Scripture: verse 24 and 25
On that day Israel will be a third partner
with Egypt and Assyria a blessing here on earth;
for Adonai–Tzva’ot [Lord of Hosts] has blessed him:
“Blessed be Egypt my people,
Assyria the work of my hands
and Israel my heritage.”
Observation: This chapter started out with yet more death and destruction, this time for Egypt. But it ends with this promise. We’ve had chapter after chapter of God promising devastating punishment for Israel, Egypt, and Assyria. They would be conquering and decimating each other in turn (they are, after all, traditional enemies), and in between God would be hitting them with plagues and famine and confusion and in-fighting.
But God promises something that’s an even greater miracle than fighting and death: He promises peace. He promises that we who have rebelled and continue to rebel will be brought close to Him. He promises that these people groups who have had millenia of conflict will work together and friends and equals to serve the Lord and bless the world.
I did not have the best day today. I made a critical remark that may have been overheard by the wrong person, and I taught a children’s class that included a boy who is more difficult than average. Neither of these things is especially surprising – in fact, they are common enough that they have their own pages on tv tropes, which I have linked to. And God is using these things to point out places where I am not loving people the way He loves them.
But God’s promise is here: that someday, at the end of all the bad days, we will all stand together as friends and equals and servants of the Lord. Someday the staid leaders and the rebellious children and the slightly-crazy intellectual women like me and all the rest of everyone will be a blessing on the earth. Someday God will be bigger than all of our differences.
Application: Love other people, I guess. You’ll end up there in the end anyway.
Prayer: Father, thank you for loving me even when I am not loving to others. Thank you for promising harmony in the end. Thank you that everything really will be all right. Please help me to love others the way you love them. Amen.