Wednesday, July 31: Isaiah 13 – 17
Thursday, August 1: Isaiah 18 – 22
Isaiah’s prophecy shifts away from the coming of “Immanuel” to words of regret, lament, longing, and warning to the nations surrounding the people of God. Take for instance the words spoken to:
- Babylon (Chapters 13 & 14)
- Assyria (Chapter 14:24-27)
- Philistia (Chapter 14:29-32)
- Moab (Chapters 15 & 16)
- Damascus (Chapter 17)
- Ethiopia (Chapter 18)
- Egypt (Chapter 19)
- Babylon, Edom, & Arabia (Chapter 21)
- And yes, even against Jerusalem (Chapter 22)
Oddly enough, in the midst of all of these harsh warnings against the neighbors of Israel, Isaiah shares God’s word of compassion for Moab. But why Moab? What makes Moab so special?
To answer that we have to look back to the story of Abram and Lot in Genesis. Here we may remember that Moab was one of the sons born to Lot after his daughters had slept with him. Weird I know, but this is early Old Testament! As Abraham and Lot parted ways, so separation began. Eventually the nation of Moab was formed, and while they were an aggressor nation against Israel, these were still part of the family of God. Just as Abraham always wanted to reconcile with Lot, God has wanted to reconcile with this sister nation. They had many of the same customs. They had many of the same faith traditions. They had similar roots to God’s chosen people. They were simply “once-removed” and part of the extended family.
So, God speaks through Isaiah . . . words of warning to many . . . and words of hopeful reconciliation to others.
Readings for the next few days:
Friday, August 2: Isaiah 23 – 27
Saturday, August 3: Isaiah 28 – 30
Sunday, August 4: Isaiah 31 – 35
Monday, August 5: Isaiah 36 – 41
PS: I’m going to be attending the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in the coming week. I hope to keep up to date on my blog, however we have many long days of planning the mission, vision, and future of the church. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel, worship, reflect, and go about the business of the greater church.