“Hamath and Arpad are confounded,
for they have heard evil news.
They have melted away.
There is sorrow on the sea.
It can’t be quiet.
Damascus has grown feeble,
she turns herself to flee,
and trembling has seized her.
Anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her,
as of a woman in travail.
How is the city of praise not forsaken,
the city of my joy?
Therefore her young men will fall in her streets,
and all the men of war will be brought to silence in that day,”
says Yahweh of Armies.
“I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,
and it will devour the palaces of Ben Hadad.”
Damascus is one of the oldest populated cities in the world today. We have been reading about God’s judgment against many nations and cities at the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Here we read that the city of Damascus was also to be defeated, but it doesn’t appear that the prophesy is telling us that Damascus was to be completely destroyed. After Nebuchadnezzar took over the area, he decided not to destroy this city. For some reason, God decided to allow this one to continue to stand.
God has predicted the complete destruction of Damascus through other prophets, but this was not the right time. Since all of these other civilizations were wiped out, it would have been easy to assume that Damascus would have been wiped out too. It reminds us that our ideas of what will or should happen are not accurate at all without first consulting God’s word.
This is a very timely and relevant message for our cultures today. We are tempted to think that God’s word should be considered based on scientific evidence. Some believe that if the evidence appears to disagree with God’s word, then God’s word should be reinterpreted to fit the evidence, but the fact that Damascus stands today, reminds us that God’s word decided what the evidence would be, not the other way around. If the evidence appears to go against the Bible, then the evidence is the thing that should be doubted. Most likely, we are interpreting it incorrectly. It is possible to incorrectly read the Bible, but when the Bible is clear, then man’s ideas should be doubted rather than God’s word.