Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 33

Yesterday I talked about compromise and how bad it is from a faith perspective. When we compromise we sell God short. For example, when we choose to follow God, we must follow Him all the way. We are subject to His rules and His guidance. If we choose not to follow or believe in certain aspects of His guidance, we compromise. We are then not giving ourselves fully over to God, making us hypocritical. This is a label that most people try to avoid in their everyday lives at work, school, and home. Naturally, we want to avoid it in the eyes of the Lord as well.

Chapter 33 of Isaiah shows the results of that compromise and hypocrisy. It is important to remember that throughout the book of Isaiah, the nation of Israel was seeing the unfortunate results of their compromise. Yesterday's mention of Balaam and Balak was just an example of one time in her history that Israel had compromised her faith in God. We have seen several other instances throughout Isaiah where Israel has merely paid lip service to God instead of truly following Him. Because of that, Israel was now facing judgment as a result of that compromise.

1 Woe to you, O destroyer,
       you who have not been destroyed!
       Woe to you, O traitor,
       you who have not been betrayed!
       When you stop destroying,
       you will be destroyed;
       when you stop betraying,
       you will be betrayed.

 2 O LORD, be gracious to us;
       we long for you.
       Be our strength every morning,
       our salvation in time of distress.

 3 At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee;
       when you rise up, the nations scatter.

 4 Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;
       like a swarm of locusts men pounce on it.

 5 The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
       he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. – Isaiah 33:1-4

This is clearly a warning against those who have chosen not to follow God, be they from Israel or otherwise. God's ultimate plan was to use the nation of Israel as a beacon unto the world for salvation. He intended to have them as an example to other nations so they may know Him. Because Israel had compromised her position in a variety of ways, however, those nations instead turned against her. Therefore, God judged them, and this is the cost of Israel's compromise.


  1. Does this seem fair to the people that were attacking Israel?
  2. How did God try to reach these people?
  3. How does this carry over to today?


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