presence there behind the veil in the Holy of Holies. Isaiah’s vision, was not one of joy and delight, but one of coming judgment because of the pride and arrogance of God’s people.
Isaiah saw a vision of a city in tumult without leadership. Their leaders had been captured while fleeing to escape an enemy that was still far away. Isaiah wept bitterly because of the destruction of his people. (Isaiah 22:2-4) He saw the day of the Lord’s judgment on the city, it’s walls battered down and it’s defenses stripped away. People were busy trying to defend and store up water for the siege, but they forgot to call on the Lord. (Isaiah 22:8-11) Instead of weeping and fasting and seeking God, they were caught up in revelry and a party atmosphere with a grabbing of pleasure for the moment before the trouble came! “Let us eat and drink,” you say, “for tomorrow we die!” (Isaiah 22:13b)
God also warned the steward of the palace, Shebna, that he would also be removed. God was going to take hold of him and hurl him away. He thought himself a mighty man, but God would throw him out like a ball. (Isaiah 22:17-19) God is really in control of all authority and can change leadership in an instant in response to the needs and plans of His heart. Man may look mighty, but God is mightier!
This oracle is instructive for us today. As we read the word of God, we can see that judgment is not far off and that God has said that Christ will come suddenly. (Matthew 24:42-44) Some will be caught unprepared. Others will have the attitude of Jerusalem’s residents, grabbing pleasure while they can or frantically trying to prepare without calling on the Lord! God warns us to make preparations under His guidance and to be working and watching when He comes. (Matthew 24:45-46) He truly loves each person and offers mercy and escape to those who will respond and live by faith.