The Staff And Scepter
Day 154 (Isaiah 14-21)
“The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of the rulers.”(14:5)
Although Israel forgot God and sinned against Him, God promised that they would be rescued from the foreign land , brought back and made masters in their own land.(14:1)
But, to make this promise happen the kings of Babylon should be kind hearted. Or, they should be defeated. Both were beyond anybody’s wildest imagination.
Babylon was so vast an empire that it was a synonym for the world. And the kings were the likes of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar; pompous, powerful, arrogant, haughty, wicked…. Isaiah prophesies that the Lord will break their staff and sceptre and the kingdom will disintegrate.
If I was the one who got this revelation, I would not have revealed it to anyone for fear that I would be branded as mentally unsound.
And that exactly is the difference between me and the Prophet. A prophet is the one who is brave enough to proclaim what seems to be impossible. He is the one who is unruffled about the consequences of his unpalatable prophecies.( It is believed that Isaiah was brutally murdered by Manasseh ,son of Hezekiah.)
Isaiah prophesied boldly. The impossible happened. The kings perished. The kingdom disintegrated.
This a warning for all generations of people. God will break the staff of the wicked and the sceptre of the rulers. It is equally true for a person or a nation.
As individuals we have the responsibility to eschew wickedness. As a community we have the responsibility to elect those that are fair and just to be our rulers. That is the indirect message today’s portion gives us.
George Joseph Trivandrum