The Nation That Oppresses Will Not Stand – Isaiah 47:1-15
In this passage, Isaiah speaks specifically to the great nation of Babylon. Under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon had become a great empire after conquering the Assyrians and would later defeat Judah and carry many of its citizens into captivity. This nation failed to realize that its exaltation was accomplished by the express will of the sovereign God of all creation.
In addressing Babylon, the prophet Isaiah noted that the nation’s days of prosperity and luxury would transition into a time of poverty and hardship. Babylon would be chastened specifically for 1) not being merciful unto the children of God and 2) making the lives of the aged very burdensome. The prophet states that Babylon’s security will be broken for her confidence in knowledge and wisdom would fail her. Trust in her resources and leadership would not be sufficient for Babylon to avoid the calamities that resulted from a righteous judgment decreed by Almighty God.
Similarly, as citizens of the United States of America, we would be wise to consider the calamities and demise that befell Babylon and other great nations of history. When we as Christians proclaim that God loves all humanity, is it prudent to allow the poverty-stricken, the oppressed, the sick and the aged of our society to be treated in ways that fail to acknowledge the words of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus, to “love others as we love ourselves.”
As we witness the outpouring of emotions in our country over the issue of racism, the Christian response should give voice and action to both a call for the cessation of the systemic oppression and forgiveness for those accused of being the oppressors. I believe the answer to the question “what would Jesus do” offers the best solution. The answer is found in Jesus’ exemplary ministry in which He offered love and forgiveness for all – the oppressors and the oppressed.
A future without commitment to God and His dictates will undoubtedly bring additional calamities and destruction, while a future with Him offers love, justice, and peace. As Joshua challenged the nation of Israel, we are called to choose this day whom we will serve.