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God’s Word for You

Isaiah 22:1-4

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, February 4, 2008

A Prophecy About Jerusalem

The Lord has delivered a series of judgments against the nations all around Judah. North, south, east and west, the people of the world have been measured by God’s standard and been found wanting. But what now? What about God’s own people?

22 An oracle concerning the Valley of Vision:

We can’t say for certain what or where the Valley of Vision was. Although it might have been simply an experience and not a place, a “dark night of the soul” in which Isaiah wrestled with God’s word and with his own thoughts, it is just as likely and perhaps far more certain that it was a specific place, a valley not far from Jerusalem where the prophet had been traveling. Perhaps, like Jacob (Genesis 46:2), Zechariah (Zechariah 1:8) and Paul (Acts 18:9), this was a vision that came to the prophet at night.

What troubles you now,
     that you have all gone up on the roofs,
2 O town full of commotion,
     O city of tumult and revelry?
Your slain were not killed by the sword,
     nor did they die in battle.
3 All your leaders have fled together;
     they have been captured without using the bow.
All you who were caught were taken prisoner together,
     having fled while the enemy was still far away.
4 Therefore I said, “Turn away from me;
     let me weep bitterly.
Do not try to console me
     over the destruction of my people.” (NIV)

Sometimes people set up altars and burned incense on rooftops (2 Kings 23:12); perhaps that is why Isaiah describes troubled people who head to their roofs. The people have not died because of battle, but because of the other tragedies that occur during a war. War brings with it disease and famine and even despair.

When a nation goes to war, it will pay for that war for as long as the men and women who fight are still living. We need to remember the soldiers who are returning to us now, and offer them our companionship, our thanks, and the thing they need most of all: The gospel of Jesus our Savior. Soldiers often bring back guilt and questions—and Jesus is the answer to both. Jesus gives consolation to the inconsolable. Jesus’ blood covers over our guilt. Jesus’ sacrifice brings every single one of us back into the forgiving arms of our God.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.