In our reading passages today we see Isaiah prophesying against nations who have brought God’s people under their control. God’s people are in the middle of a mess that they brought upon themselves by their disobedience and idolatry. At the time of the prophecy, things looked pretty bleak for God’s people. But God wanted His people to be aware that the place where they were at this time, was just a moment of their existence and it need not define them. I want to particularly look at the first two Scripture passages that we read today.
Isaiah 34:1-4 (NIV)
34 Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! 2 The Lord is angry with all nations; his wrath is on all their armies. He will totally destroy[a] them, he will give them over to slaughter. 3 Their slain will be thrown out, their dead bodies will stink; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. 4 All the stars in the sky will be dissolved and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.
These nations that seem to have power without end aren’t as powerful as it seems. In God’s hands their destruction is imminent. Then look with me at the second passage that we come to.
Isaiah 14:24-27 (NIV)
24 The Lord Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen. 25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders.”
26 This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. 27 For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?Cross references:
- Isaiah 14:24 : Isa 45:23; 49:18; 54:9; 62:8
- Isaiah 14:24 : Isa 19:12, 17; 23:8-9; 25:1; Da 4:35
- Isaiah 14:24 : S Job 9:3; S Isa 7:7; 46:10-11; Eze 12:25; Ac 4:28
- Isaiah 14:25 : S Isa 10:5, 12; 37:36-38
- Isaiah 14:25 : S Isa 9:4
- Isaiah 14:25 : S Isa 10:27
- Isaiah 14:26 : Isa 23:9
- Isaiah 14:26 : Ex 15:12; S Job 30:21
- Isaiah 14:27 : Jer 49:20
- Isaiah 14:27 : S Ex 14:21
- Isaiah 14:27 : S 2Ch 20:6; Isa 43:13; Da 4:35
The Bible is so clear when it says that nothing can turn back the purpose of God. These nations, although at the time they may have seemed invincible, were only existing in a moment of time. Their moment of time was about to end because of the hand of God. We may encounter “moments” in our lives either as a result of messes (make that choices) we have made or the choices made by other people whose lives touch us. When that happens I want to encourage you to take hope in the fact that your life is “more than a moment.” What God wants to do in your life and my life is so much more than the moment we may be living in right now.
We can choose to become “more than a moment” kind of people who in addition to our individual lives, are a part of a “more than a moment” kind of church. This can happen when we have faith that nothing in this world or the world to come can thwart the purpose of God for our lives and the lives of our church family.
Yesterday in our Sunday morning service, we made the congregation aware of the DNA of our church family. That DNA is anchored in the truth that God has a purpose for us as a church which we get to live out as we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Neither the church family nor our individual lives have to be defined by a moment either good or bad, past or present. We are “more than a moment” kind of people. We will learn from the difficult moments and be propelled by the good ones. Because no matter where we are right now, or what we are presently experiencing, remember, we are “more than a moment.”