April 26, 2008

The Instrument of Judgment Is Judged

Isaiah 13

Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
Isaiah 13:6


Is the world out of control? Anyone who listens to the news might think so. The bus of world history seems to be careening down a mountain road with no one at the wheel. If that’s your fear, take a look at the snapshot from ancient history in today’s passage.

God used pagan nations to bring judgment on his people. But God is consistent in his character and in his actions. Babylon, which served as God’s instrument of punishment, is no better than Israel or Judah. It too must be judged for its sin. The Lord says, “I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.”

Later, the interests of God’s justice would be carried out through yet another people, the Medes: “I will stir up against them the Medes … Babylon … will be overthrown.” The Medes in turn would also be humbled by God and used to assist the remnant to return to prepare for the coming Immanuel (see Daniel 8-9).

Our Lord is the God of history. He has, then and now, clear intentions about where the world is headed. The destination is his kingdom of shalom (peace and well-being for all). If you are a citizen of that kingdom today, you can find confidence in knowing that God works all things for this ultimate good (see Romans 8:28).

Gracious God, we thank you for being consistent and just in all your ways. In a world that seems to be spinning out of control, help us to believe that you are in control. 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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