Isaiah 14:27 and Therapeutic Theology

I saw the image on the left shared on Facebook. As those who read my blog post know, I have a great distaste for theology which seeks to turn God into something therapeutic or “feel good.” For further reading, read how I feel about Jeremiah 29:11 (and see this image about it for good measure). So when I came across this image, I had a feeling that more therapeutic theology was being pushed upon people, sacrificing the original meaning of God’s word for a few seconds of heart tugging, feel good nonsense.

Let’s first tackle the question: is this actually what Isaiah 14:27 says? Here’s the original quote:

For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? [Isaiah 14:27]

All right, so our immediate problem is that it says nothing about God’s plan for my life. Yes, it talks of what God “has purposed,” and his hand being “stretched out,” but this could be about anything. I checked a few translations to see if any worded the verse differently, but even The Message managed to get it fairly correct (amazingly enough as that is).

So here’s the immediate question: what’s the full context of the verse? Let’s take a look and find out:

The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him underfoot; and his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden from their shoulder.” This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? [Isaiah 14:24-27]

Um…wow. Is this at all about God’s plan for my life? Actually no, it’s about God’s judgment upon Assyria. This image has removed the verse as far away from the original context as possible. You could have picked any verse out of the Bible and slapped it under the text, and it would have made about as much sense.

This is yet another example where context and the true meaning of God’s word is sacrificed for emotionalism and therapeutic theology.

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