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Avoiding the Nation’s Terror Avoiding the Nation’s Terror

Avoiding the Nation’s Terror


Dante’s classic Inferno describes idol worshipers inhabiting the sixth circle of hell, its capital. Their souls are either in fiery tombs or nailed to flaming, inverted crosses. The terror these idolatrous souls have earned is great.

As terrifying as is the judgment experienced by Dante’s figures, Isaiah’s word of judgment against those who have filled Israel’s land with idols is even more severe (v. 6). So great will be the day of the Lord’s judgment that they should hide in rocks to try to escape from the terror to come (vv. 10, 12, 19). This day is the Day of the Lord (13:6, 9; 58:13). This will be a day for crushing the pride of those who proudly placed their trust in the idols of people rather than in the Lord.

The power of idols is so strong over God’s people that it takes terror from the Lord to break it. As the idols of this world hold us in sway with the promises of prosperity, justice, pleasure, and peace, it is easy to forget that breaking the First and Second Commandment will bring fierce judgment! Yet, to regain the hearts of His children, the Lord will bring judgment even on vegetation and commerce (vv. 13–16).

The Lord, however, offers His people the hope of the mountain of the Lord’s temple (vv. 2–3). Orienting our focus on the temple of the Lord keeps the temptations of the idols of this world in proper perspective. At His temple, the Lord will teach us His ways. At His temple, He will mete out justice and bring an end to all war.

If we are to turn away from substitutes for the Lord, we must “walk in the light of the Lord” (v. 5). Paul calls believers in Ephesus to the same walk (Eph. 5:8). We too must cease from fearing people and trust the one true God.

Pray with Us

Please support in prayer Moody’s leadership team headed by Greg Thornton, interim president and senior VP of Media, asking the Lord for unity, team spirit, and unwavering adherence to His Word and His will, as we start the new fiscal year.

BY Dr. Eric C. Redmond

Dr. Eric C. Redmond serves as a professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Say It!  Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers), Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

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