Monday Devotion, December 21
5 “What sorrow awaits Assyria, the rod of my anger. I use it as a club to express my anger. 6 I am sending Assyria against a godless nation, against a people with whom I am angry. Assyria will plunder them, trampling them like dirt beneath its feet. 7 But the king of Assyria will not understand that he is my tool; his mind does not work that way. His plan is simply to destroy, to cut down nation after nation. 8 He will say, ‘Each of my princes will soon be a king. 9 We destroyed Calno just as we did Carchemish. Hamath fell before us as Arpad did. And we destroyed Samaria just as we did Damascus. 10 Yes, we have finished off many a kingdom whose gods were greater than those in Jerusalem and Samaria. 11 So we will defeat Jerusalem and her gods, just as we destroyed Samaria with hers.’”
12 After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him—for he is proud and arrogant. 13 He boasts, “By my own powerful arm I have done this. With my own shrewd wisdom I planned it. I have broken down the defenses of nations and carried off their treasures. I have knocked down their kings like a bull. 14 I have robbed their nests of riches and gathered up kingdoms as a farmer gathers eggs. No one can even flap a wing against me or utter a peep of protest.”
15 But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it? Is the saw greater than the person who saws? Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it? Can a wooden cane walk by itself? 16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will send a plague among Assyria’s proud troops, and a flaming fire will consume its glory. 17 The Lord, the Light of Israel, will be a fire; the Holy One will be a flame. He will devour the thorns and briers with fire, burning up the enemy in a single night. 18 The Lord will consume Assyria’s glory like a fire consumes a forest in a fruitful land; it will waste away like sick people in a plague. 19 Of all that glorious forest, only a few trees will survive— so few that a child could count them!
Interestingly, even though God will use our enemies as a way to punish us, God will still punish our enemies for the things they will do. Maybe God controls our enemies, maybe not. I would say not because it seems out of God's character to force someone to do something and then punish them for it. What do you think? Do you think that the God who cries for justice would be unjust? Why or why not?
Lord, I want to be your tool for peace. Amen.