Sunday, 3 July 2011


Sawyer (1984) in his commentary on Isaiah 30:27-33 seems to see the passage as one of judgement initially of Israel's enemies and then of sinful people. He refers to the passage on separation of the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). But Sawyer does say that these are “vengeful, “unchristian” feelings” (p 254). He contends their appearance doesn't justify the feelings but show that these passages are about real people.

But it is only in recognising the writer's context and that of the hearers of these words that we begin to have some understanding of why they exist. Sawyer attempts to communicate this and tries to link this with our own feelings when we are oppressed.

However, I look at our society and I don't feel anger for the decisions being made by political leaders of for those who are branded as terrorists by western governments. I am saddened by the misunderstanding that exists and by the assumptions that we work under.

As I write this, I think of how we interact with others around us. How often do we hear someone's struggle and shrug it off feeling that we cannot help. It is as though we are focussed so much on our own survival and status that we fail to see how we might be able to offer help and encouragement. I wonder how often when I hear a story of suffering, I am asking what I can do to help relieve that suffering; what do I have to give? I suspect that I am thinking more about how I can avoid being in their position rather than how can we resolve the issues that cause such suffering.


Sawyer, J. F. A. (1984). Isaiah (Vol. 1). Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press.

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