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January 26 – Insolent people of obscure speech

‘You will see no more the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend, stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand.” – Isaiah 33:19 

Scripture reading: Mark 15:16-20

The present verse strengthens what we read in yesterday’s passage about the removal of the Assyrian officials. Now we are told that the Assyrian people themselves will also be gone. Part of the oppression against the Jews was the “obscure speech” of the Assyrians—they could not understand their language, could not understand the commands and instructions they were given and were unable to have any meaningful communication with their oppressors. You might not know how that feels. But you do understand that universal shame, embarrassment and hurt when a group points their fingers at you while laughing hysterically, even if you cannot understand their language.

God’s deliverance of Judah will include the silencing of these insolent people of obscure speech. He will completely remove them. Have you ever considered the suffering Christ endured in the mocking words of the people and their leaders? They hurled words of abuse at Christ. They spoke Christ’s own Word against Him! This was part of Christ bearing our curse; it was also that God might judge the world for its unrighteousness. While God the Father did not silence the mocking tongues in Christ’s life, He will ultimately turn those mocking tongues to praise Christ the Suffering Servant: “At the Name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…” (Philippians 2.10-11).

Suggestions for prayer

Give thanks to God that He speaks to us through His Son and His Word in language we can understand. Give praise to Jesus for enduring hateful mockery for your salvation.

Rev. Todd De Rooy currently serves in Redeemer URC, in Orange City, Iowa. He has served there since being ordained in 2008. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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