God desires for us to have regard for our Maker and to look to him. He longs for us to abandon the idols of our world and focus on serving him only. Whatever happened yesterday, and whatever idols or worldly pursuit has our hearts, abandon those things!
1 A prophecy against Damascus:
“See, Damascus will no longer be a city
but will become a heap of ruins.
2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted
and left to flocks, which will lie down,
with no one to make them afraid.
3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
and royal power from Damascus;
the remnant of Aram will be
like the glory of the Israelites,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
4 “In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;
the fat of his body will waste away.
5 It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain,
gathering the grain in their arms—
as when someone gleans heads of grain
in the Valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet some gleanings will remain,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
four or five on the fruitful boughs,”
declares the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 In that day people will look to their Maker
and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
8 They will not look to the altars,
the work of their hands,
and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles
and the incense altars their fingers have made.
9 In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation.
10 You have forgotten God your Savior;
you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
In the time of Damascus’ decline, God says the glory of Jacob will also fade. The fatness of flesh will become lean. Sometimes, in our readings in the Bible, when things become lean the people of God blame him and become angry at the Lord. I am reminded of Israel after leaving Egypt: Why did you bring us out into the desert to die? We should have stayed enslaved to the Egyptians…
The reason things are so lean is that (vs 10) the people had forgotten the God of their salvation and the rock of their refuge. This is the accusation which could be levied against many of us. When times are good or when success seems to come our way from our own achievement, we forget God. We adopt practices of our neighbours which displease the God who saved us. And God will only bear with our folly for so long.
Yet here, in the times of the fall of several prominent cities and people’s who have moved against God’s people, we see in vs 7 that man will have regard for his Maker and his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel. This is what God desires for us in every circumstance as he interacts with us in our lives. He longs for us to abandon the idols of our world and focus on serving the Lord only.
Consider your life. Do you see the fruit of clinging to God or do you see him leaning things out because you are letting yourself become distant? As always, as we read the prophecies against these ancient cities and people’s, we should be motivated to turn back to God today. Whatever happened yesterday, and whatever idols and worldly pursuit has our hearts, abandon the things which compete with the Lord and look to the Holy One. Have regard for your Maker. Serve him only…