God, or the Medes, or Both?

Daily Scripture readings for February, set #5:

Isaiah, chapters 11-13
Proverbs 20:16-30
– Luke 21:29-38
Hebrews 3

There is so much awesomeness in today’s chapters of Isaiah, especially the beautiful Messianic texts in chapter 11. And yet, I’m going to focus my comments for today on these verses from chapter 13: “Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold. Their bows will slaughter the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them” (vs 17-19). These are descriptions of what the Medes will do to Babylon, and yet verse 19 says that “God” will be the one to overthrow Babylon. The Medes’ very participation in the matter is also attributed to God at the start of verse 17. So… who really does these things to Babylon then? Is it God, or the Medes, or both?

The Proverbs on retaliation/revenge: “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you” (20:22).

Another teaching from Jesus to be kept in mind regarding the ever-controversial debate on alcohol consumption: “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” (Luke 21:34).

Hebrews chapter 3 mounts a pretty significant attack on the Sunday school doctrine of “once saved, always saved.” Though security is something the Christian can and should know, the author of Hebrews still warns us to be diligent. “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end” (vs 14).

Daily Scripture readings for February, set #6:

Isaiah, chapters 14-16
Proverbs 21:1-16
– Luke 22:1-13
Hebrews 4:1-11

“The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him underfoot; and his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden from their shoulder'” (Isa 14:24-25). Note that it is the Lord’s plan and purpose to destroy (“trample”) another nation. Is this allowed? Can our God be the kind of God who purposes destruction?

The autonomy of a person is always influenced by government. I may be my own man, but I have to obey my president/king/leader/etc. But who does the king obey? On one level, the king obeys no one – that’s what it means to be king. Proverbs 21:1 offers another perspective as to who the king answers to: “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”

“Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve” (Luke 22:1). He was of the Twelve, hand-selected by Jesus himself. And Satan entered into him.

“For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened” (Heb 4:2). The hinge is not whether one hears the truth, but whether the truth is accompanied by faith.

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