So far and no farther

As part of his prophecy against Babylon, Isaiah writes:

“These two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day; the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments.” (Isaiah 47:9, ESV)

Line in the sandIt is as if God is saying to Babylon, “I will let you go so far and no farther.” Isaiah tells Babylon that they may think that they have the power to do whatever they please, but they do not.

In 2016, we live in a world that seems to be increasingly chaotic. Hardly a week goes by without a story of a homicide bomber (their intent is homicide after all). Radical Islam is intent on taking over the world. This is clear from their actions and, like Babylon, they think that they have the power to do so.

Thinking about Islamic Jihad is troubling, but I learn from Isaiah that no matter how much power the Jihadists think they have, it is not enough to derail God’s plan.

There are times when evil must by physically opposed and restrained. This is the purpose of government as mentioned by the Apostle Paul in Romans 13:4. But I am not here calling for a counter-Jihad against the radical Islamists.

What I am calling for is an increased fervor in prayer that God himself will restrain the evil.

It is one thing to force someone into a behavior with which they don’t agree. It is another thing entirely to change the motivation for that behavior. One is externally forced upon a person, the other is internally motivated. Force can be used to  externally restrain the Jihadists but the ultimate solution must come from internal motivation.

Only God can change the hearts of those who perpetrate evil. It is for this that we should be praying.

I am glad that we have security officials working diligently to thwart terrorist activities, but this is not enough.

All of Christendom must rise up in prayer to Almighty God that He intervene. Only God is able to bring about the peace that we so desperately crave. He longs to do so and has promised that eventually he will. For this we should be praying.

Can I remind you of what happened in Nineveh when Jonah preached? Perhaps Jonah and Nineveh would be a good topic for my next post.