READING: Isaiah 18-22
God does not tolerate sin, whether it’s the sin of individuals or the sin of nations. Indeed, today’s reading reminds us that God judges entire nations like Egypt and Babylon.
It’s that announced judgment against Egypt that captures my attention today. First, it is the “Lord Almighty” who brings judgment. He is so powerful that the “idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear” (Isa 19:1). The Egyptians would turn to their false gods, their mediums, and their spiritists, but they would learn that the true God would “bring their plans to nothing” (Isa 19:3). The Almighty One rules.
Second, God would raise up nations to bring judgment on the Egyptians: “I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them” (Isa 19:4). The Almighty One who rules is sovereign over the nations, using leaders as He wishes to bring judgment, yet without ever affirming their sin.
Third, God would judge the Egyptians in order to bring them to Him. That truth is critical, as the One who judges does so redemptively: “The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them” (Isa 19: 22). Even when God judges, He desires to draw people back to Him through that judgment. The Almighty One who judges is also the Almighty One who redeems.
That’s not to say, though, that I want to live in such a way that invites God’s judgment. It’s simply to say that God’s love is both magnificent and mysterious. He loves me so much that He brings judgment when necessary, but He allows it because He wants me to love Him and worship him. The Almighty One is a good God.
- Meditate for a few minutes on the Almighty One. Consider both His power and His love. Worship Him.
- Remember a time when God brought judgment on you to turn you back to Him. Thank Him for that time, even if it was a painful time.
PRAYER: “God, You are mighty. You are powerful. You are always right. You judge, and You redeem. Thank You.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Isaiah 23-27