Isaiah – Chapter 20

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Verse 1 – In the year that Tartan came to Ashod, when Sargon the King of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashod and took it,

Verse 2 – at the same time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet.” And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

Verse 3 – Then the Lord said, “Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia,

Verse 4 – so shall the king of Assyria led away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.”

This event took place in 711 B. C.. Isaiah graphically reminds Judah that they should not count on foreign alliances to protect them. God used Isaiah to demonstrate the humiliation that Egypt and Cush would experience at the hands of Assyria.

For three long years Isaiah had to walk around naked and barefoot to his shame and embarrassment. However, this was not to shame the prophet, it was a warning for Judah. Here again this illustrates God’s mercy. When people have hardened their hearts towards God, don’t be surprised when something happens out of the ordinary to get your attention.

Verse 5 – “Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory,

Verse 6 – and the inhabitant of this territory will say in that day, ‘Surely such is our expectation, wherever we flee for help to be delivered from the King of Assyria; and how shall we escapee?’ “

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Isaiah – Chapter 19

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Prophecies Against Egypt

Verse 1 – The burden against Egypt. Behold, the Lord rises on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst.

Verse 2 – “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.

During much of the eighth century Egypt was at war with itself. But what we remember is when the people of Egypt took to the streets in January 2011, because of the corruption and power of Mubarak’s son.

Verse 3 – The spirit of Egypt will fall in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, and they will consult the idols and the charmers, the mediums and the scorers.

Verse 4 – And the Egyptians I will give into the hand of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them.” Says the Lord, the Lord of hosts.

Verse 5 – The waters will fail from the sea, and the rivers will be wasted and dried up.

Verse 6 – The rivers will turn foul, and the brooks of defense will be emptied and dried up; the reeds and rushes will wither.

The waters of the Nile were the lifeline of Egypt. Its fresh water was due to Egypt’s earlier development of an irrigation system. God’s judgment of Egypt is pictured as a drying up of waters. The farmland would vanish.

Verse 7 – The papyrus reeds by the River, by the mouth of the River, and everything sown by the River, will wither, be driven away, and be no more.

Verse 8 – The fishermen also will mourn; all those will lament who cast hooks into the River, and they will languish who spread nets on the waters.

Verse 9 – Moreover those who work in fine flax and those who weave fine fabric will be ashamed;

Verse 10 – and its foundations will be broken. All who make wages will be troubled of soul.

People who think that God is not in control of every aspect of a nation, only need to read these scriptures and discover different. A nation that continues to oppress the people while the rulers get fat and rich, have a rude awakening coming their way. Even though an individual can truly follow God, the consequences of leadership will still affect them. When a nation keeps kicking God out of everything, the hardships and destruction will be felt by all. Do we honestly think that as a nation we can continue to do the same things that Israel did and not suffer God’s judgment?

Verse 11 – Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; Pharaoh’s wise counselors give foolish counsel. How do you say to Pharaohs, “I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?”

Verse 12 – Where are they? Where are your wise men? Let them tell you now, and let them know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt.

Verse 13 – The princes of Zoan have become fools; the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also deluded Egypt, those who are the mainstay of its tribes.

Verse 14 – The Lord has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst; and they have caused Egypt to err in all her works, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.

Verse 15 – Neither will there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, palm branch or bulrush, may do.

Egypt was known for her wisdom, but here its wise men and officials were deceived and foolish. Any time we would rather take advise and wisdom from the world instead of God, we become foolish.

Verse 16 – In that day Egypt will be like a woman, and will be afraid and fear because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He waves over it.

Verse 17 – And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts which He has detained against it.

Verse 18 – In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear by the Lord of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.

Verse 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.

In the day of Christ’s reign, Egypt will worship the One True God. This is only one small reason why we should never say, “That person will never be saved!” God uses whom He chooses to accomplish His purpose and we don’t know that they will eventually turn towards Christ. A country that is ruled by Islam now, will one day worship the One True God. We are to be obedient as Christians and witness to others by living a life that reflects our heavenly Father. We are not responsible for the choices others make, it’s up to them.

Verse 20 –  And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.

Sending the Savior to rescue a repentant nation from an oppressor describes the situation of a future Egypt.

Verse 21 – Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it.

Making a vow is to be sincere and truly worship God.

Verse 22 – And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.

These calamities that God will send to Egypt will be the means in which the conversion will take place. All nations and all people will one day bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, either in devotion or submission.

Verse 23 – In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.

Verse 24 – In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land,

Verse 25 – whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

“In that day, ” three shall be united as one people. They all three shall worship the same God.

