The LORD says to Babylon, ‘Sit in silence and darkness; no more will they call you the queen of nations! I was angry with my people; I treated them as no longer mine: I put them in your power, and you showed them no mercy; even the aged you treated harshly.’ (verses 5,6)
Read Isaiah 47:1-15
Sometimes you might get the idea that the world is too corrupt and complex for God to cope with. After all, there are many nations where his name is completely rejected and still others where justice and order are replaced by persecution and chaos. On the international scene the same pattern prevails: evil empires seem to thrive, while honest nations struggle to survive.
In the time of our reading, as an Israelite you would have been in despair. Your people were in slavery to the Babylonians. On the horizon was a war between two pagan powers: the Babylonians and the Assyrians under the rule of Cyrus. The fate of God’s people seemed irrelevant and hopeless.
In this predicament God used both major powers for his purposes: Babylonians to punish the Israelites, and the Assyrians to free them and bring them home. Despite the evil plans of certain people, God’s will prevails and his people survive. God is far more astute and wily on your behalf than you might give him credit for.
Lord, continue to use the evil designs of people and nations to fulfil your will and care for your people. Amen.
by Richard Hauser, in ‘Assurance for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2004)
Visit the Daily Devotion archives page.