Throughout Isaiah’s Book of Comfort are numerous exhortations of encouragement for redemption. But here, in chapter 47, is an example of what will occur to the wicked; in this specific case, Babylon. About the only verse not rooted in disaster is this one following, something believers can hold onto:
“Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—
is the Holy One of Israel.”
~Isaiah 47:4 (NRSV)
Confidence Should Be Our Hope That Judgment Will Occur
Upon all our situations there will be judgment. This, rightly considered, should create within us fear of the Lord, which compels us to lope to humility. And when we arrive there, as we certainly will, what will meet with our understanding will be the quiet confidence that judgment against the wicked will soon occur.
Our role is to be changeless in the Lord—to be obedient and to stay obedient. There’s to be no backsliding into vindictiveness. There’s to be no temptation of greed—to go their way. There’s to be no flippant ‘fence-sitting’ response—to pretend that all’s well in laughter.
No, our confidence is quiet and unassuming as we wait upon the Lord.
And While We Wait...
Whilst we wait we put to good use our time. If we were imprisoned we would study. If we were being abused we would focus on the goodness that isn’t apparent right now—but by faith we know exists. If our opportunities were thin and few and far between we would plan for when the inevitable time would strike. If we were constantly disappointed we would still look for the scant signs of encouragement.
Whatever our view, we choose for God, for goodness, for hope, for release and revelation upon our true destiny. Whilst we wait we are free to imagine, conjuring magnificent landscapes in our minds of the judgment of God.
Not only that; we also, as far as humanly possible, with allowance for grace, love our captors and wish that they would turn back to God before it’s too late. We pray for them to repent. We pray that they might see sense and reason, and grow in compassion. We pray even, in our humility, for the judgment of God to be true—as it will be—and not too heinous. And however difficult it is, we forgive. Our test from the Lord is to forgive, leaving the judgment to him.
Believers of God, and in Divine justice, have their hope that things, no matter how bad, will end well. At the time of judgment it is good to be on the right side. The Lord is gathering everything back.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.