Babylon. The Philistines. Moab. Damascus. Cush. Egypt. Edom. Arabia. Chapters 13–24 of Isaiah read like a parade of Israel’s worst enemies. As every pagan nation is named, we read words of judgment and destruction on those who oppressed the people of God. It can be tempting to want to parade our enemies past God’s judgment seat, to imagine them receiving justice and punishment for every wrong they had committed! If I were Isaiah, I might have enjoyed delivering this prophecy a little too much.
However, right in the middle of the passage, we read surprising sentences about deliverance (see 19:21). God is made known to the Egyptians. They pray and worship, and God delivers them.
Remember that God loves those who seem to be enemies to the faith. Even our adversaries are created in God’s image, and God desires to grant deliverance and redemption. When we understand this truth, it becomes easier for us to live out the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
Author: Jonathan Twitchell
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