S (Scripture): Isaiah 14:22 “I will rise up against them,” says the Lord who commands armies. “I will blot out all remembrance of Babylon and destroy all her people, including the offspring she produces,” says the Lord.
O (Observation): The Israelites have spiritually moved away from God. So much, that The Lord has allowed the neighboring Babylonians to take over God’s people and the Promised Land.
In Isaiah’s time, as a prophet, he was charged with sharing God’s word for all people. And with foreigners in power, I can see that these words would have been pretty hard to accept, for both Babylonians and Israelites.
The Babylonians were in charge, so these would have been “fighting words.” The Israelites had submitted to the Babylonians, and had no power. Only by faith could God’s people embrace these words. They would come true, but not for several hundred more years down the road.
How does one sustain faith for that long?
A (Application): The Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, the shootings in Charleston, race riots, hunger. The list goes on and on.
And throughout Scripture we hear stories of how God brings us into relationship (Covenant), and how God calls us to represent Him in the world (Kingdom). In Covenant, we rely on God’s grace to establish our identity and that leads to our obedience. In Kingdom, we rely on God’s grace to establish our authority and power in this world.
So, in light of the recent weeks’ events, I give you a word of encouragement. God is active and moving. How? Well, in part, God is working through us. And even IN SPITE OF US.
Just ask the Israelites how things went with the Babylonians hanging around.
P (Prayer): Lord, you are more powerful and wise than we can ever imagine. Give us hope and wisdom to move forward in faith, in the midst of tumultuous times. Amen.