Wednesday, June 28 2023
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Isaiah 34 begins a prophecy that spans two chapters (34 & 35), and deals with things of the end times. Isaiah 34 deals with the judgment of God during the Great Tribulation period, while Isaiah 35 will talk about the blessings that will come to the world when Jesus returns. In today’s study, we see the prophet Isaiah being transported into the future, and onto the final battle of Armageddon
Verse 1: A Demand for Universal Attention – An Invitation of the Nations
“Come here and listen, O nations of the earth; let the world and everything in it hear my words.”
After the promise of heaven and hell from chapter 33, God expands His judgment to all people. God is not partial in judgment, for "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).
In the previous chapters, the judgment of God had either been directed to Babylon or Assyria, but here we see God’s judgment directed to all nations because it is only at the end of times that “all nations” will be rallied by the anti-Christ to come against Israel. Revelation 16:13-16 tells us that when the sixth vial is opened, lying demon spirits are sent out to the kings of the whole world to bring them down to “the battle of that great day of God Almighty,” more popularly known as the Battle of Armageddon. If we look around the world today, there are several things that are being put in place that will ensure that at the end time, all nations will be able to unify. One of them is Globalisation. In Genesis, God dispersed the people at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–9), but at Armageddon, the anti-Christ will rally the whole world against Jerusalem. That is why the call was being made to all the nations of the earth, the world and everything in it.
Verses 2-7: A Scene of Blood and Confusion - God’s Coming Judgment on Edom
“2 For the Lord is enraged against the nations; his fury is against their armies. He will utterly destroy them and deliver them to slaughter. 3 Their dead will be left unburied, and the stench of rotting bodies will fill the land; the mountains will flow with their blood. 4 At that time the heavens above will melt away and disappear just like a rolled-up scroll, and the stars will fall as leaves, as ripe fruit from the trees. 5 And when my sword has finished its work in the heavens, then watch, for it will fall upon Edom, the people I have doomed. 6 The sword of the Lord is sated with blood; it is gorged with flesh as though used for slaying lambs and goats for sacrifice. For the Lord will slay a great sacrifice in Edom and make a mighty slaughter there. 7 The strongest will perish, young boys and veterans too. The land will be soaked with blood, and the soil made rich with fat."
These verses reveal the fury of the Lord Jesus, and we should therefore make no misstate, the cross is the only beating Jesus will ever take. When He comes again He will spill the blood of the armies of the world. He will utterly destroy the armies of the world. As depicted by the destruction of Edom mentioned here. It is no doubt a picture of the ultimate end of all who oppose God and His people (verses 6-7).
Ezekiel 36:5 tells us that Edom was a perpetual enemy of Israel
“5 this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my burning zeal I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, for with glee and with malice in their hearts they made my land their own possession so that they might plunder its pastureland.’
Isaiah 63: 1-6 says:
“Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his magnificent garments of crimson? Who is this in royal robes, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, the Lord, announcing your salvation; I, the Lord, the one who is mighty to save!” 2 “Why are your clothes so red, as from treading out the grapes?” 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone. No one was there to help me. In my wrath I have trodden my enemies like grapes. In my fury I trampled my foes. It is their blood you see upon my clothes. 4 For the time has come for me to avenge my people, to redeem them from the hands of their oppressors. 5 I looked but no one came to help them; I was amazed and appalled. So I executed vengeance alone; unaided, I meted out judgment. 6 I crushed the heathen nations in my anger and made them stagger and fall to the ground.”
When we studied the book of Revelations 11 years ago, in chapter 14 Verses 16-20 we learnt about the bloody judgment at Armageddon, where the of bloodshed will be so much that it will yield a flow of blood deep enough to come up to the bridle of a horse. A "thousand and six hundred furlongs" is the distance in which the blood will flow "unto the horse bridles" 1,600 furlongs is about 183.86 miles which is approximately 296km. The distance between Newry and Cork is 291km. We are talking about a flow of blood across Ireland deep enough to drown a horse!
