An Educated Guess (Isaiah 13:17-19)

“Take an educated guess!”

I was in elementary school and my teacher was attempting to help me to learn to think critically. “When you don’t know the answer to a question, you need to learn to make an educated guess.”

I was confused. “How do I do that? Isn’t that still guessing?”

My teacher patiently nodded. “It is guessing but instead of simply throwing out any random answer, you use your knowledge of the situation and eliminate answers that are unlikely.”

We proceeded to dissect the question he had posed to me. Guiding me, we narrowed the answer to two choices. He then reminded me of the lesson we had covered the previous week. “Now based upon what you have learned, what would be the most likely answer?”

“B.” I confidently declared. 

“Very good! You have learned to make an educated guess.”

“Look, I will stir up the Medes against Babylon. They cannot be tempted by silver or bribed with gold. The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for children.” Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms, the flower of Chaldean pride, will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah when God destroyed them. 

Isaiah 13:17-19 (NLT)

Cynics aver that the great prophets like Daniel and Isaiah wrote their prophecies after the events occurred. In a rebuke to these accusations, the verses taken from the Book of Isaiah completely debunks these accusations. When Isaiah prophesied this, Babylon was at the height of her power. The only other kingdom that could have legitimately and successfully challenged Babylon was Assyria. This would have been the logical educated guess and undoubtedly most of Isaiah’s contemporaries were expecting him to finger the Assyrians. Yet Isaiah prophesied that the Medes would one day conquer and destroy the Babylonians. This surely would have invited ridicule and derision. Why? The Medes were a nomadic tribe and an unlikely threat. Yet, two hundred years later, Isaiah’s prophecy would come true. The Medes would ally themselves with the Persians and conquer Babylon. Once again, the wisdom of God trumps the wisdom of man!

In life, we may utilize the skills of an educated guess to assist us in arriving at the correct answer. With God, we do not need an educated guess. God’s Word and commands are the unquestionable absolute Truth. 


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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