As I was meditating on the five WOW passages in Isaiah 28-33, God’s Spirit brought a verse from Jeremiah to mind that also speaks of God’s positive intent even in the middle of seemingly negative discipline/training — Jeremiah 29:11!
“For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
WOW! And though too many people have used that verse out of context for their own selfish plans and profit (sing kum-ba-yah everyone), it does nonetheless give us great insight into God’s intent for his people, the nation of Israel: The real goal of their captivity, both in the BC time and in the “soon-to-be” time, is positive! Yes, God fully intends to bring them to the final posession of a land that will one day be fully restored to its full fertility and into a community of worshippers whose vision is singularly fixed on Jehovah — that’s awesome! That’s the chastening character of our God as it should wholly be seen — positive, not punitive. Sure, it’s not always evidenced immediately, but it is always fullfilled eventually.