Verse 8: The Reason Given for These Judgments
“For it is the day of vengeance, the year of recompense for what Edom has done to Israel.”
Time and time again in our study of this book, we have heard the prophet Isaiah explain the reason for God’s judgments. God is a just God, and no matter how the world tries, no one can prove He is not just. Because of sin, God will destroy the nations. All the enemies of the Lord will one day be gathered together in battle and slain by God Himself. See Revelation 19:11-21, 20:7-10.
Just before the coming of the Lord, society will be as it was in the days of Lot (Luke 17:28). While he focused especially on Edom, he was using that proud nation as an example of what God would do to all the Gentile nations during the coming of the Lord. As a result of God’s judgment on Edom, it will lie desolate for many generations (v. 17).
Verses 9-15: Continued Desolation
“9 The streams of Edom will be filled with burning pitch, and the ground will be covered with fire. 10 This judgment on Edom will never end. Its smoke will rise up forever. The
land will lie deserted from generation to generation; no one will live there anymore. 11 There the hawks and porcupines will live, and owls and ravens. For God will observe that land and find it worthy of destruction. He will test its nobles and find them worthy of death. 12 It will be called “The Land of Nothing,” and its princes soon will all be gone. 13 Thorns will overrun the palaces, nettles will grow in its forts, and it will become the haunt of jackals and a home for ostriches. 14 The wild animals of the desert will mingle there with wolves and hyenas. Their howls will fill the night. There the night-monsters will scream at each other, and the demons will come there to rest. 15 There the owl will make her nest and lay her eggs; she will hatch her young and nestle them beneath her wings, and the kites will come, each one with its mate"
Verses 9-10 depict the world-wide carnage of the Battle of Armageddon. God made humans stewards over the earth (Gen 2:15). When a person sins, whatever they touch becomes defiled (Hag 2:13-14). A person’s sin therefore has wide-reaching consequences, even to the point that the land can be cursed (Gen 3:17). That is why it is so very important that we take care of whatever is in our charge.
Verses 16-17- CONCLUSION
“Search the book of the Lord and see all that he will do; not one detail will he miss; not one kite will be there without a mate, for the Lord has said it, and his Spirit will make it all come true. 17 He has surveyed and subdivided the land and deeded it to those doleful creatures; they shall possess it forever, from generation to generation.”
Verse 16 isn’t only an assurance of justice from a just God but an assurance of His promises as well! Search the book of the Lord and see all that he will do; not one detail will he miss.Isaiah 55:10-11 says:
“10 As the rain and snow come down from heaven and stay upon the ground to water the earth, and cause the grain to grow and to produce seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry, 11 so also is my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It shall accomplish all I want it to and prosper everywhere I send it.”
This is such a reassuring promise. But you don’t know unless you search the book of the Lord. It is our responsibility to search the book of the Lord (the Bible) and see that God's prophecies and declarations are always fulfilled. The wicked will inherit a terrible, ruined land from generation to generation, that is, forever. But you and I have a sure promise of the Lord’s goodness, here on earth and for eternity. Matthew 19:29 says:
“And everyone that hath forsaken houses or brethren or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life."
Wednesday, June 21 2023
Contributor: Ngozi Roberts
In the previous chapter we discussed about how God detests the trusting of the arm of flesh instead of God. The Jews trusted in the Egyptians prowess which is a symbol of trusting the arm of flesh or man and God did not like it. He assured the Jews and ultimately you and I of God's care and protection. The study ended by the prophet calling all to repentance, and prophesied the destruction of those that do not trust God. Following these sequence, the prophet in the next two chapters 32 and 33 prophesies of the coming righteous king that will bring about a righteous government establishing the fact that the blessings that comes out of this righteous rule will only be experienced by the repentant children of God while the sinners will experience His judgement.
