Focus: Isaiah 14:2 The LORD who commands armies makes this solemn vow: “Be sure of this: Just as I have intended, so it will be; just as I have planned, it will happen.
I wonder what it was like for Isaiah to listen to Yahweh as He revealed His plans for the nations. In Isaiah 11-15 there is a promise to preserve those who are faithful to God. Not only that, but there is a proclamation of judgment against the mighty nations of the earth. However, the judgment of nations and preservation of God’s people were not separate events. The remnant few who were faithful to Yahweh suffered greatly in a land that came under hot judgment for its broken Covenant with God. It does not seem fair that they should suffer. Should God’s people have continued to remain faithful to Him?
When answering this question, one thing that should grip the human heart like nothing else is the eternal sovereignty of God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God who controls armies. He is also the God with an eternal plan and perspective. What we know of His plan is limited to what we find in Scripture, but we are not limited in how we should trust Him. God’s past faithfulness is the foundation to trust Him for his future work in the lives of His people.
We can see how the Lord used the wickedness of the nations of Assyria and Babylon to chastise His people, but we can also discover that Yahweh was a just God. For those in Israel who were faithful- like Isaiah, God promised to deliver them from their bondage. God’s plan included the execution of nations and leaders that were used to reprove His people.
There are a couple of points that God’s people should take note of. First, suffering is inevitable, but it is not eternal. It is a part of the plan of God for His people to suffer. There are several reasons for this. First, suffering is a test of the faith that produces endurance (James 1:3). Suffering produces the opportunity for training that produces fruit (Hebrews 12:11). Suffering is also the DNA evidence of being part of God’s family. He is treating us as his children (Hebrews 12:7) whom He loves. When God’s people suffer, God is calling them to trust Him no matter the outcome.
Second, God’s people can be encouraged while going through suffering because suffering is being produced by God’s plan and is not incidental. Suffering is not haphazard. The pain of suffering is evidence of the working of God’s plans. Suffering is certainty that God is at work. God’s past faithfulness gives assurance that present pain will be relieved. The promise for God’s people is that just as God has intended, so it will be. Just as he has planned, so it will happen.
So yes, God’s people can give a resounding “YES” to answer the question. The remnant people of Israel who were faithful to Yahweh should have continued to be faithful to Him while they suffered. The same is true for us today. The present pain of suffering is God’s assurance that His past promises are being worked out to fruition. We can and we should continue to steadfastly trust in Him!