How is God hurting you? Isaiah 19:1-25 shows us that when God wants to heal people in a nation, He must strike them first. In this sense, the road to blessing can be a hard road. It often begins with direct strikings of the judgment of God and the fear that results. These are often the things the Lord uses to secure our salvation and our sanctification.
Isaiah 19:1-24, illustrates how God strikes the people of a nation in order to heal them. God stretches out His hand in judgment, in order to soften hard idolatrous hearts. Specifically, we learn that God strikes Egypt in order to bring her to repentance. God uses Egypt to tell the story of salvation.
He uses the greatest oppressor of God’s people to serve as an illustration of His love toward sinners. He can soften even the hardest idolaters and sorcerers of Egypt, teach them a new “language,” send them a “Savior,” and a “Mighty One, and He will deliver them,” and draw them into His “altar” to worship Him and be healed. Their lives will change and “They will make a vow to the Lord and perform it.” And, there will be “blessing in the midst of the land.” The question is, Is He striking us? Is He coming out against us? Is He chastening us? Is He humbling us? If so, it may be that He is desiring our healing.
This passage is also a dramatic illustration of the sovereignty of God. Isaiah teaches us that God sways the wills of men. He controls the economy and the counsels of men.
Whatever are your defeats; Whatever burden you are suffering under; Whatever persecutions; Whatever sorrows; Whatever impossibilities; These things God has appointed to you to glorify Himself.
God does not afflict His people needlessly. Calvin explains, “Whatever poison Satan produces, God turns it into medicine for his elect.” John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis
He causes all things to work together for good – in the right sequence; in the right season; at the exact right time; with the right intensity; by the right people; for the right length of time and not a second longer.
All of this in order to strike us to heal us; to wean us from this world; to demonstrate that this world is not our home; to exalt Him in our hearts, in our families in our churches in our nation, and in the world.
God humbles nations in order to heal them. He strikes before He saves. He burdens before He blesses. He hurts before he heals.
Imagine what it would be like if God healed our nation. What would it take? What conditions would we experience if He healed our nation?
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