August 1, 2007
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Following Scripture Verses
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- Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:
- That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!
- All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.
- For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
- For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.
- They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.
- In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the mount Zion.
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- The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
- And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.
- And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
- And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
- And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.
- And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.
- The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more.
- The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.
- Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.
- And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish.
- Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?
- Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.
- The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.
- The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.
- Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do.
- In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shaketh over it.
- And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it.
- In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.
- In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD.
- And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.
- And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.
- And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.
- In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.
- In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:
- Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
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- In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;
- At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
- And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
- So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
- And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.
- And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?
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- The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.
- A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.
- Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.
- My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.
- Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.
- For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.
- And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:
- And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:
- And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.
- O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.
- The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?
- The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.
- The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.
- The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled.
- For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war.
- For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail:
- And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the LORD God of Israel hath spoken it.
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- The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?
- Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle.
- All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far.
- Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people.
- For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains.
- And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield.
- And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.
- And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest.
- Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many: and ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool.
- And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall.
- Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago.
- And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:
- And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.
- And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
- Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say,
- What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?
- Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.
- He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house.
- And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down.
- And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:
- And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
- And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
- And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house.
- And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.
- In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.
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Thought for the day:
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The pronouncements of judgment upon the nations continue in these chapters. Chapter 18 deals with the nation of Cush in Africa. Chapters 19 and 20 deal with Egypt and Ethiopia. Chapter 21:1-10 seems to be dealing once again with Babylon, while verses 11-12 speak of the land of Edom, and verses 13-17 deal with God's judgment upon Arabia. In chapter 22 the judgments move from the Gentile nations onto the Jews themselves. Verses 9-10 show that Jerusalem itself is in view here.
I find it interesting that God includes the Jews in this message of judgment at this point. I am sure that, having heard the previous edicts concerning the Gentile nations, the Jews were in a state of exuberance. They now knew that God was going to punish those nations that had afflicted them over the years. I'm certain that many of them thought something like, "That's right, God, You go get them for what they have done to us." The more they heard about the destruction that would befall these kingdoms at the hand of the Assyrians, the happier they got. Then, all of a sudden, the judgment was aimed at them as well.
I think that this scenario often exists in the lives of Christians. We see the punishment of God upon the heathen, or we read in the Scriptures about their impending judgment, and we think to ourselves how much they deserve it, and how glad we are that God is finally giving them what they deserve. Yet we often forget about our own situation. We may not be pagans, but we are sinners too. In fact, our sin may be more offensive to the Lord because we know better. The unsaved man is bound by sin. He does not have the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, and he does not, in fact can not, understand the spiritual truths contained in the Word of God. However, because I have been born again, I do understand. I have become a new creature in Christ. The Holy Spirit guides me and convicts me. He illuminates the Scriptures for me so that I can understand them. Therefore, I have no excuse for my transgressions. They are rooted in rebellion, and deserve the discipline from my Heavenly Father.
Another thought that I see in today's reading is the responsibility of the messenger of God. In Isaiah 21:3 the prophet refers to his prophecies as
"my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it."
Often, those who deliver the Word of God have to bring a message that is painful. Not only is it painful to the hearer, but it is difficult for the messenger to bring it. Unfortunately, while the preacher is pained by the message, those who need to hear it are oblivious to it. Isaiah 21:5 indicates that the Jews were busy eating and drinking. They sent a man out to watch for them, but they were not terribly interested in what was going on outside of their own little world. Many a spiritual leader has encountered these things. He has been placed by his church in a position of leadership, and told to bring forth messages from God, but while he does this the others go about their normal lives, oblivious to the fact that they, too, have a responsibility to watch and respond. They may call out to him on occasion to find out what he sees (21:11), but they quickly return to their lives, assuming that if trouble comes the watchman will be there to bail them out.
The New Testament reminds believers in numerous places that they are to "watch". While the pastor and other spiritual leaders may be there to watch as well, no Christian should simply rely on another for his information and protection. Perhaps we need to spend less time on our own lives while expecting others to do the spiritual work for us, and devote ourselves to be watchmen for the Lord.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery