Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Isaiah 47

The result of oppression? Utter humiliation

Babylon trusted in herself. She dwelt carelessly, for what did she have to fear? Nothing… who would dare to challenge her greatness? She was, and none else beside her. And as such, she felt at liberty to make others conform to her wishes.

But wickedness cannot stand forever. Judgment was sure to come. And to the extent of her boasting, Babylon received humiliation. Utter shame, humiliation, and embarrassment…


Now, they that wait upon the Lord… They truly have nothing to fear. But it’s not because they have any strength in themselves. They rely upon One who has all things under His control. They forget themselves, and surrender themselves absolutely to their Best Friend.

What is the result? Eternal life and joy…

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One "small" choice

Isaiah 39

Imagine yourself as the king of a prosperous nation. You’ve just gotten over a dread disease, and you’re guaranteed 15 more years of life. God temporarily suspended the laws of the universe, just to give you a sign.

Then some messengers come from a foreign king. They bring greetings from the king. The king has heard about your sickness, and your miraculous recovery. He’s quite impressed. In fact, he’s so impressed that he has sent his servants with a present for you!

What do you do?

Do you thank them for the present, and lodge them for the night, then kindly send them back?  Or do you give them a full tour of your palace?

Hezekiah decided to give them the tour. He showed them everything, from his silver and gold to his collection of exotic spices to his military warehouse. Nothing was hidden from them.

It was a poor choice. And Isaiah the prophet told him so. But the damage was already done. Years later, the Babylonians would come and take over that palace. They would take everything of value, and all the occupants would become prisoners.

One small choice. All the king’s successors – and his subjects – would suffer because of one small choice.

I wonder what would have happened if Hezekiah had sent those messengers back with a report of how God had raised him from his deathbed. Those messengers could have borne the light of Heaven back to their master. King Merodachbaladan might have learned of the power of the God of Israel. It could have been the dawn of a new day for the Babylonians. Yet because of Hezekiah’s pride, none of this happened.

One “small” choice. Does it really matter?

You decide.