My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Thursday, October 26, 2006

Isaiah 30

You don't even want it! Gosh!

Summary:
Sucks for those who do their own plans with their own alliances. Those alliances will fail! Ha! Egypt won't help you!

They suck. They don't even want to hear God's word. So their sin will fall on them like a bridge about to collapse. You were supposed to repent, but you didn't want to. You ran away. And so you will continue to run from your enemies. God wants to show grace!

When you call on God, he will be quick to pick you up again. Just do it! You'll be prosperous!

God's name is coming strongly like the weather. There will be much rejoicing, and Assyria will be screwed! The furnace is ready for their king.

Key verse:
18. Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!

My thoughts:
Sounds like modern day New Zealand. It's not that people don't hear God, it's that they don't even want to! Stupid people.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Deane said...

Pete:
Sucks for those who do their own plans with their own alliances. Those alliances will fail! Ha! Egypt won't help you! ...
Sounds like modern day New Zealand. It's not that people don't hear God, it's that they don't even want to! Stupid people.


I wonder if New Zealanders are, in one respect, wiser than the writer of Isaiah 30-31? Most New Zealanders believe in God, but few are active in church or other religious practices. In Isaiah's day, it was easy to state that failure in war was due to turning from God, but victory in war was due to God's favour. Was this in fact the case? Or was it naive and in fact harmful? In Isaiah's day it was easy to state that one day the oppressor, Assyria, would be struck down by Yahweh, just as Assyria struck down Yahweh's people. But was this ever the case? Or was it just the naive justification of a cycle of violence by claiming divine favour (or opposition) for your own actions?

If you adopt such a position as Isaiah's, it then depends on which side you're on as to whether your god is for or against you. God becomes merely a servant of politics in Isaiah. Sometimes different prophets of Yahweh will have quite opposite political opinions, while both claiming that God is on their side. On one hand, Jehu is annointed in the name of Yahweh as king of Israel, and told by the prophet of Yahweh to strike down Ahab, and his entire family, for Yahweh's sake (2 Kgs 9.6-10). On the other hand, Jehu and Israel are punished for the blood Jehu shed in Jezreel (Hos 1.4). In both cases, two opposing and contradictory cases, God is used to justify political developments.

Maybe New Zealanders are better in this respect, because most no longer use the name of God for human politics?

I have no doubt that George Bush follows closer to Isaiah 30 than most New Zealanders. But is his position better or worse than ours? Are New Zealanders much less the victims of human hubris than those who claim that their actions are backed by their god?

"I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them. (Applause.) Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice -- assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America."
- George W. Bush, Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, September 2001

"Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."
Mr Bush went on: "And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And, by God, I'm gonna do it." "
- The Guardian, October 7, 2005

9:57 am

 
Blogger Pete W said...

It is wrong, yes, to use God's name and position to make excuses to justify actions.

But hey, let's just imagine, just for a second, that God hypothetically might actually be real. It's a big call I know, but just bear with me. Would it then be potentially possible that God could actually have a cause to fight? Would how much trouble we get into an accurate measure of how much in are in agreement with God's will?

BTW, I'm not specifically commenting on GWB. I dunno if he really hears God or not!

But maybe you're right. We're probably best to ignore Isaiah's theology. Just like Jesus!

11:23 am

 
Blogger Pete W said...

insert the word "be" between "into" and "an"

11:24 am

 
Anonymous Deane said...

Pete:
It is wrong, yes, to use God's name and position to make excuses to justify actions.

I thought you'd agree.

10:53 pm

 
Blogger Pete W said...

Sure. But there's a difference between using God as an excuse to try to get yourself out of a bad situation, and generally believing that God is on your side.

But then, if one claims that they think God is on their side, then you can't know whether they really believe that let alone whether they are actually right!

4:47 pm

 

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