2104.) Isaiah 20

May 25, 2017

I20 barefoot

Isaiah 20   (ESV)

A Sign Against Egypt and Cush

In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it—

This invasion took place in 711 BCE.

At the time this siege took place Egypt and Ethiopia were under the same monarch, named Shabok. The Philistine inhabitants of Ashdod were seriously looking forward to being delivered from the big bad Assyrians, by the big good Egyptian/Ethiopian forces. On this occasion, the one referred to in Isaiah 20:1, the king of Assyria placed his own puppet king in charge of Ashdod and left for home. Soon afterwards, however, Ashdod deposed the Assyrian “Yes man,” and put their own choice of king on their throne, and then hurriedly and immediately went scurrying around the nations that surrounded them asking Judah, Edom, Moab and the Egyptian/Ethiopian empire to assist them. They knew full well that Assyria would beat the daylights out of them for their hasty rebellion.

Foreseeing all that was to come, Isaiah was given a message from God that was meant to warn Hezekiah and the whole of Judah not to entertain union with Egypt or Ethiopia in anyway whatsoever. What was to happen to Egypt and Ethiopia would be the same as happened to all their allies.

Rather than preach and declare, “Keep away from Egypt,” he brought a much more easily grasped message. The message was strange — a somewhat embarrassing message that one could not help but see, hear, and understand.

–Keith Lannon

at that time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

The commentators agree that Isaiah did not go about stark naked, but stripped of his outer garments — rather like walking around in one’s underwear — as a symbol of poverty and humiliation.

Then the Lord said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt.

Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’”

_________________________

Music:

How shall we escape?  Where can we go?  Seems to me there is a song about that — something about nowhere to go “but to the Lord”!  Click  HERE  to hear the Gaithers sing it.

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English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
barefoot.    http://wayofapilgrim.crazystampgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/feet_walking_.jpg
Isaiah preaching.   https://thelonghaulwithisaiah.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/20-0-isaiah20preaches20to20the20people.jpg

2103.) Isaiah 19

May 24, 2017
The Great Pyramids of Giza, ancient even when Abraham came to Egypt!

The Great Pyramids of Giza, ancient even when Abraham came to Egypt!

Isaiah 19   (ESV)

An Oracle Concerning Egypt

An oracle concerning Egypt.

Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
and comes to Egypt;

Psalm 104:3 (NIV)

He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.

and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,

I19 cat

Egyptians had a plethora of gods!  They included the pharaohs and animals such as apes, crocodiles, frogs, lizards, cows, cats …

and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
and they will fight, each against another
and each against his neighbor,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
and I will confound their counsel;
and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,
and the mediums and the necromancers;
and I will give over the Egyptians
into the hand of a hard master,
and a fierce king will rule over them,
declares the Lord God of hosts.

And the waters of the sea will be dried up,
and the river will be dry and parched,
and its canals will become foul,
and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up,
reeds and rushes will rot away.
There will be bare places by the Nile,
on the brink of the Nile,
and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,
will be driven away, and will be no more.

The Nile River was the key to Egypt’s agriculture and economy. For it to suffer a severe drought or lowering would have a devastating effect on the lives of Egyptians. God promises this will happen as a judgment against Egypt.

–David Guzik

The fishermen will mourn and lament,
all who cast a hook in the Nile;
and they will languish
who spread nets on the water.
The workers in combed flax will be in despair,
and the weavers of white cotton.

I19 egyptian-cotton-sheets

Egyptian cotton is recognized as superior to other cottons. Why? The following is from an online column, Wardrobe Advice.

Egyptian cotton is hand picked, which is gentler on the fibers. When cotton is picked by machine, the fibers may be stretched or curled. Sometimes the fibers even split when removed. The picking machine simply is not as gentle as a hand. Hand picking produces fibers that are straight and whole. 