Isaiah – Chapter 18

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Prophecies Against Ethiopia

Verse 1 – Woe to the land shadowed with buzzing wings, which is beyond the rivers Ethiopia,

Isaiah was warning Judah not to make an alliance with Egypt to fight the Assyrians because God was going to destroy Assyria.

Verse 2 – which sends ambassadors by  sea, even in vessels of reed on the waters, saying, “Go swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth of skin, to a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide.”

Both the Egyptian and Ethiopians used boats of rushes and reeds, which were more convenient for them than those made of wood. They were cheaper and swifter and lighter.

Verse 3 – All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth: When he lifts up a banner on the mountains, you see it; and when he blows a trumpet, you hear it.

Verse 4 – For so the Lord said to me, “I will take My rest, and I will look from My dwelling place like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”

Verse 5 – For before the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he will both cut off the springs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.

Verse 6 – They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey and for the beasts of the earth; the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter them.

God’s judgment is compared to pruning a grapevine before the grapes are ripe. Those fallen in battle would be left to the wild animals.

Verse 7 – In that time a present will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth of skin, and from a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide – to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, to Mount Zion.

The Ethiopians (Cushites), described as tall and smooth-skinned people, are pictured as bringing tribute. This is a sign of their submission to God’s temple on Zion after the judgment.

Isaiah – Chapter 17

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Verse 1 – The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap.

This next prophecy is directed against Damascus, an ancient city and the capital of Syria. From the time of Solomon to the mid-eighth century, there was fighting between Israel and Syria. Assyria under Tiglath-pilease III absorbed Damascus into its growing empire.

Verse 2 – The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be for flocks which lie down, and no one will make them afraid. (The best known cities of Aroer were in Moab.)

Verse 3 – The fortress also will cease from Ephraim, the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria; they will be as the glory of the children of Israel,” says the Lord of hosts.

Verse 4 – “In that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob will wane, and the fatness of his flesh grow lean.

Verse 5 – It shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain, and reaps the heads with his arm; it shall be as he who gathers heads of grain in the valley of Rephaim.

People who have not studied 1st and 2nd kings, and 1st and 2nd Chronicles or any of the Old Testament, are going to find these prophecies hard to understand or even why they should know about Israel’s past. However, there is a lot to be learned from how a country, a chosen people, can be so blessed by God, and then slowly slip into sin.

We can relate how our country, America, was founded on Godly principles, having the freedom to worship the One True God, and then over the centuries be so far from Him. Kick God out of our schools; making it legal to kill babies in the wombs; departing from the moral principle of one man married to one woman, and these are just a few; all have led our nation down a path of destruction. God does not bless sin!

Answer: God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

This was Israel’s problem also, they would not humble themselves under God!

Verse 6 – Yet gleaning grapes will be left in it, like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in its most fruitful branches,” says the Lord God of Israel.

Verse 7 – In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.

Verse 8 – He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands; he will not respect what his fingers has made, nor the wooden images nor the incense altars.

This is a time, “In that day,” beyond this judgment, when the remnant will worship the Holy One of Israel, not the Asherim, Canaanite gods. The Asherah poles were images of Asherah the female god of Baal. The cult encouraged immoral sexual practices and attracted all kinds of debauchery.

Verse 9 – In that day his strong cities will be as a forsaken bough and uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel; and there will be desolation.

Verse 10 – Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold. Therefore you will plant pleasant plants and set out foreign seedlings;

To remember God is more than a mental activity. Remembering God implies obedience and worship.

Verse 11 – In the day you will make your plant to grow, and in the morning you will make your seed to flourish; but the harvest will be a heap of ruins in the day of grief and desperate sorrow.

All their planting; all their efforts will amount to ruin because they did not remember God. Psalm 127:1 – Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman watches in vain.

This is not talking about building a home in which to live or a city. In everything we do in life, if it does not include the Lord, we labor in vain. It won’t amount to anything.

Verse 12 – Woe to the multitude of many people who make a noise like the roar of the seas, and to the rushing of nations that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!

This agitation is the nations that rumble like rushing mighty waters. It’s the image of social and religious chaos. Sound familiar?

Verse 13 – The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; but God will rebuke them and they will flee far away, and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

Verse 14 – Then behold, at eventide, trouble! And before the morning, he is no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us, and the lot of those who rob us.

God’s judgment comes quickly. Do you see why it is so important for us as a nation to keep Israel as our alliance?

Zechariah 12:9 – “It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. The Bible makes it very clear that the nations which have determined to destroy Israel will be decimated! The War of Gog and Magog will be the first step towards making the entire earth conscious of the One and Only Supreme God. This war will also open the way for the Antichrist to rebuild Babylon and to become the dominant force in the ancient Eastern leg of the Roman Empire. Now do you see why it’s so important to study the History and the prophets of Israel?

