Isaiah 34. Choosing Grace over Wrath.

Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah.  Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.

Isaiah 34.

This chapter is a very graphic picture of God’s wrath: “The Lord is terribly angry with the nations.” (v2, CEV).

He will start exercising His vengeance with Edom. Who? Scholars say the land south and east of the Dead Sea is typically thought of as the territory of the Edomites. —  mostly Jordan today. The family tree of the Edomites began with Esau, the twin brother of Jacob. You might recall, he sold his birthright for a bowl of soup (Genesis 25:31-34). The resulting relationships in the successive generations were complicated. One commentator notes: “Whether deserved or not, Edom is remembered in the biblical record as the sibling who doesn’t live up to family expectations.”

Isaiah spells out horrific doom and gloom on Edom in this chapter.  The Edomites reportedly were part of the army that destroyed  Jerusalem in the 6th century BC.  I wouldn’t  want to be remembered as a soldier who destroyed the City of David.

Isaiah clearly states that God is a just judge. The actions of the Edomites deserve His great wrath: “Edom will be called “Kingdom of Nothing.” Its rulers will also be nothing.” (v12, CEV).  I believe the Edomites represent any one who turns their back on God.

And yet, because of Jesus and the amazing grace we talked about yesterday, everyone on the resurrection side of the cross and empty tomb has a choice to accept that grace. I’m thankful for that! And once we accept that grace, we need not fear “God’s bad side” nor His coming wrath, which will likely begin in the lands surrounding Israel.

“Our Lord Jesus was kind to us, and we are saved by faith in Him.” (Acts 15:11, CEV).

We have the opportunity to decide every day. May we choose His grace over His wrath.


If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.

(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.

Lessons from the Fathers’ Hearts: Jacob

A devotional look at eleven Biblical dads and what we can learn from them.

We are all blessed, not so we can hang on to the blessing but, rather, so that we may bless others.

Jacob is the third father of the Patriarchs of the Faith. Remember Rebekah, the wife of Isaac? The Word says that Rebekah had twins as a result of the fervent prayer of her husband. The first born was Esau, but the second, who was born at the same time was Jacob…which means “heel” because he was grabbing on to the heel of his older brother as they were born.

Twice Jacob does what he must in order to gain the edge over his brother. Esau was a wilderness man. He loved hunting and the outdoors. Jacob not so much. But all his growing up years Jacob was jealous of the birthright of his older brother.  Genesis 25 tells the story.  One day Esau came in from the field and saw that Jacob was cooking stew.  The hunter asked for some and Jacob would only give him something to eat if Esau would give Jacob his birthright as a first born.  Esau shrugged off the importance of being the first born, and because he was very hungry, gave away his rights.  Some have suggested that Jacob stole the birthright or tricked him.  That was the first step in getting what he wanted.

Later, with their father old and blind and dying, Jacob tricked his father into giving his blessing, something that was deeply significant in the Ancient Days.  Isaac indeed blessed his sons… but gave the blessing of the first born, to the second born, and the blessing of the second born to the first born. And there was nothing Esau could do about it, because earlier he had given away his birthright for a bowl of soup. And, so there is a parallel in this generation similar to that of the generation of Isaac and his half brother Ishmael.

The blessing Jacob receives:

Now may God give you of the dew of heaven,

And of the fatness of the earth,

And an abundance of grain and new wine; 

May peoples serve you,

And nations bow down to you;

Be master of your brothers,

And may your mother’s sons bow down to you.

Cursed be those who curse you,

And blessed be those who bless you.”

                        Genesis 27:28-29 (NIV)

Continue reading Lessons from the Fathers’ Hearts: Jacob