By Sally Lombardo
“The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him underfoot; and his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden from their shoulder.’ This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:24-27).
Enhance Today’s devotional by reading Isaiah 14:28-32
In Isaiah’s time, the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Philistines worshiped many gods. These gods were capricious and did what they pleased, changing course every new moon and acting on humanity in unpredictable ways. People feared them because they never knew what might happen or for what reason. The Hebrew God Yahweh was the only God who did not change and acted according to what he prophesied. He was predictable through the messages of his prophets and through the Torah. Even though Isaiah foretold coming wars and subjugation by an enemy, he also described God’s defense system and enduring love for his people.
When has this fear been true in your life? As a chaplain, I work with people who sometimes feel an unseen enemy has turned against them, maybe an illness or predicament taking their lifeblood away. Sometimes they feel like their bodies are “under siege” in the way the Israelites must have known. My job is to encourage and let them know God is near.
Isaiah refers to a “yoke” that will be taken away and a burden removed. We hear the same concept in Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all who are weary…Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…and you will find rest” (Matthew 11:28-29 NIV). The prophet Jeremiah also wrote that turning back to God’s ways gives rest to the soul and light to the eyes. Today, turning back to God’s ways can look like coming to church, sharing your faith when someone is hurting, taking a meal, or letting go of an old pattern of discord or disagreement. When you reach to God for help in these things, the passage asks us who can turn God’s hand back (See Isaiah 14:27).
Reflection: What would it look like to seek God’s ways again in your daily life or your family? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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