Fellow Passengers: This week’s Prophetic Passage (Isaiah 24:5-13) reads this way:
Earth is polluted by its very own people,
who have broken its laws,
Disrupted its order,
violated the sacred and eternal covenant.
Therefore a curse, like a cancer,
ravages the earth.
Its people pay the price of their sacrilege.
They dwindle away, dying out one by one.
No more wine, no more vineyards,
no more songs or singers.
The laughter of castanets is gone,
the shouts of celebrants, gone,
the laughter of fiddles, gone.
No more parties with toasts of champagne.
Serious drinkers gag on their drinks.
The chaotic cities are unlivable. Anarchy reigns.
Every house is boarded up, condemned.
People riot in the streets for wine,
but the good times are gone forever—
no more joy for this old world.
The city is dead and deserted,
bulldozed into piles of rubble.
That’s the way it will be on this earth.
This is the fate of all nations:
An olive tree shaken clean of its olives,
a grapevine picked clean of its grapes.
Today’s passage I quoted from The Message translation. I did that on purpose because I wanted to see if I was getting the same thing out of this that the writer wanted me to! Maybe you will see what I meant by using this translation.
When Isaiah wrote this, I don’t think he could have known that what he was writing would be relevant to someone 2500 years down the road. Yet, this passage could have been written today.
We see it on the news, everywhere there is destruction, houses are boarded up, and cities are deserted. With all that there is still hope. There was hope for the Jews in their day and there is hope for us.
Georgianna Miller lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she stays actively engaged in peacemaking, music, social ministry, and the life of her church, Highland Baptist.