A beautiful description of God’s character. It reaches back to Moses’ burning bush and escape though the sea to talk about God’s protection though trials of fire and flood.
The refrain of “fear not” from the last few chapters is repeated. So are images of the gathering of the nations, being loved and known since birth, the unique omnipotence of the one true God.
The image of a highway in a newly verdant desert comes back, which is described as a new thing God will do.
Then, right at the end we hear God has grown weary of them. The North has ignored him, and the South has kept up an empty religion.
Therefore both will be destroyed and reviled.
Bam. End of chapter. It puts everything in context.
Fear not… Because much to fear is coming.
Remember that God is in charge, fire won’t consume you, water won’t drown you… because both are coming, etc.
The destruction coming is not only God’s judgement, it’s his love.
And he offers to have it out with them: let’s have witnesses, let’s state our cases.
So much to teach us about difficult times, but the lesson I’m taking is: stay in contact with God, yell at him if you have to. Have it out, he’s saying he can take it.