PART 1: CHAPTER 32
This chapter contains a prophecy of the Messiah which is, however applicable to Hezekiah, as a type of Christ as it only has its full accomplishment in him, and in his times. He is described as a righteous King, having Just princes ruling under him. The chapter is filled with metaphors and will require attentiveness to be able to understand these chapters. It is divided into 3 sections. The first section talks about the period of peace and happiness which will characterise the reign of the righteous king. The second section talks about the times of trouble which would be as a result of the existence of bad people and the third section reflects on the blessings that will be seen in the end.
CHAPTER 32, VERSES 1-8 - THE PERIOD OF PEACE AND HAPPINESS
The Prophet prophesies about the reign of a righteous King. This godly king is going to establish a godly government and will have many godly helpers within the society. It is evident this is about Christ our righteous King and His true disciples. Though during the time of Isaiah this king seems to reflect the local historical king – Hezekiah however, for us this ultimately talks about the messiah Jesus Christ and His kingdom. The metaphorical expressions seen in verses 2-8;
See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. 2 Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. 3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. 4 The fearful heart will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear
These expressions connotes that the this government will bring about stability and comfort in the society. This brings to remembrance, Psalm 47:5-9, which praises God as…the King over all the earth, who reigns with justice and equity.
Also in Isaiah 2:2-4, which foretells that the…nations will stream to Jerusalem to learn from the Lord, and that He will judge between the nations and make peace.
Similarly, in Rom 14:17 : 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
CHAPTER 32: VERSES 5-6 – FOOLS WILL NOT BE IN THE GOVERNMENT
Here again, the use of metaphorical expressions that indicates that during this righteous reign that fools will not be found in this helm of affairs. Why? Because the characteristics of fools as in verses 6-7 will not be found in this government.
"5 No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected. 6 For fools speak folly, their hearts are bent on evil: They practice ungodliness and spread error concerning the LORD; the hungry they leave empty and from the thirsty they withhold water. Scoundrels use wicked methods, they make up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just."
So Isaiah prophesies that even in this ideal society, there is going to be rogues and bad people but however, these bad people are going to be recognised and ostracized from leadership
CHAPTER 32 VERSE 8 - CHARACTERISTICS OF NOBLE MEN IN GOVERNMENT
8 But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.
Note that the government will be constituted by noble and princely men.
CHAPTER 32 VERSE 9-14 - CONSEQUENCES OF COMPLACENCY
These verses talks about the rich people of Isaiah days. Again the use of metaphor to express and reflect on the warning to those who are relaxed in their luxury and feel secure due to their own means. The prophet sounds a note of warning that if the ones that are bad continue to provoke God then there is going to befall them a time of hardship and series of anguish that will be coming to them. In reflection for us, we are being admonished to repent and be on the alert and not to rely on our own strength. Reminds us of 1Cor. 7:29-31 where we are admonished to live as if end is at hand. It says:
29What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
CHAPTER 32 VERSE 15 -18 - THE PEACE OF GOD’S REIGN
Vs15 talks about the out pouring of the Spirit of God. This brings to mind Joel 2:28-29 that said:
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
Also in Isaiah 44:3, For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
So the prophets lists out the things that will be the outcome of the spirit outpouring.
The Sprit of God will pour out the power and presence of God for us to be able to act on God’s will. When the manifestation of the Spirit of God is on mankind there will be :
1. Abundance of justice,
2. Personalised life style of righteousness that will bring about -
a. peace, quietness,
3. Undisturbed resting places ; undisturbed land, home,
4. Real security and peace
Again, this brings to mind the scripture Rom. 14:17- 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
CHAPTER 32: VERSE 19-20
Note that in the middle of blessing of pouring of spirit, Isaiah also prophesies judgement (Vs. 19). which seems odd and makes me to believe judgement refers to the destruction of Assyrian (Chapter 27). So putting this into context, while the Assyrians are being punished by God, the children of God are experiencing the out pouring of the spirit of God and its benefits. However, it is also true that in situations where the children of God are, evil exists. Remember, God treats His enemies differently as we learnt in our previous lessons and they usually end up being destroyed. That is why the scripture tells us that Job 22:29 29When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.