Unlike cotton grown in the United States, which is primarily short staple cotton, Egyptian cotton is long staple cotton. Long staple cotton has more continuous fiber to use when converting the cotton to thread or yarn.  When yarn is continuous, it is stronger. Long fiber yarn is narrower in diameter yet still stronger than other types of cotton, including short staple. Narrower yarn means that more threads can be fit into the cloth per square inch. More threads per square inch means stronger fabric that is still very lightweight and can breathe well.

Egyptian cotton is considered to be stronger, softer and more durable than other cottons. Egyptian cotton is typically more expensive, but tends to be worth it. Most consider Egyptian cotton to be the best cotton there is in the world.

10 Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed,
and all who work for pay will be grieved.

11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am a son of the wise,
a son of ancient kings”?
12 Where then are your wise men?
Let them tell you
that they might know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt.

13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,
and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
those who are the cornerstones of her tribes
have made Egypt stagger.
14 The Lord has mingled within her a spirit of confusion,
and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,
as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
15 And there will be nothing for Egypt
that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed

16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the Lord of hosts has purposed against them.

18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts.

I19 love of God

This is the story of the amazing grace of God!  Egypt, so long an enemy of God’s people, is now counted as part of God’s kingdom!  And Assyria, too!  “For God so loved the whole world!”

One of these will be called the City of Destruction.

19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.

There did come to be a widespread knowledge of the Lord in Egypt. 

The ancient translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek language, the Septuagint, was made in Egypt in the late 3rd century BCE.  In the days of Jesus, more than a million Jews lived in Egypt. In the early days of Christianity, there was a strong, vital church in Egypt for more than 600 years.  Recent reports indicate the church is presently under increasing difficulties due to the change in regime.

22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a Christian worship song sung by an Arabic-speaking musical team — “My Life Is Yours.”

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English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
pyramids.    http://www.ancient.eu/uploads/images/display-5687.jpg
Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/a4/66/be/a466be524b8ab58f905fb1b7bb785f56.jpg?noindex=1
Nile River.   http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/civil/egypt/images/geog04b.jpg
Egyptian cotton sheets.    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0577/0909/products/4_6aabe7c6-f29e-410b-912b-52b77ef0954f_large.png?v=1475149276
The fear of the Lord.   http://ourdailyblossom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/110117-590×393.jpg
cross and heart-shaped cloud formation.   http://getupwithgod.com/wp-content/uploads/GUWG-Love-of-God-3.gif
LXX.   https://blogofthetwelve.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/lxx.jpg

2102.) Isaiah 18

May 23, 2017
I love the description of the Ethiopian people: "a nation tall and smooth."

I love the description of the Ethiopian people: “a nation tall and smooth.”

Isaiah 18   (ESV)

An Oracle Concerning Cush

In the days of Isaiah, Ethiopia (Cush/the greater Nile Valley, including present day Egypt, Ethiopia, and Somalia) was a major world power, ruling Egypt and a chief rival to Assyria. Since Judah was caught in the geographical middle of this conflict, it might make sense for Judah to align herself with Ethiopia against Assyria. But no — King Hezekiah was explicitly warned against looking to Egypt for help.

Ah, land of whirring wings

Oh, the many flying bugs of the Nile!

that is beyond the rivers of Cush,
which sends ambassadors by the sea,
in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
Go, you swift messengers,
to a nation tall and smooth,
to a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide.

Ambassadors from Cush ask for news:  that Judah would align with them against Assyria.

All you inhabitants of the world,
you who dwell on the earth,
when a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
When a trumpet is blown, hear!
For thus the Lord said to me:
“I will quietly look from my dwelling
like clear heat in sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”

The Lord refuses the offer from Africa; he is perfectly able to defend Jerusalem without their help.

For before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
They shall all of them be left
to the birds of prey of the mountains
and to the beasts of the earth.
And the birds of prey will summer on them,
and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts

from a people tall and smooth,
from a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide,

to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts.

Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion in Jerusalem

Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion in Jerusalem

Instead of Israelite messengers bringing news to Ethiopia of an alliance against the Assyria, the day will come when Ethiopians will come and worship at Mount Zion.

