A Time to Be Aware – Isaiah 56:9-12
We live in a world today where there are dangers and/or enemies that exist for practically all entities. There are dangers and/or enemies to our world-at-large, to our country, to our families, and to ourselves as individuals. Understanding that dangers and/or enemies exist to one’s well-being typically causes one to be aware, to be alert, and to take protective measures to the degree possible. One such protective action would be ensuring that one's leadership is functioning responsibly.
In the text cited above, we find the Word of God, spoken by the prophet Isaiah, calling the beasts of the field to a feast. For the Jews that were captive in Babylon or those remaining in Judah, the beasts of the field that they could most readily identify with or cite as natural predators to their existence would have been the lion and the bear. The testimony of David prior to confronting Goliath the Philistine giant tells us that he had killed both a lion and a bear while shepherding his father’s sheep.
It was ironic that Almighty God, who would sent His only begotten Son, the Good Shepherd, into the world to be calling the beasts of the field, aka the enemies of Judah, to come and eat at the table where those who identified themselves as His children would be the main entrée. In 722 BC the northern kingdom, Israel, was the entrée for the Assyrians and in 587 BC the southern kingdom, Judah, was served as the entrée for the Babylonians. The question one should ponder is why God would allow His chosen people to suffer such tragedies?
Despite the calamitous downfall of both the northern and southern kingdoms, the Word of God came to warn Judah that danger was still present. This danger existed because those call to guard and protect the nations had previously failed in their duties to lead in a caring and responsible manner, and now that failure was continuing. The political and religious leaders of Judah were not faithful followers of God, but simply men desiring to fulfill their own selfish ambitions at the expense of the citizenry.
Similarly, we live in a society where many of our political and religious leaders have failed to lead in a responsible and loving manner that honors God, reveres His Word, and protects the citizenry from the many dangers and enemies that lurk. When considering the fate that Israel and Judah suffered, misguided leadership reveals to us that divine judgment awaits those who will not draw nigh to God and live by His instructions. Thereby, let each of us be on guard to identify and follow leaders that seek after God’s will.