For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea,
Only a remnant within them will return;
A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness, (10:22).
Determined Destruction Overflowing With Righteousness. This may seem like an oxymoron, a contradiction of terms; we don’t typically equate destruction with anything good or right. Context will be very helpful in coming to grips with the reality that God’s decree to bring a complete Destruction would Overflow With Righteousness.
For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord God of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land, (10:23).
Immediately following God’s promise to send His Son as the One Who would establish His eternal kingdom, He turns His attention to the defiance and disobedience of His people. Three times in chapter nine and a fourth in today’s reading, God repeats His warning to them, word for word. And any time God repeats Himself is cause for us to take notice; but the contents of this forecast should really have gotten our attention upon the first hearing of this pronouncement.
…In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away
And His hand is still stretched out, (9:12,17, 21; 10:4).
Other translations may also help to broaden our understanding.
But even then the LORD’s anger will not be satisfied.
His fist is still poised to strike, (NLT).
In all this, His anger is not removed,
and His hand is still raised to strike, (HCSB).
…His hand is still stretched out.
Still: “5750. עוֹד ʿôḏ: An adverb meaning again, still, more, longer, also, yet. It indicates repetition and/or continuance of something.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
God’s warning was repeated because the rebellion of His people relentlessly persisted: in pride and arrogance (9:9); in teaching falsehood and leading His people astray (9:16); in treachery and betrayal against their own people (9:19-21); and in depriving the needy, the poor, the orphans and widows for selfish and unjust gain (10:1-2).
And His hand was still stretched out, for although He repeatedly invited His people to return to Him in repentance, still they refused in their rebellion.
Thus, His Destruction was Determined, but it would Overflow With Righteousness.
Consider His Determined Destruction, Overflowing With Righteousness
Because God is Righteous, all that He does is done in Righteousness.
Righteousness: “6666. צְדָקָה ṣeḏāqāh: A feminine noun meaning righteousness, blameless conduct, and integrity. The noun describes justice, right actions, and right attitudes, as expected from both God and people when they judge…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
Righteous are You, O Lord,
And upright are Your judgments, (Psalm 119:37).
Now here is where it really makes sense.
Overflow: “7857. שָׁטַף śāṭap̱: A verb meaning to gush, to cleanse, to conquer, to drown, to overflow, to overwhelm, to rinse, to run, to rush, to wash away. In its prominent meaning, the word means to wash away.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
His Determined Destruction is always meant to cleanse and purify, to gush out the sin and darkness, and to wash away iniquity. His Determined Destruction would Overflow with His Righteousness to conquer sin and death so that He might overwhelm us in His grace.
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace, (Romans 6:14).
So, while Destruction Overflowing With Righteousness goes against our human logic, the truth is, Christ came to bear His Determined Destruction, and when we turn to Him in faith, His Overflowing Righteousness becomes ours.
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, (1 Corinthians 1:30).
How do we respond to His Determined Destruction, Overflowing With Righteousness?
If we have placed our faith in Christ for our salvation, the enemy and our sin nature has been conquered at the cross. However, there are certainly areas that are still in great need of His Determined Destruction, Overflowing With Righteousness.
Today’s response cannot be a group endeavor. Let us spend time, seeking Him in self-examination and humility, asking Him to Overflow With Righteousness any part of us that He has Determined for Destruction.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way, (Psalm 139:23-24).
Is there pride and arrogance in my life?
… and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, (1 Peter 5:5-6).
Am I easily persuaded to follow falsehood because I neglect His Truth?
But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God, (Matthew 22:29).
Do I betray my brothers and sisters in Christ through the treachery of gossip, slander, or hatred in my heart?
“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell,” (Matthew 5:21-22).
Am I depriving the needy in my selfish living, seeking only to please myself?
Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself… (Romans 15:1-3).
Oh, Father, we confess we are desperate for You to cleanse us and to conquer the sin in our lives. We thank You that You are faithful when we ask. So please Father, we ask now, please come with Your Determined Destruction, Overflowing With Righteousness, that we would be forgiven and cleansed.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:9).