This may have been fulfilled in some way close to Isaiah’s time. But we know it was fulfilled in Acts 8:26-40, when an Ethiopian came to worship the Lord at Jerusalem, and then trusted in Jesus at the preaching of Philip. It was also fulfilled in the strong Ethiopian church the first few centuries, and the enduring Ethiopian church today.

–David Guzik

Ethiopian processional cross. Ethiopian crosses are unique among Christian art for their variety of form. If you click  HERE  to see Google images for “Ethiopian processional crosses,” you will marvel at the loveliness I am referring to!

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Music:

Since we are talking about Ethiopians coming to Jerusalem, I thought of Psalm 122 (“Our feet have stood within thy gates, O Jerusalem!”) — and found it as a song with an African inspiration!  Click  HERE  to enjoy Bill Monaghan’s version of Psalm 122, “inspired by the people of Ibanda, Uganda at St. Charles Lwanga Bubaare Parish and their joyful version of “Mkate Wetu, ” even down to the echos and hand claps!”

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord — may this be how we live our lives!

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
Ethiopian people.    http://www.hotelclub.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/ethiopian-people.jpg
map of Cush.    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/Africa_in_400_BC.jpg
Mount Zion.    http://www.veredgo.com/ckfiles/images/Dormition%20Abbey.jpg
cross.   https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/Ethiopian_-_Processional_Cross_-_Walters_542942_-_Side_A.jpg

2101.) Isaiah 17

May 22, 2017
Syria Violence Rages as Fierce Fighting Engulfs Damascus -- July 16, 2012.

Syria Violence Rages as Fierce Fighting Engulfs Damascus — July 16, 2012.

Isaiah 17   (ESV)

An Oracle Concerning Damascus

An oracle concerning Damascus.

Damascus was one of the great cities of the ancient world, and the capital of the ancient nation of Syria.  For centuries it has been  a commercial and political hub in the Fertile Crescent.  Damascus was destroyed by  the Assyrian invaders in 732 BCE, and Samaria (Ephraim) fell ten years later.

Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
and will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of Aroer are deserted;
they will be for flocks,
which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
and the kingdom from Damascus;
and the remnant of Syria will be
like the glory of the children of Israel,
declares the Lord of hosts.

And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain
and his arm harvests the ears,
and as when one gleans the ears of grain
in the Valley of Rephaim.
Gleanings will be left in it,
as when an olive tree is beaten—
two or three berries
in the top of the highest bough,
four or five
on the branches of a fruit tree,
declares the Lord God of Israel.

In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense.

The faithful remnant look humbly to their Creator.

In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;

Here the prophet names the true source of their trouble:  they have forsaken the covenant of their God.  Such a choice has consequences.

therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11 though you make them grow on the day that you plant them,
and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
yet the harvest will flee away
in a day of grief and incurable pain.

One aspect of the Lord’s judgment against Israel will be to bring their hard work to nothing. They will work hard to plant and grow crops (both literally and figuratively), but the harvest will be a heap of ruins.

This can be one of the most devastating aspects of the Lord’s judgment. Haggai 1:6 speaks of this work of the Lord: You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes. How much better it is to be listening to Jesus, and to have our service directed and blessed by Him (Luke 5:1-10).

–David Guzik

12 Ah, the thunder of many peoples;
they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations;
they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind
and whirling dust before the storm.
14 At evening time, behold, terror!
Before morning, they are no more!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
and the lot of those who plunder us.

These last two verses show a comforting principle:  that God will allow trouble only as long as he wishes, then he will rebuke it.  “Weeping will endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” We are not at the mercy of our circumstances or of our enemies.  We are at the mercy of God.

_________________________

Music:

Of course, Damascus is in Syria, and how often we have prayed for the terrible situation in Syria! Such carnage! Bombs and chemical weapons and so many lives lost. I ache for the mothers in Syria, not knowing where the men of their family are, or even if they are dead or alive, raising children in refugee tents in the desert. How can we not weep?

