Thursday, June 7, 2012

From Isaiah - The Fall of...

One of the themes of Isaiah is God's judgment. The book is full of prophecy of God judging those nations that held his people captive - the ruthless, the mockers, the oppressor, the destroyer, the traitor".
"I will rise up against them," declares the the LORD Almighty (Is 14:22) 
"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins." (Is. 17:1b) 
"The ruthless will vanish,
the the mockers will disapper,
and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down -
those who with a word make a man out to be guilty,
who ensnare the defender in court
and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice." (Is. 29:20-21)
I read past these verses to the ones that I underline, the themes that resonate with me.

Recently though I have been engaging in a forum that is debating a local issue. I assumed that the people involved were all coming to the table with the same desire, to find solutions to a problem. I knew that we would not agree on the solutions and that our understanding of the problem was tainted by self interest. And for the most part that is the case. But there were a few posts that I did not understand. Accusations, belittling, and out right lies. I kept wanting to assume the best, that we were all working to better understand one another, even if we could not agree. But the offensive and divisive posts kept coming, from one or two individuals specifically. And I was flummoxed.

I could not understand why someone would want to divide, to hurt, to demean. I understand pain causes us to do some hurtful things. I understand that when we are insecure or feel bad about ourselves or our situation, we can lash out. But I don't think that is what I am seeing.

You know those evil masterminds in superhero movies, the ones that want to destroy the world just for fun. The ones that know that they may go down in the flames, but still set the city on fire because it's amusing. The ones whose pride is so overflowing that they actually believe they are all knowing, all right, and the only one who should speak. The ones who want retribution at any cost. Those characters that live in movies and novels. I thought that was where they lived.

It turns out that there are people walking this world who are just plain mean and evil. I mean I know Hitler and Stalin and all those other evil dictators, and serial killers, and pedophiles and rapists, existed. All those evil people doing barbaric things.

But I did not realize there are people in this world that are mean just to be mean. When I mentioned this to some friends and my husband, I think they were surprised by my naivete. They have encountered these people in their work, their families, their communities.

I am just now running into this type of villain in my every day life. I am starting to understand the Israelites cries for justice, for God to come and destroy their oppressors. I am beginning to understand the frustration when God does not show up but waits and waits and waits to make His plan known.

And this is from my experience on a Facebook forum. Clearly I lead a sheltered life. Or I choose to see the good in people, even when it maybe isn't there.


  1. I think I tend to fall in your camp - I think everyone has a reason for their behavior that makes sense to them...that gets themselves closer to what they feel they need/want. I think maybe some people have learned to get there by somewhat ruthless measures. I still think the real villains live in the movies...maybe I'm the most naive.

  2. Sarah that is probably a better way to explain it, that people are trying to get closer to what they feel they need/want. What has surprised me is that there are people in the world that simply want revenge.