READ: Isaiah 13-14
THINK: How do you feel when you fail? Not good? No one likes to fail. And yet, we learn some of the most valuable lessons through times of failure. But some are unwilling to learn that way. Their aim is to succeed at any cost-or at least give the impression of success-allowing pride to take control. Ironically, the more people promote their own priorities, plans and purposes, the more they set themselves up for failure. God will not ultimately tolerate selfish pride. Many leaders of nations in Isaiah's time would find out the hard way that no one can ultimately stand against God's plans. Those who disregard and defy God's desires are destined for downfall and destruction, while those who continually depend on God will enjoy His peace, provision and purpose in their lives.
RESPOND: Beginning in chapter 13, what kind of message does God have for several nations, and what does this indicate about the accountability that people groups and nations-not just individuals-have to God? (See 13:1-23:18 note.) How did God use Babylon, why would He overthrow it, and where are it's ruins located? (See 13:1 note.) What does the destruction of Babylon represent in regard to the end times? (See 13:6-13 note.) For what actions and attitudes will God punish the world (13:11)? What will happen among Israelites following God's judgment, both in Old Testament times and in the future (14:1-4)? What will eventually happen to all world leaders who defy God and oppose the values and principles of His kingdom (14:4-11)? (See 14:4-21 note.) What are the various views regarding the individual or individuals to whom 14:12-15 refers? What is the primary attitude that led to the downfall described in that passage (14:13-15)? Why and how can this same attitude devastate anyone's life? What happens with all of the Lord's plans and purposes (14:24)?
PRAY: Pray for your country and its government leaders. Ask God to give them guidance and wisdom to make decisions that fit His plans and purposes. Praise God for His perfect justice.
ACT: Are you doing anything out of selfish pride or with an arrogant attitude? If so, ask God to forgive you and apologize to anyone you may have hurt or offended. Then demonstrate greater humility and gratitude toward God and others.
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