Archive for July 7th, 2017

I love this passage. I love the promise that there will come a time when the great Leviathan will be overcome by God’s “great and powerful sword.” (v.1). The Leviathan is a representation of evil thought by some scholars to relate to a mythical seven-headed beast that was part of Canaanite folk lore called Lotan. Others think it’s a reference to whales, crocodiles or even dragons. Here it’s used to represent Satan and the way that God eventually planned to overcome him. The language used evokes memories of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, dark, mysterious and evil.

What follows this slaughter is the promise of return to a life as God originally intended. Once again the language is very poetic and a great deal of imagery is employed to speak into the culture of the time. The vineyard in verses 3-5 represents the people. God wants there to be peace so He declares that He’s not angry (v.4) and that this is a place of refuge where people can come to Him to be under His protection and care. Verse 6 tells us that in those times Israel will prosper and flourish.

None of that comes without a cost though. The next series of verses teach us that there is to be a time of punishment when all the sins of the past are to be atoned for and that until all the Asherah poles associated with idolatry have been taken down there will be no favour. The destruction was to be devastating, the city would be devastated (v.10), animals would use it for grazing and the women would come and gather dead wood there to make fires (v.11). And all because the people did not understand or rather didn’t want to understand the nature of their God and Father.

But there is always hope and the passage finishes with the hope that God would eventually re-gather the people from the places they were to be scattered to (Assyria to Egypt) so they could once again worship on the holy mountain of Jerusalem.

God is always the God of hope. So often as we read these passages the message is the same. The people have wandered from the path, they turned their backs on God and worshipped false idols for which there must be a punishment and yet there remains the promise that God will always have them back.

 

 

 

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Father, thank you that you are a forgiving God. I ask you once again to forgive me for the times when I have wandered from the path and turned my back on you. Restore me, O Lord, to righteousness once again. Amen.

 

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