Isaiah – Chapter 16

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Verse 1 – Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion.

Verse 2 – For it shall be as a wandering bird thrown out of the nest; so shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Aron.

Attacked by the Assyrians, Moabite refugees would flee to Sela. The desperate refugees would send a tribute of lambs to Jerusalem asking for Judah’s protection.

Verse 3 – “Take counsel, execute judgment; make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day; hide the outcasts, do not betray him who escapes.

Verse 4 – Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; be a shelter to them from the face of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end, devastation ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.

Verse 5 – In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness.”

The throne of the king of Judah, that is he that shall sit on the throne of David, shall be deposed to repay the kindness which is now sought at the hand of Moab, and shall be able to do it.

Verse 6 – We have heard of the pride of Moab – He is very proud – of his haughtiness and his pride and his wrath; but his lies shall not be so.

Verse 7 – Therefore Moab shall wail for Moab; everyone shall wail. For the foundations of Kir Hareseth you shall mourn; surely they are stricken.

At the heart of Moab’s sin is pride.

Verse 8 – For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations have broken down its choices plants, which have reached to Jazer and wandered through the wilderness. Her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea.

Moab was known for its wine production. The Moabites fled for their lives and wandered in the wilderness of Moab and dispersed into several countries.

Verse 9 – Therefore I will bewail the vine of Sibmah, with the weeping of Jazer; I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; for battle cries have fallen over your summer fruits and your harvest.

Isaiah tells them; even though that nation, Moab, is not his, he will lament it because the desolation will be great.

Verse 10 – Gladness is taken away, and joy from the plentiful field; in the vineyard there will be no singing, nor will there be shouting; no treaders will tread out wine in their presses; I have made their shouting cease.

The treading of grapes was the climax of the harvest season, but the joy of that harvest would end because the people in their pride had ignored God.

Verse 11 – Therefore my heart shall resound like a heart for Moab, and my inner being for Kir Heres.

Verse 12 – And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he will come to his sanctuary to pray; but he will not prevail.

When the people of Moab experienced God’s wrath, they sought their own gods and idols. They went to the temple of Che-mosh, who was no god and therefore could not respond to their prayer. The same thing happens when we seek other sources to accomplish what only God can do.

Verse 13 – This is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning Moab since that time.

Verse 14 – But now the Lord has spoken, saying, “Within three years, as the years of a hired man, the glory of Moab will be despised with all that great multitude, and the remnant will be very small and feeble.

Isaiah – Chapter 15

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I think by now, we can see that even though God would use other evil nations to bring Israel into judgment, He then would punish any nation that came against His people. Keep in mind, God’s ways are not our ways. His intelligence and wisdom is far beyond ours.

Verse 1 – The burden against Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste and destroyed, because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste and destroyed,

Moab was an enemy to the Jews. They had a long history whose origins go back to incestuous union between Lot and his daughters. The calamities would come suddenly and with surprise.

Verse 2 – He has gone up to the temple and Dibon , to the high places to weep. Moab will wail over Nebo and over Medeba; on all their heads will be baldness, and every beard cut off.

Dibon had a temple which was dedicated to Che-mosh, the main god of the Moabites.

Verse 3 – In their streets they will clothe themselves with sackcloth; on the tops of their houses and in their streets everyone will wail, weeping bitterly.

Verse 4 – Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out, their voice shall be heard as far as Jahaz; therefore the armed soldiers of Moab will cry out; his life will be burdensome to him.

Verse 5 – “My heart will cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee to Zoar, like a three-year-old heifer. For by the ascent of Luhith they will go up weeping; for in the way of Horonaim they will rise up a cry of destruction,

These verses imply that the destruction was in these northern cities of Moab and the refugees fled south.

Verse 6 – For the waters of Nimrim will be desolate, for the green grass has withered away; the grass fails, there is nothing green.

Verse 7 – Therefore the abundance they have gained, and what they have laid up, they will carry away to the brook of the willows.

Verse 8 – For the cry is gone all around the borders of Moab, its wailing to Eglaim and its wailing to Beer Elim.

Verse 9 – For the waters of Dimon will be full of blood; because I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him who escapes from Moab, and on the remnant of the land.”

You might be asking yourself, “Why does any of this matter now, in this day and time?” Because the more you know about the people, prophets, messengers, and kings of the Bible, the better understanding of our God you will have. In every situation down through history that was written for our benefit, we see a loving God who continually saved a people who were rebellious and stiff-necked.

God wrote an instruction manual for those who would believe to live their lives by. Did God destroy evil nations? Yes. Did He do it without warning? No.