So as believers, we should always understand that it is in allowing ourselves be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit that we can experience exemption from the judgement that will befall the evil ones. He says in Romans 8: 14 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
When believers are led by the Holy Spirit , they shall live in fertility, in so much abundance that no matter the poverty that grips the world around them, they shall not be affected.
PART 2: CHAPTER 33
In this chapter, Isaiah gives an account of God's judgments upon the enemies of his people, and of the peaceable, comfortable, and happy state of the church in the latter day. This chapter is divided in two sections. The first section refers to Gods judgment on His enemies while the second section refers to the happiness to be experienced as a result of the glorious reign of the Messiah.
CHAPTER 33 VERSES 1-14 - A PRAYER IN DEEP DISTRESS
In verse 1 the prophets reminds us of the Assyria who were a tool in the hand of God to punish the children of Israel in other to bring them back to repentance. These Assyrians did not go unpunished. They still had to experience the wrath of Gods anger. God still held them responsible for their godless action so they have to pay the price. The lesson here is that we as children of God will always be held responsible for any of our actions, even though God already knows from the beginning. If we do evil, without repentance, we will reap whatever we sow. Remember the story of Judas, though it has been prophesied that someone will betray Jesus, Judas stepped into the prophesy and without repentance he was destroyed. He was held responsible for his betrayal action. Same also was Pharoah, he was held responsible for his action when he was destroyed in the Nile pursuing the children of Israel. The righteous ruler often pays the sinner in their own coin. Those who by faith humbly wait for God shall find Him gracious to them.
In Vs. 2, Isaiah both prays and prophecy. He becomes emotional as he calls on God to have mercy. “LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. This reminds me of the Lord prayer where in Matthew 6:11 it say 11Give us this day our daily bread. Praying for the help of God for daily living. And true to the word, there is no way we can live the Christian life without trusting in Him to lead us daily. God wants us to trust him daily for our daily need. Day by day walk in fellowship with Him. This will bring about our genuine stability and security.
In Vs 3- 6 – The prophets takes us into a peep of his life and experience in God. He leads us to understand who God is. The fear of the Lord is the key to his treasure. When we live in the fear of the Lord we will experience Gods wisdom, salvation and knowledge. The greatest treasure is knowing God and it is a great blessing.
Vs 7 – 9 highlights to us the distress that Jerusalem was brought into.
The prophet reflects on what really happened to the negotiations between the representatives of Israel and Assyrians. The break down on the negotiations brought about the men crying and mourning on the streets of Jerusalem. Why? Because the treaty they had with Assyria had broken down. Everyone is afraid and runs into hiding. This is described in 2Kings 18:13-16. Even though Hezekiah gave the king of Assyrians a lot of treasure to stay away yet he came back anyways to fight.
CHAPTER 33 VERSES 10 – 15 - IMPENDING JUDGMENT ON ZION
It’s interesting to know that it is when all other helpers fail, that is the time for God to appear in our lives. Psalm 60:11 says 11 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
The Prophet prophesies about the help of God. As God arises to help His people , the children God praise, and exalts Him on high.
The Prophet kind of blows the trumpet of God, letting those who have heard of what God has done to acknowledge that God can do all things. He also reiterates that those sinners that are still living in Jerusalem and outside will experience the wrath of God as He delivers His true children. Reminding us of Hebrew 12:29 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Also, Deuteronomy 2:24 tells us same. God’s wrath will burn those who make themselves fuel for it. So, He warns the jews that are far away and near to watch what God was going to do. When God arises, his enemies scatters!
Isaiah reflects on the characteristics of the people in this new day of righteousness. They reflect the character of God himself. In the Old Testament the goal of righteousness was to be like God. The word righteous connotes straightening - measuring reed and describes God himself. God’s characteristics manifested in humanity and in the New Testament is Christ. These characteristics of God’s righteous people are best explained in Psalm 15:
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
And psalm 24-3-6 also stipulates same as God’s righteous people characteristics.
