(Today's post by Chris Queen)
Last week, I wrote about how God was willing to subject His vineyard to judgment because the vines (i.e. the Israelites) refused to produce fruit in keeping with obedience. This week we’re looking at God’s prophecies against Israel’s enemies.
The Lord promised destruction to Israel’s enemies, with some encouraging promises embedded in the prophecies for His people:
14:24 The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen. 25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders.” 26 This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. 27 For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
14:31 Wail, you gate! Howl, you city! Melt away, all you Philistines! A cloud of smoke comes from the north, and there is not a straggler in its ranks. 32 What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? “The Lord has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.”
16:4 Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you; be their shelter from the destroyer.” The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease; the aggressor will vanish from the land. (emphasis mine)
In other words, God enacted His discipline on His unfaithful people, but in the end, God’s plan was to triumph over their enemies and show mercy on the Israelites!
Another prophecy in these passages hints at something that had to be encouraging for the faithful among the people of Israel:
5 In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it—one from the house of David—one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.
Of course, here Isaiah wasn’t talking about an earthly king. This man from the house of David is no political leader or military strongman. Clearly, these words prophesied about Jesus. (How cool is it to read a nugget of prophecy about Jesus during the season when we celebrate His birth?)
What’s the takeaway today? Thank God for His triumphant mercy. Thank Him for sending His Son to “speed the cause of righteousness.” Be grateful that His love for the people who follow Him trumps judgment.