Speaking of children — Today is the 27th birthday of our youngest child. Devlin has just completed his MDiv at Princeton Theological Seminary, and in the fall he will return to PTS to start on his Ph.D. in New Testament. We are so proud of him and so grateful to the Lord! We praise the God of our salvation and the rock of our refuge (see verse 10), who has promised never to leave us or forsake us or our children, be they in Syria (Oh, Lord, draw near to them!) or in New Jersey!

Take to heart this song — “Your Grace Is Enough,” written and sung  HERE  by Matt Maher, a Roman Catholic contemporary worship artist.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
embattled Damascus.   http://images2.naharnet.com/images/45433/w460.jpg?1342443521
verse 7.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/39/8c/c8/398cc8fba7644c9bfb77bc2c6d67d9d8.jpg
rock of refuge.    http://www.thehopefilledroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/rock-of-refuge-768×1024.jpg

2100.) Isaiah 16

May 19, 2017

The land that was Moab is now part of Jordan. This view is looking eastward to it, across the Dead Sea.

Isaiah 16   (ESV)

Isaiah continues his prophecy of the destruction of Moab.

Send the lamb to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, by way of the desert,
to the mount of the daughter of Zion.

Originally developed at the crossroads of overland trading routes, Petra developed as the capital of the Nabatean Empire (c. 400 B.C.E. to 106 C.E.).

Sela is Petra, Edom’s capital, not far from Moab.

Like fleeing birds,
like a scattered nest,
so are the daughters of Moab
at the fords of the Arnon.

“Give counsel;
grant justice;
make your shade like night
at the height of noon;
shelter the outcasts;
do not reveal the fugitive;
let the outcasts of Moab
sojourn among you;
be a shelter to them
from the destroyer.
When the oppressor is no more,
and destruction has ceased,
and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
and on it will sit in faithfulness
in the tent of David
one who judges and seeks justice
and is swift to do righteousness.”

Here Is Isaiah preaching salvation to the Gentiles!

I16 Annunciation

Luke 1:30-33   (NLT)

“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

We have heard of the pride of Moab—
how proud he is!—
of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;
in his idle boasting he is not right.
Therefore let Moab wail for Moab,
let everyone wail.
Mourn, utterly stricken,
for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.

Once they were proud — now they are utterly devastated. No vines means no more wine, no more raisins.

For the fields of Heshbon languish,
and the vine of Sibmah;
the lords of the nations
have struck down its branches,
which reached to Jazer
and strayed to the desert;
its shoots spread abroad
and passed over the sea.
Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer
for the vine of Sibmah;
I drench you with my tears,
O Heshbon and Elealeh;
for over your summer fruit and your harvest
the shout has ceased.
10 And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field,
and in the vineyards no songs are sung,
no cheers are raised;
no treader treads out wine in the presses;
I have put an end to the shouting.
11 Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab,
and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.

The entire agricultural infrastructure will be destroyed.

12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.

It seems to be too late even for prayers.  God says the time of judgment is sure to come.

13 This is the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”

The days of prosperity and power in the land of Moab will be a thing of history, never to return.

_________________________

Music:

From verse 5 —

. . . a throne will be established in steadfast love,
and on it will sit in faithfulness
in the tent of David
one who judges and seeks justice
and is swift to do righteousness.

Worship as you listen  HERE:  “To Him Who Sits on the Throne.”

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
 view of Moab.   https://thelonghaulwithisaiah.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/moab-01.jpg
Petra.   http://geography.name/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/2321.jpg
Angel comes to Mary.    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/bible-images/hires/Luke-Chapter-1-The-Annunciation-to-Mary.jpg
the end is near.   https://img.clipartfest.com/ce93c208af646a4604bbd5e0730f784c_holding-a-the-end-is-near-the-end-is-near-clipart_581-600.jpeg

2099.) Isaiah 15

May 18, 2017

Isaiah 15   (ESV)

An Oracle Concerning Moab

What this chapter and the next bring us is a prophetic pronouncement of the virtual destruction of the culture and existence of the Moabite nation.

An oracle concerning Moab.

