Isaiah 30:28 He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction;
he places in the jaws of the peoples
a bit that leads them astray.
This is certainly not a verse I had underlined previously! We like to overlook the Bible’s many statements of judgment, or else think they apply to other people, not us. We also forget that when the Bible speaks of nations it means people-groups, much more than political entities. The thing that grabbed my attention as I read this was the “bit (the Japanese says, reins) that leads them astray.” Several times in the Old Testament the Lord tells people, “If you’re going to be that way, then be that way, and suffer the consequences.” It’s like when he “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” after each succeeding plague, all the way up to the climactic death angel. Two recent decisions of the US Supreme Court, with its much-vaunted “conservative majority,” seem to fly in the face of natural law and common sense. I find myself wondering if God didn’t direct that to bring on America the judgment she has been earning, particularly in recent years. Many things seem to point to the Lord’s soon return, and the judgment that will happen then. The point for every believer is to examine their own life and discard everything that is not pleasing to God, just as is referenced in verse 22, and renew their commitment to the Lord of Glory. We don’t know God’s timetable, but we do have the Holy Spirit to show us how we ourselves are to live. We need to wake up and pay attention.
I find myself with very mixed feelings. For most of my life I have somewhat looked down on people who seemed obsessed with prophecies of the End Times. However, as the prospects for my own “natural life” have shrunk with each year, I am sharply aware that for me at any rate, the end will come in less than 30 years. That puts a point on living each day in obedience to God! Humanly, I am very pleased and even excited at various advances in science, medicine, and engineering, but at the same time I see the spiritual blight that seems so widespread, and I know that it is all totally insignificant compared to the glory of God. I am not to let my heart be troubled, (John 14:1) but rather seek God’s purpose for my every moment of physical life, doing His will on His schedule for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. I do grieve at people’s rebellion against You, but certainly no more than You do. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me to do, so that I will be available for every task You have planned for me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!