When you are in love with someone don’t you want to know everything about them and spend time in their presence? Then why would we not want the same attention given to our Creator?

How Should We Be Living as Christians in These Last Days?

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If you knew Jesus was coming back for His church tomorrow, how would you live today? Would it change your priorities or your expectations?

The main reason I started this Bible blog almost five years ago, was to get people interested in reading God’s Word. Whatever trade or line of vocation you are in, did you study for it? Are you a Christian? Do you study God’s Word to learn of Him and learn how to walk in that newness of life? No one becomes a doctor of medicine without the many years of preparation and study in order to enter that field. Anyone who hopes they can just wake up one day with all the knowledge they need to be equipped to function as a Christian without prayer and study are badly mistaken.

The Bible gives us solid expectations as Christians. Studying God’s Word reminds us that heaven or hell is before us and the choice is ours that will decide our eternal destiny.

So with Christ’s imminent return, how should it affect our lives as a Christian?

2 Peter 3:1-14, gives us a clear instruction of how to live in the light of God’s promises. Peter reminds us to be mindful of the words that were spoken before by the holy prophets (2 Peter 3:2). He didn’t want us to forget what scripture has taught us, because in these last days, we are going to need them.

2 Peter 3:3, 4 – Knowing this first: That scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, (4) and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Mockers of God’s Word and promise of Christs’ return say, “Well where is He? People have been saying that for centuries, so I don’t believe He’s coming.” A mocker is not the same as a doubter. Mockers don’t want facts, they only want to despise and make fun of the things of God. Verse 3 tells us why mockers attack the truth – because “they follow after their own lusts.” They don’t want their sinful life being exposed by the truth of God. But the moment God’s truth challenges their lifestyle and sin, they lash out to whomever brought God’s truth. They don’t believe that God is the Creator or that He is in control. They will accuse you of “Judging them!”

Peter shows the evidence in verses 5 and 6 – for this they willfully forget: That by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, (6) by which the world that then existed perishing, being flooded with water (Genesis 7:11).

In Genesis 1, “And God said,” nine times. When God speaks everything He commanded came to pass. God never has to correct or retract what He has said, because it is impossible for God to lie. God keeps and brings to pass every promise He has made. It’s as good as done!

God entered history not only at Creation, but also when He destroyed the world in the flood of Noah showing His judgement (2 Peter 3:6)

2 Peter 3:7 – But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (destruction).

Are you holding on to a promise from God and wondering, “Is it ever going to happen?” Keep in mind, God is outside of time. Maybe God through His divine purpose for your life has decided not to give it to you all at one time. Do you feel like the unjust keep winning while the Christians are pushed aside?

Read verse 9 of chapter 3 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God wasn’t quick to wipe us out before we came to Christ, He waited with long-suffering. He does the same for others.

So don’t get discouraged or frustrated when the deliverance or promise doesn’t come quickly. 2 Peter 3:8 – But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

When we start complaining and questioning God’s timing, we become like the mockers who say, “It’s never going to happen!” God’s timetable does not match our desires or expectations. We must keep in mind: There is preparation that has to be done for every answered prayer, either in us or the surrounding circumstances. Don’t misunderstand , there are instantaneous miracles though.

God may place a calling, vision, or dream in you, twenty years ago, but it hasn’t come to pass yet. God has to get believers prepared and ready for the blessing. Our focus should always be; God said it, He will bring it to pass.

There are many, still, that God is waiting on for His plan of redemption. When the last person is saved, (and only God knows who that is) and has been brought to faith in Jesus Christ, then the trumpet will sound and Christ will come for His church.

2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent hear; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Remember the promise to Abraham? That promise didn’t happen for 20 years after God gave it. Remember that God told Noah He was going to destroyer the earth with water? Noah spent 120 years preaching God’s coming judgment and men scoffed at him, until it happened.

Abraham believed God and God counted it to him as righteousness. Noah held on to God’s command to build the ark for 120 years and it came to pass. His faith affected his feet and hands.

God had redemption in store for the people of Nineveh, but it didn’t happen until the prophet Jonah got with the program, then the entire city repented.

We have to be responsible for the promise we are expecting to happen. Are you waiting on a godly husband or a godly wife? Then you yourself must be prepared to be godly. Believing what God says and acting on it, will bring it to pass.

So what sort of people ought we to be with heaven in store for our eternal destiny? Holy and godly! Let our view of eternity affect how we live today. Live today as we some day will in heaven. We shouldn’t get so wrapped up in possessions and success that we step on others to achieve it. Our lives should model that of Christ and that dear friends is why we need to know what scripture says. Don’t be caught unaware when this world turns evil into saying it’s good, because the Bible already warned us what it was going to be like in the last days.