April 28, 2008

Judgment Against Assyria and Philistia

Isaiah 14:24-32

“The LORD has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.”
Isaiah 14:32


Geography isn’t a strong subject for many people. Many of us go scrambling for a map when asked to name the capitals of even the biggest nations. We often focus our attention mainly on our country or region.

Are you surprised, then, by how much of Isaiah’s prophecy—written to the people of Judah—speaks about the nations of the world? That’s because the LORD Almighty is in full control of the situation “for the whole world” and “over all nations.”

Assyria didn’t build its kingdom with a conscious desire to serve God. Its real desire was political and economic gain. But our sovereign God has his own agenda to build his own kingdom.

The Philistines didn’t understand history. At the death of Ahaz, they thought Jerusalem had become easy prey for them. But the Philistines had forgotten the importance of that tiny city. God was working in the world for the purpose of establishing Zion (Jerusalem) as a refuge for all his people who were in distress.

That’s still true today. The church of Jesus Christ is the New Jerusalem. Christ’s church remains the “city of refuge” to which all who are afflicted can come. Have you found a church home that provides you with refuge and balm for your wounds? Do you provide God’s healing grace to the hurting who come into your fellowship?

Gracious God, use your church today to bring healing to the world’s hurting people. And use each one of us to bring healing to our wounded neighbors. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Victor Atallah

Rev. Victor Atallah is the broadcast team leader for The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry and the general director of Middle East Reformed Fellowship. These meditations are based on texts of Arabic broadcasts aired a few years ago and an Arabic commentary on the book of Isaiah prepared for publication. Rev. Atallah and his wife, Lisa, live in Larnaca, Cyprus, where The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry is based. The ministry reaches Arabic-speaking people throughout the Middle East and North Africa, introducing them to Jesus Christ, Savior of the nations.

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