CHAPTER 33, VERSES 17-24 - THE LAND OF THE MAJESTIC KING
From verse 17, the prophet makes reference to the righteous King that we talked about in verse 32. It is during the reign of this miraculous child and king that the children of God will start wondering why they revolted against God in the first place. They note that there is no longer the terror they used to experience. No more task masters. No more strangers with foreign language (Chapter 28:11- indicating that the Assyrians language was foreign to them). They will then appreciate the new government and the new land. Zion the city of Gods dwelling place. A land of peace with stability and no chaos. This is because the Lord God almighty will be the ruler. A land without sickness and there will be so much abundance that none will lack and none will be harmed.
As believers we are reminded to remember the conditional response from God. We should understand that our hope, our Jerusalem will not be destroyed if we as believers follow God and love Him and walk in His ways. He will keep us in Zion, our abode from all harm if we live righteously, however, if we don’t by living unrighteous, He will take His presence from us and we will fall. Note that all of man’s relationship with God is based on unconditional promise followed by man’s individual response which is conditional.
As true believers, we should watch out for all occasion to sin and avoid it. By faith we take Christ as our King and Saviour. Most importantly is that He will be our King in heaven where there will be no sickness or trouble, all our transgressions blotted out and souls healed.
Zephaniah 3:15 says The LORD has taken away your punishment; He has turned back your enemy. Israel's King, the LORD, is among you; no longer will you fear any harm
Job 36:11-12 says 11 If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures. 12 But if they do not obey, They shall perish by the sword, And they shall die [e]without knowledge.
Also, Matthew 24: 13 encourages us :13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Ultimately, we are all encouraged and admonished to endure to the end. As long as we trust in God and not man, He will bring us home safely. God is saying to you and I to trust Him and He will forgive us and bring us home to an everlasting life.
Parts of this study was culled from : Matthew Henry – Commentary on the whole Bible
Wednesday, June 14 2023
Contributor: Ayomide Oladipo
Isaiah 30 was an account of a situation the nation of Judah went through, how they handled it and the result of their actions. Judah was facing threat of invasion from Assyrian army, and out of fear and distrust in the Lord they sort help from Egypt. Though Judah knew rightly that it was sinful for them to seek help from Egypt and not from God, yet they did due to bad counsel. 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Evil communication corrupts good manners”, God had encouraged Judah to trust in Him, but due to bad counsel, they disobeyed God and worshipped an idol “Egypt”. The result of their decision according to Isaiah 30:3-5 was shame, humiliation, and disgrace. Isaiah 30: 31 “For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” Prophet Isaiah prophesied how Assyrians would be destroyed. Today’s study will look at God’s characterisation of the actions of Judah, His call for them to repent and the result of their repentance as it pertains to their current predicament.
The Lord will Defend (Isaiah 31: 1-9)
Verse 1: “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!”
This is telling us the reason why Judah turned to Egypt for help. Egypt was a strong nation, they had chariots and horses with a great army, so when the invasion from Assyrian was imminent, the leaders of Judah weighed their options, did consultations, they knew they were at war and its obvious they needed war equipments. This led to their decision to go to Egypt.
Proverbs 3 :5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Looking at Judah’s antecedents, they are not unbelievers that we may say they did not know to trust in the Lord. In proverbs 3: 5-6, king Solomon gave us what we should and should not do when we are faced with decisions or challenges of life. First, trust in the Lord, second, don’t lean on your own understanding, third before you do anything, acknowledge the Lord and the result of that principle is direction from the Lord. Judah despised this principle by taking counsel from unbelievers, leaning on their own understanding of how to fight the war, which lead to their sinful decision.
Why do we call their act sinful? Luke 9: 42 says: “But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
It was sinful because it is an act of rebellion, they knew the truth, Psalm 20:7 (Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.) but decided to go against the truth they already know.
Lesson: It is not just disobedient for us as believers to turn to other things for help and not God, it is a sin. And the Bible says we cannot be in sin and ask grace to abound. We despise the Lord when we allow fear to push us out of trusting in Him.
