Godly Gory Stories – Isaiah 14, 15, 16


It took me to chapter 13 to really dig in and commit to seeking God in this Book. I wanted to know how these ancient words could speak in to the things hanging on my heart. So I began to pray about specific issues I’m facing, not having much confidence that there would be any connection.

One of the things troubling me lately is how different my writing became after experiencing tragic and sad loss late 2013/early 2014.

I’ve always said, ‘unless the Lord builds the house’, I write in vain; that includes the devotional and fiction work. The short stories have changed because I have changed. Mixed in with the regular light-hearted fun stuff, is murder, death, loss and mental confusion.

As I prepare to publish the collection – the question won’t leave me… Can a story about murder please God?

Chapters  14, 15 and 16 of Isaiah talk of terrible destruction. Murder, rape and devastation. I find it hard to see how the narrating of those actions are glorifying to Him. Yet – He commanded Isaiah to say those things. No wonder Isaiah didn’t want the job . Did he know what God would ask him to say?

When meditating on those chapters, I dared to wonder if this answered the question  of my altered writing voice?

I still want to reflect redemption, forgiveness and second chances, as these are God’s gifts to his people. But Isaiah has shown me, sometimes there is murder. Sometimes there is destruction; devastation that no one can make sense of.

I’ve experienced loss. Senseless, pointless, faith-bruising grief. It came out in the stories I wrote afterwards. I don’t think there was much of that the first time around. I’ve changed as a writer.

Until reading those chapters in Isaiah, I wasn’t sure if those stories were from God, or even ok with Him. But I dare to think they are. Sometimes the hard story needs to be told. It has to come out to begin the journey back from it. The words need to be allowed to come out. Ugly, scary, uncomfortable as they are.

Just cos the story is gory, does it mean it’s Godless?

I hope God is ok with the new voice. I’ve always wanted him to lead my storytelling. I pray he continues to do so.

So… how do you feel about some of the horrible stories in the Bible? Do you find it hard to reconcile some of Scripture’s more gory stories?

photo credit: Art DiNo Ocaso / Sunset via photopin (license)

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2 thoughts on “Godly Gory Stories – Isaiah 14, 15, 16

  1. Personally they are hard for me. Judges 19 is a hard chapter of the Bible for me to read. I don’t like to think about the hideous things that go on in the world. I don’t like to read about them or watch movies that have scenes that depict those sort of things.

    I do know that the Lord meant for us to know that these things happen or they wouldn’t be mentioned in the Bible, so I can’t put a person down if the Lord has lead them to write accounts of similar scenarios for good reasons.

  2. Hi, I was preparing myself for this series. I started in Chapter 1. That is the only chapter I manage to read, however it was an enlightening one. I had no idea that Sodom and Gomorrah were mentioned there! It would be handy to know when a friend of a friend commented on fb, saying that God destroyed those two cities because of their lack of hospitality. Here, the first chapter is clearly about rebellion against the Lord. Incredible – what an eye opener. Personally I think God isn’t shocked by murders = He knows it all. History is very messy, including His children’s. Look forward to the next post.

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