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a poem from isaiah 17

21 March 2013
tags: ,

this is now the fourth “poem” i’ve posted from isaiah – as you may have noticed, they’re hardly original (or even poems, really)! this is an ‘exercise’ i’ve been using during my time reading the Word, as it helps me to process what i’ve read. sometimes, while reading the writings of the prophets, i can get bogged down in poetic language, unclear (to me) imagery, and historical content i don’t understand, so i’ve chosen to read isaiah together with the help of the New Bible Commentary (IVP), and to process what i read by re-writing (paraphrasing) and quoting both of these resources into these ‘poems’. today i’ve added my thoughts on what we can learn from this passage – please add your ideas to the list!

to damascus & israel (ephraim): 

damascus will no longer be a city,
but a heap of ruins – completely deserted.
the fortress of israel & the kingdom of syria will together disappear,
and in their place, a remnant –
gleanings left on a beaten olive tree.

when this happens, people will look to God, their Maker;
they will regard the Holy One of Israel.
they will stop looking to their manufactured gods,
the work of their own hands.
their strong cities will be deserted,
and there will be desolation.

this is because you have forgotten –
forgotten the God of your salvation and
forgotten the Rock of your refuge.
instead, you’ve formulated your plans and
formed your alliances –
planting pleasant plants and imported vines.
and even though you make them grow and blossom
even as you plant them,
know that there will be but one harvest:
only grief and incurable pain.

planting rice"even though you make them grown & blossom even as you plant them..."

planting rice
“even though you make them grown & blossom even as you plant them…”

themes/lessons:
+ the illusion of control – making plans and alliances
+ forgetting God & trusting in ourselves/our idols/other people
+ suffering forces us to look to God instead
+ the things we put our trust in (not God) will ultimately fail and bring us pain
+ it is possible (easy?) to forget God – even his chosen people did
+ not only are we grieved by disappointment when our plans fail, but we are doubly pained because we have become estranged from God
+ the “imported vines” are always pleasant and seem so promising (blooming even as we plant them)

what else can we learn from these verses??

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