“The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.
As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
it comes from the wilderness,
from a terrible land.”

While this is an enigmatic start to an oracle, we assume from vs. 9 that it is against Babylon.  However, who the oracle is against is not so important for my purposes.  As I’ve read through Isaiah 13-21, I’ve been wondering, what is the purpose of all this?  Why does the Lord take pains to put all of these oracles against foreign nations into the book of Isaiah? The passage kind of drags along and is frankly difficult to read through because it seems so far removed both from our main focus, Israel, and obviously from our own 21st century culture.  Why does God spend so much time on this?

I’m wondering if God doesn’t include these oracles so that we understand that he is God of all the nations, whether or not those nations acknowledge it.  Babylon is under his authority and power; Edom is under his authority and power; Egypt, Ethiopia, and Syria are all under his power and he controls their destiny and prophecies their future.  If this is true, and it is, then God is God of the United States, and of Europe, and of Asia, and of Africa, and of Australia, and of South America, and of every nation, landmass, and ocean drop on the earth.

I have not a shred of doubt that none of the nations mentioned in Isaiah 13-21 and following cared in the least what the prophet of Israel’s God said about them. They should have because, unbeknownst to them, he created the earth and everything in it and all of it is under his sovereign power and authority.

Leave it to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon and no worshipper of Yahweh, to put this truth the best:

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?” (Dan 4.34-35)