Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
Bad news for five nations! Babylon, Dumah, Arabia, Jerusalem and Tyre have judgment pronounced against them by means of beautiful poetry and the expanding empire of Assyria. Babylon’s gods are shattered in the dust. Dumah’s watchmen watch all night and only have reprieve from worry for the day, until the next night. While the inhabitants of Jerusalem tear down their houses to fortify the siege on their city wall; their Shibna (a title of a high up individual who is a steward under the king) picks out a nice tomb to be remembered by. God has plans for this selfish guy! (Read 22:15-21!) Tyre’s pride in a strong trade economy will be humbled.
What is one key verse?
“The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea” Isaiah 21:1
Hebrew poetry is so good! The “wilderness” is an uninhabitable desert and the “sea” is a wild dangerous place. The author overlays hopeless and frightening miles of sand on the image of overpowering waters.The dry and the wet, both so intense; put them together it just makes sense! Every name and image in the poem has meaning like every Disney movie has easter eggs and themes that resonate with the zeitgeist. (See what I did there?) Really look to appreciate the poet’s work to bring deeper ideas and feeling into the poem.
Here is a helpful video on Biblical Poetry from the Bible Project: https://youtu.be/q9yp1ZXbsEg
How does what you read change your vision of God?
I used to be confused why God dealt out judgment and allowed for cities to be wrecked by invading nations; but after understanding these poems I see God’s perspective and goal. When humanity builds cities that worship idols, military might, selfish glory and riches He turns them over to be broken down so they can return to Him.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
I am stubborn to turn from my comforts and crutches of security that I think are good. That is a scary place to be. It’s better to let God define good and evil than myself.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I need to really consider how to listen to “prophets” and the spirit to honor God and avoid being humbled. I will take some time to look at myself and repent from the things I trust or give allegiance to over God.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
All these nations had the rock fall on them instead of falling on the rock. I am so grateful for a meek and mild Jesus who I can relate to and understand me. Jesus by means of discipleship and the Spirit offers to help me love God. That give me a lot of hope!
“And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” – Matthew 21:44