Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jul 31, Isa 13-17

Today’s readings are Isa 13-17.

In the previous chapters of Isaiah, we read that there will one day be peace in Israel. Here we read that, for that to happen, we hear through a series of oracles, that Israel's enemies will be subdued by the Lord. All of them will be defeated; Aram (Syria) by the Assyrians, then the Philistines, Moab, and Assyria by the Babylonians, then Babylon by the Medes (Persians).

This is intended to be an encouragement but one that encourages the faithful to persevere. It is not necessarily a guarantee of easy and abundant lives while God is defeating their enemies. Indeed, God will use Israel's enemies to refine them and purge godless living from among them. Notice what it does not say. It does not imply that there Israel will be immune to hardship and suffering, only that their hardship and suffering would come to an end. With a clear understanding of Israel’s history comes the realization that all their hardship and suffering were brought about by their own disobedience and faithlessness.

As believers, we should be careful about "claiming victory" without having a full understanding of what or where the battle is. Some can be quick to attribute much of their struggle to "the enemy." As it was for Israel, so it is for many of us. The real struggle is within ourselves and involves staying faithful to Him and His word.

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