Lord of the Nations
"Now at last—look! Here comes a man in a chariot with a pair of horses!” Then the watchman said, “Babylon is fallen, fallen! All the idols of Babylon lie broken on the ground!”
We tend to think of Isaiah as the prophet of Israel who brought God’s word to the Israelites. Indeed, this is true. But, through Isaiah, the Lord often addressed other nations as well. In Isaiah 21, he spoke to Babylon, Edom, and various peoples in the region of Arabia. This chapter makes clear the fact that God is the Lord of the Nations.
That’s not to say, of course, that the nations acknowledge God’s sovereignty or are guided by his truth. In his providence, God has allowed the nations of the earth to reject his kingdom, even as he has allowed us to do the same in our own lives. But God remains supreme. In time, his kingdom will come in all fullness.
Meanwhile, we believe that God can choose to exercise his sovereignty over the nations in his way and his time. Thus we pray, not only for ourselves, our families, and our churches, but also for the whole world, including the nations. Though it might seem strange to believe that our prayers can impact such things, we nevertheless pray in faith, trusting the Lord to hear us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you ever pray for the nations? Why or why not? When you pray, what do you ask the Lord to do?
PRAYER: King of kings and Lord of lords, you are not just my King and Lord. Nor are you just the sovereign of those who acknowledge you. You are the Lord of heaven and earth. All nations exist under your authority. And in your inscrutable wisdom, you are working in and through the affairs of nations.
Though it sometimes seems audacious, even silly, to pray for nations, I do so in faith. And so I pray today, for the United States, for Mexico, for Israel, for Iraq, for Iran, for Afghanistan, for North Korea, for Russia, for Georgia, for China, and for the other nations of the earth. May your justice come to the nations. May you raise up leaders who seek you and your ways. As we wait for the fullness of your kingdom, may we catch glimpses of your reign, even in our time.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.*
*Final verse of “Fairest Lord Jesus” or “Beautiful Savior.” Translated from German by Joseph A. Seiss, 1873.