Swept away

Are you ever surprised when you read about a household item in the Bible? I remember being shocked they had pillows. Maybe it was because I grew up hearing Bible stories. Sometimes the unexpected makes you step into the story deeper.

I never thought I would see the word “pomp” in the Bible. Isaiah 13 talks about the pomp of the nations that God would judge. Money leads to self satisfaction and the idea that “I can buy things, I can buy someone’s time, I can control my life.” An entire chapter is devoted to the destruction of an enemy kingdom. No matter how powerful an empire is, God has a grander plan that plots out their lifespan.

It makes more sense as chapter 14 begins: 

“For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord‘s land as male and female slaves.[a] They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.” 

Compassion. Choose. Captive. Possess. God is active in working, even when we cannot see it! And outsiders would be blessed by not just resting in the land, but living in it! God turns the tables on oppressors. And the captives of Israel would laugh over the king of Babylon! The most powerful nation on earth reduced to the lowly.

I love this imagery – God would sweep them with the broom of destruction. This is not 10-year-old-doing-chores sweeping, this is spring-cleaning-dust-runs-away sweeping! Assyria gets the same message. And Philistia, too. The slave-drivers of Israel’s history are all swept away by God. But He established the city of His people.

The world is not a stable place. No matter who is in power now, it will look different in a few years. But the people He saves, He saves for good. And it blesses those who want to join. God is faithful, He has a plan, and He is at work for our good.

God, I’m sorry for how impatient I am on a regular basis. Stepping back, my day problems are so small compared with the challenges in the world. Yes, my problems need to come to You to be addressed, but I can trust that You are working. Please help me to gain a greater perspective on how You work and Your heart for people. You are awesome God, to You be all the credit. Amen.

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