Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ephraim Isaiah 28

Isaiah 28:3 "The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet; ..."

While Ephraim is mentioned starting off, strong drink is the theme. It has drawn away even the priests from their duty and clouded their judgment.

v7 "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision; they stumble in judgment. See also Hosea 4:13

A vivid picture is painted of the drunken state of the people.

v8 "For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean."

A sharp reprimand is made to those who are suppose to be teaching the people but are in no state to teach anyone.

v14 "Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem."

They think they have made a covenant or agreement with death and hell but their arrogance is revealed here:

v15 "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves;"

I had a friend once who told me (I had been witnessing to him) that he and God had a agreement and he felt it was alright to go ahead as he was going.

v16 "Therefore thus saith the LORD God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste."

v18 "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it."

The only agreement we have with God is to agree that our will is not important and that His will is all important. Jesus desired that the cup pass from him but he said 'nevertheless not my will but thy will be done'. We must learn to give up our own will to fulfill the will of God. It is a tough lesson to learn.

v29 "This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." See also Psalm 40:5, Romans 11:33

Monday, October 26, 2009

Leviathan mentioned again Isaiah 27

Isaiah 27:1 "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."

There is a vivid description of the serpent or dragon in Job. This chapter does not make a big deal of it. It is presented as a simple act. If this is a reference to Satan, and it seems to be, then as in the New Testament, it is not a difficult task for the LORD. Satan is of great strength compared to us but of insignificant strength compared to the LORD.

Revelation 20:2 "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." This was done by a strong angel.

In the New Testament, Jesus had sent his disciples out to preach and they found that the spirits were subject to them and even "...power to tread on serpents and scorpions..." but this was not what they were to be happy about. The most important thing is in this verse:

Luke 10:20 "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

Before that Jesus had (seemed almost a casual mention to me) said that: v18 "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven." also Isaiah 14

So while Satan is difficult to ignore because of the wrong he does, he will be dealt with by the LORD when the time is full.

Further on the chapter talks about the purging of Jacob's sin and the bringing back to the promised land.

v13 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem."

All this must have seemed impossible for those in captivity, but it did take place for they were there when Christ as born.

I look for another day when the trumpet will sound and we will be out of here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Peace - Isaiah 26

Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee."

After the judgment, after the chastening, after the return to the one true God, there is a song to be sung.

v1 "In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah, We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks."

We are getting hints of a new and better way for God's people. When Jesus comes, and redemption plan is complete, the law of God will be in the heart of those who trust in Him. Instead of walls of stone, we have the peace of God in our hearts. We have our faith which is better than walls of stone. The poor and needy can now come in.

v4 "Trust ye in the LORD forever, for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength."

There will be a longing to do righteousness because the love of God is in our hearts and not just on the paper of the law. There will be a desire to please because of love for His grace toward us.

v9 "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early; for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."

I do not think the children of Israel understood what Isaiah was saying. It was still a mystery then. Even in Jesus' day on earth, he spoke in parables to the people for he was not yet crucified and had not arose from the dead to complete salvation's plan. Such is not the case in our day, we are without excuse for not believing.

v19 "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

I Corinthians 6:14 "And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by this own power."

Trouble is coming but it will pass. Such is the assurance and cause for peace.

v20 "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast."

It is a reminder of the Exodus and the blood on the doorposts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Result of Chastening Isaiah 25

Isaiah 25:9 "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."

Discipline is never welcome and easy for a child. It is tough on the parent as well. I do not find that God found any joy in what had to be done to bring Israel back to him. It was simply necessary.

v1 "O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."

Well, of course, parents do not fall into the praise and exalted worthiness but you can see how the principle still applies. Once a child is brought to maturity and they realize where they went wrong, they will often remember and appreciate the actions it took to divert them from trouble. I've often heard the phrase "Mom and Dad were right."

v4 "For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength tot he needy in h is distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall."

One thing Israel had neglected to do was remember the poor. The LORD, however, never does neglect those who are the most needy. It is for the proud and haughty that severe action must be taken to direct their respect properly.

v11 "And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim; and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands."

The final victory sounds so sweet in this verse:

v8 "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the LORD hath spoken it."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Apocalyptic Isaiah 24

Isaiah 24:1 "Behold, The LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof."

This chapter refers to the known world of the day but also has far reaching implications. Again, there are teachers of prophecy who can do a better job with this than I. The known world to Israel was, of course, the immediate area of Jerusalem, the priesthood, the kings and the promised land that they were loosing.

v2 "And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him."

No escape, is the term that comes to my mind. The Jews were not suppose to charge their brethren usury but they could charge other nations. Both were under this judgment. All this seems very severe so we have to remember that Israel had turned their back on God and worshipped idols. Israel was a nation founded by God and increased by God to be a separate people and a worshipper of one God. They had left their purpose.

v5 "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant."

That verse tells us the justification behind this judgment. All this after the LORD begged for his people to "come let us reason together". All this after warning after warning.

But this passage also refers to a future time just prior to the LORD's reign in Zion and Jerusalem.

I Thessalonians 1:10 "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."

There is no escape of these events except through Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and our salvation.

In the next chapter, we are told of the return to God that will take place as a result of these events.

It is truly a dreadful passage followed by this great and wonderful promise.

v23 "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously."

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I heard this in a song this morning and thought it was a thought worth remembering. I think the name of the song was Grace but can't remember the author or singer.

"Grace keeps giving me the things I don't deserve
And mercy keeps withholding the things I do..."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tyre - Sidon Isaiah 23

Isaiah 23:1 "The burden of Tyre, Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them."

Tyre, also Tyrus, was a rich seaport city on the Mediterranean coast. It was where Hiram of King David and Solomon's time reigned. It was later destroyed by Alexander the Great. It flourished in New Testament times but is now a small town under Turkish rule.