Lot and his daughters, by Peter Paul Rubens

The founder of the people of Moab was the son born of the incestuous relationship between Lot and one of his daughters, when his daughters made Lot drunk, after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:30-38). The Moabites settled in the plains to the south-east of Israel, in what is modern-day Jordan.

At times, the Moabites were great enemies of Israel. It was the Balak, king of Moab, who hired Balaam the prophet, hoping that he could curse Israel (Numbers 22-25). It was Eglon, king of Moab, who oppressed Israel in the days of the Judges (Judges 3:12-30). During the time of Saul and David, Israel established a firm control over Moab, but later kings were not always able to keep them under Israelite dominance.

At the same time, there was a Moabite connection with Israel. First, they were related to Israel because Lot was Abraham’s nephew. Because of this, God told Israel in Deuteronomy 2:9 that they were not to destroy Moab and take their land. As well, David, Israel’s greatest king, was one-quarter Moabite. His paternal grandmother Ruth was from Moab, and David entrusted his father and mother to the protection of the king of Moab when he was a fugitive from Saul (1 Samuel 22:3-4). For these reasons, there is a great deal of sadness and empathy on Isaiah’s part as he describes the coming judgment on Moab.

–David Guzik

Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night,
Moab is undone;
because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night,
Moab is undone.

Ar and Kir were two strongly fortified cities in Moab.

“In a night!” It is the biblical parallel of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was too sudden and too completely devastating not to leave the handful of survivors in shock. The nation of Moab went to bed one night with wives, families, children, jobs and ambitions for the future, together with life’s agendas for tomorrow. By the following morning the world was different. Bodies, blood, death, and the normal sensibilities of any survivors blown away.

–Keith Lannon

He has gone up to the temple, and to Dibon,
to the high places to weep;
over Nebo and over Medeba
Moab wails.
On every head is baldness;
every beard is shorn;
in the streets they wear sackcloth;
on the housetops and in the squares
everyone wails and melts in tears.

The customs of mourning included cutting the hair, shaving, wearing sackcloth, and weeping and wailing.

Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
their voice is heard as far as Jahaz;
therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud;
his soul trembles.
My heart cries out for Moab;
her fugitives flee to Zoar,
to Eglath-shelishiyah.
For at the ascent of Luhith
they go up weeping;
on the road to Horonaim
they raise a cry of destruction;
the waters of Nimrim
are a desolation;
the grass is withered, the vegetation fails,
the greenery is no more.

The beautiful plains of Moab were wonderful grazing land. But now, under the hand of God’s judgment, the grass and vegetation are gone.

Therefore the abundance they have gained
and what they have laid up
they carry away
over the Brook of the Willows.
For a cry has gone
around the land of Moab;
her wailing reaches to Eglaim;
her wailing reaches to Beer-elim.
For the waters of Dibon are full of blood;
for I will bring upon Dibon even more,
a lion for those of Moab who escape,
for the remnant of the land.

Even those who escape will be tracked down as by a lion.

ruins of Moab

ruins of Moab

 _________________________

Music:

HERE  is a song to sing whenever you are searching for the right words to pray.
Bless the Lord, my soul,
And bless God’s holy name;
Bless the Lord, my soul,
Who leads me into life.
_________________________
English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
map.   https://thelonghaulwithisaiah.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/moab-0.jpg
Rubens.    http://www.artnet.com/WebServices/images/ll00012lldOpMJFgPNECiCfDrCWvaHBOcZC5E/peter-paul-rubens-lot-and-his-daughters.jpg
Balak and Balaam.   http://oneyearbibleimages.com/balaam_2.jpg
Ruth and Boaz.   http://voiceindesert.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Ruth_Boaz-2.jpg
ruins of Moab.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/ruinsofmoab.jpg
Bless the Lord.   http://68.media.tumblr.com/2f561c33cfc1a5d3d9d85247a99a5d2a/tumblr_mj2koej2K21qg4xgso1_1280.jpg

2098.) Isaiah 14

May 17, 2017

I14 24

Isaiah 14   (ESV)

The Restoration of Jacob

Isaiah 13 ended with the desolation and gloom that would come upon Babylon. Since Babylon was Judah’s great enemy, any judgment on Babylon was an expression of mercy on Israel. So, Isaiah follows the pronouncement of judgment on Babylon with the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel.

