Isaiah 13:11-22: The Desolation of Babylon
Thursday, May 5, 2016
These are dreadful words and even more dreadful images yet the message is an important one. We might do well to remember that the dreaded Babylonians who swept down from the north were later swept away by the Assyrians, who were taken over by the Persians, who were displaced by the Romans. This is the message of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the story of Daniel. A series of invaders will take political control over the land of the faithful . . . and the faithful must persevere despite the outward appearance that God is not among them.
We must remind ourselves as Resurrection people that God walks among us, lives among us, suffers with us and loves with us. The outward appearance of loss and destruction cannot matter. What appears to be desolation is in truth a path to restoration.
If we are truly a resurrection people, we must remember this.
We will want to read other versions of these verses as we consider this Old Testament God who appears to send destruction and ruin to those who have wandered too far from the shepherd’s loving care. As resurrection people . . . How do we reconcile these verses with words from the prophet Hosea? Do these words reflect the kingdom Jesus describes and enacts? And what kind of response do these reflections engender in us?