Although friendly to David and Solomon, Tyre became hostile toward Israel and was guilty of idolatry.

v2 "Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished."

Tyre was colonized from Sidon. Here we see the connection broken in commerce. The isle are told to be still. There is no need to send loads of cargo to Tyre for it is gone.

v7 "Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn."

And so it was that when the city was destroyed, the people were marched off to a foreign land.

v11 "He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms; the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strongholds thereof."

For seventy years Tyre is forgotten but then comes back for a time. Trade resumed but it appears that there was no profit retained.

v18 "And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing."

One of the great sins of the time was that the poor had been forgotten. That which should have gone to the poor was hoarded up by the rich. So, that has changed in the above verse.

We have seen the pronouncement of judgment on many areas of what is often called the Bible land. For a good summary of what has been happening, Jeremiah chapter 25 would be a good read.

Jeremiah 25:11 "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."

Monday, October 12, 2009


Isaiah 22:5 "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."

During the time Hezekiah, a great army came up against Jerusalem to take it. Hezekiah had shown the great treasure they held, to them already. Shebna was the treasurer and secretary to Hezekiah. In part, this chapter is about Shebna loosing his post.

v8 "And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armor of the house of the forest." See I Kings 7:2

There is a lot of emotion in this chapter. It seems the prophet is broken hearted by the message he must deliver.

v13 "And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine; let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die."

This was apparently the attitude of the people for it was called iniquity in verse 14: "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."

Also Ezek 24:13 I Samuel 3:14

In Isaiah, the scripture often tells of the things that are to happen in the near future, i.e. the captivity, but also refers to distant events (for those of that day) i.e. the coming of Christ and the redemption of Israel.

v17 "Behold the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee." Referring to Shebna.

Shebna was replaced by the Lord with Eliakim, telling Shebna that the place he had established for himself would be taken away and that he would not even get to use the grave he had dug for himself.

v16 "What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulcher here, as he that heweth him out a sepulcher on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?"

You could say that Shebna was a bureaucrat who like so many in our day are in government. Elected officials may come and go but they are there and are part of the establishment. In Shebna's case he had built himself a little kingdom of his own in the big kingdom of Judah.

Eliakim replaced Shebna and his projected attitude toward his job is revealed in this verse. Also there are hints of the mystery of Christ in the balance of the chapter. We can see those hints now but they were a great mystery when Isaiah was written.

v21 "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 hosue of Judah."

Those who held office were not placed there to profit themselves but were suppose to be servants for the people.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Babylon - Isaiah 21

Isaiah 21:9 "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."

Babylon was a city as well as an empire. Babylon has a part in prophecy as well. Some think it is a world system or some other nation that is predominant and predominantly sinful in the last days.

I do not personally know which it is but I have taken an interest in Dubai lately. But that is just me. It is a member of the United Arab Emirates and although it is very old, it has begun to grow tremendously in the last decade.

Here we are talking about the original city of Babylon though, I believe.

v1 "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. v2 A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth trecherously, and the spoiler spolieth. Go up, O Elam; besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease."

As for the future Babylon we can read in Revelation 14:8 "And there followed another angel saying Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Referring to unfaithfulness toward God and going after worldly things.

Daniel is also a good source to read for Daniel was in the midst of the happenings.

v10 "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."

See also Babel.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ashdod - Egypt - Isaiah 20

Isaiah 20:1 "In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it; v2 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."

This was to be a sign to Egypt and Ethiopia of the shame of their captivity. Isaiah did this for three years and so in three years it was to happen to Egypt and Ethiopia. They would be carried away captive, walking naked in shame.

Ashdod( II Kings 18:17 )(I Samuel 5)was a stronghold of the Philistines and is given here as a point in time. The passage is about Egypt and Ethiopia.

v4 "So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with teir buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt."

So, several things are happening now in these prophecies of Isaiah as the LORD told him. Great nations are being brought to their knees and people of all races are being taken to foreign lands. The isolation is over.

I thought this would be a good time to include a map of these nations. I found one online and their website is included:

Monday, October 05, 2009

Egypt - Isaiah 19

Isaiah 19:1 "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."

We are still trying to put together an accurate history of Egypt. They dwelt in a most rich and fertile land to which the surrounding peoples came in times of drought and famine. The black soil produced by the Nile gave forth plenty to use and share. The magnificence of the rulers is still announced by the many monuments there.

v4 "And the Egyptians wilt I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall ride over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts."

So, what of the well watered soil:

v5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up."

It would take a lot to bring down such a kingdom as Egypt. They were protected on all sides by either deserts or sea. The one thing that made them great, the water, was the one thing that defeated them.

v8 "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."

The order of Egypt is disrupted and there is confusion so that even the advisers are of no use.

"v12 "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."

We can read in Daniel more of Egypt in this time but the very wise Daniel is far away from Egypt.

v17 "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."

We can remember how Israel left Egypt. Egypt called it an expulsion but Israel called it redemption. I agree with redemption. During the time of the kings of Israel, there were times when Egypt was still involved in the affairs of Israel. Such as, have wives in Israel. But in the verse above things are reversed.

It seems to me that about the time Israel was dispersed into captivity, that the whole world was turned on its ear. Nations that were great were no longer great and from out of 'no where' came mighty people to overthrow them.

In the midst of this, I find one encouraging verse: v21 "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. v22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt; he shall smite and heal it; and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them."

Finally we are given three peoples: Assyria, Egypt and Israel.

v25 "Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."

These are difficult passages for me especially since I am not schooled in a broad understanding of the history of all these nations. Perhaps it will become more clear as we go through. A note though is that Ethiopia was part of Egypt, at least ancient Ethiopia.