–David Guzik

This is not simply a promise of temporal deliverance. This is an assurance that the preservation of the chosen people is the means for the fulfillment of God’s purposes of mercy to all mankind. Israel is given a song of triumph over their oppressor. Even the trees of the forest sing!

–N. E. Constance

For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord’s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

Israel’s Remnant Taunts Babylon

When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

“How the oppressor has ceased,
the insolent fury ceased!
The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
the scepter of rulers,
that struck the peoples in wrath
with unceasing blows,
that ruled the nations in anger
with unrelenting persecution.
The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
they break forth into singing.
8 The cypresses rejoice at you,
the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
‘Since you were laid low,
no woodcutter comes up against us.’



Sheol beneath is stirred up
to meet you when you come;
it rouses the shades to greet you,
all who were leaders of the earth;
it raises from their thrones
all who were kings of the nations.

Sheol is the place of departed spirits. It can means the “grave” or “the place of torment.” The prophet pictures the unseen world as disturbed at the arrival of the fallen tyrant, the king of Babylon. He is met by other kings already there, amazed that one so great and powerful would arrive at the same destination and in death be deprived of a decent burial. Before they had flattered him as a mighty lord; now they mock him.

–N. E. Constance

10 All of them will answer
and say to you:
‘You too have become as weak as we!
You have become like us!’
11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
the sound of your harps;
maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,
and worms are your covers.

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!

I14 me

The pride, the grasping selfish ambition, the self-will of the king of Babylon is powerfully expressed in five “I will” statements. This is the essence of the self-focused and self-obsessed life:

13 You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
15 But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.
16 Those who see you will stare at you
and ponder over you:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
who shook kingdoms,
17 who made the world like a desert
and overthrew its cities,
who did not let his prisoners go home?’

I14 Ozymandias
Ozymandias

by Percy Bisshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
each in his own tomb;
19 but you are cast out, away from your grave,
like a loathed branch,
clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
who go down to the stones of the pit,
like a dead body trampled underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial,
because you have destroyed your land,
you have slain your people.

“May the offspring of evildoers
nevermore be named!
21 Prepare slaughter for his sons
because of the guilt of their fathers,
lest they rise and possess the earth,
and fill the face of the world with cities.”

22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the Lord. 23 “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the Lord of hosts.

An Oracle Concerning Assyria

I14 purposed

24 The Lord of hosts has sworn:
“As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand,
25 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.”

26 This is the purpose that is purposed
concerning the whole earth,
and this is the hand that is stretched out
over all the nations.
27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
and who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
and who will turn it back?

I14 control

My mother used to say, “There is nothing that comes to pass but that which He has purposed, and everything He has purposed comes to pass.”

An Oracle Concerning Philistia

28 In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle:

29 Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you,
that the rod that struck you is broken,
for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder,
and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.
30 And the firstborn of the poor will graze,
and the needy lie down in safety;
but I will kill your root with famine,
and your remnant it will slay.
31 Wail, O gate; cry out, O city;
melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!
For smoke comes out of the north,
and there is no straggler in his ranks.

32 What will one answer the messengers of the nation?
“The Lord has founded Zion,
and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”

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Music:

An oldie but goodie — Maranatha Singers and “He Is Exalted/Great Is the Lord.”  Click  HERE  to hear it and praise the Lord!

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English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
YHWH Almighty.    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7238/6965317080_c8707a234d_z.jpg
Psalm 96.    https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/images/640×480/Ps96.11-12?extension=png&fallbackOnFailure=false
It’s all about me.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/il_fullxfull-74850331.jpg
Ozymandias.   http://junecaldwell.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/ozymandias13.jpg
Isaiah 14:24.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/isaiah14-24.jpg
God is in control.    http://thomasdirk.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/god-is-in-control.jpg