Today’s Reading: Isaiah 32-37
Today’s Reflection: Isaiah 34:1-3
1) Draw near, O nations, to hear, and give attention, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. 2) For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter. 3) Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood.
If there is one thing that should be abundantly clear from the book of Isaiah, it is that God’s judgment is sure and it is coming.
Yes, God is loving. Even more so, God is love (1 John 4:8). Yes, He is merciful (Isaiah 30:18). Yes, He is long suffering (Romans 2:4). Yes, God desires that all that can be saved will be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4). In fact, God desires that even the wicked would repent of their sins so they too can be saved (Ezekiel 33:11).
But eventually there comes a time when everyone has had a chance to hear God’s call and make a choice (Joshua 24:15). Eventually there comes a day for separating those striving with God and those striving against Him. Eventually the judgment comes. And it won’t be pretty.
The description of this Day of Judgment is appropriately vivid and horrific, for it will truly be a terrible day for those found unworthy in the sight of the Lord. On the surface this may seem completely unlike a loving God but these horrors are just a minor reflection of the devastation sin has wrought upon the world. This judgment in truth is an act of love, for it will bring an end to those hurting themselves with sin. For those who desire righteousness and eternity with God, His judgment ushers in a sinless world with a dire reminder of the wickedness of sin.
The greatest mercy of all is that you get to decide what side of this divide you end up on. Choose life and God has provided salvation to you through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But God respects your freedom and will allow you to use the life He has given you to choose your own way as well. Choose wisely.
Jeremiah 21:8 – “And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says the LORD: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.’”