Verse 2-3: “2 Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. (3) Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.”
Though the leaders of Judah had their obvious justification for seeking help from Egypt and not from the Lord prophet Isaiah here was calling them to remember the reasons why they should trust the Lord over the Egyptians.
Vs 3: Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses flesh, and not spirit.
God is superior to the chariots and horses of Egypt because He is not a man. (3b): “When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.”
All it takes is for God to stretch fort His hands and the helper (Egyptians) and those that sort for their help (Judah) will fall together. Prophet Isaiah here was telling them how futile their trust in the Egyptians army is.
Recall our study last week, Isaiah 30:3-5, the trust in Egypt shall end in shame, humiliation, and disgrace.
Lesson: Let us always remember that God is superior to all in every of our decisions. Putting trust in any other thing or man other than God is unreliable. If we can only think a little deeper that if God created all that were made by His word, what can He not unmake by His Word? This includes our challenges Isaiah 30:31 “For through the voice of the Lord, Assyria will be beaten down, as He strikes with the rod.”
Promise of God to Defend His People.
Verse 4-5: “For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. (5) As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it."
Though Judah made a sinful decision to seek help from Egypt rather than looking unto the help that is already available to them (The Lord), God here, according to prophet Isaiah stood by His commitment to defend mount Zion and Jerusalem which are the cities of His people.
Lesson: God is committed to His promise to defend His own people, if we seek His help or not, His help is always there to defend us, and come through for us if only we can trust in Him.
Call to Repentance.
Verse 6- 7: “Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. 7 For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.”
Prophet Isaiah here was admonishing the people to turn back to God. Vs 7: “For in that day” What day? The day people turn away from the idols they have built for themselves. Prophet Isaiah referred to the actions of Judah as idolatry because they put Egyptians in the place of God.
Verse 8-9: “Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of mankind shall devour him. But he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall become forced labor. (9) He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the banner, Says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.”
In that day, when the people turn back to God, destroy their Idols, then will the Assyrians be destroyed. This will not happen by sword of any man, but by the great fire of the Lord as recorded in 2 Kings 19:35 God sent his angel and killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night. When the people woke up, there were 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers. That is God defending His people when they turn to Him and turn away from Idols.
Lesson: Last week we were asked “What can represent idols in our lives today?”, anything we put in God's place in our lives is an idol.
Psalm 110: 1 “The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.””
The Lord is committed to defending us, but not when we have our eyes set on other source of help in place of God. God is committed to all those that have absolute trust in Him, according to the psalmist, God wants us to win without fighting and the only way to live this victorious life is to trust in the Lord.
Psalm 91 tells us about they that dwell in the secret place of the Most-High. The secret place of the Most-High, is the everlasting arm of God and in the everlasting arm of God, we have guaranteed everlasting protection, help and provision. Not on the arms of any man or thing. God wants us to honor men, psalm 115: 6 “The heaven, even the heavens, is the Lord’s, But the earth He has given to the children of men.” As long as we remain on earth, we will always need men because God himself gave the earth to men, but we despise God when we put our trust in men. Whatever you trust in, you will worship and the moment our trust is not God we become idol worshippers, and this will end in disgrace, humiliation, and defeat.
Isaiah 51:1-2 “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, nor his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. (2) But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”
The Lord is always committed to His children, but idol worshipping will sabotage our victory as His children. Turn to the Lord today for help, turn away from idols and watch Him make your enemies your footstool while you hold your peace.
Wednesday, June 07 2023
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Today’s study covers 4 Chapters. (27-30). Chapter 27, the 4th chapter of "Isaiah’s Apocalypse"
concludes the previous three chapters of Isaiah (24, 25 & 26) as it continues to focus on the End Time and on Christ’s divine battle. Chapter 24 showed us a picture of the devastation on the earth that will take place during the upcoming Tribulation period, Chapter 25 showed us what heaven will be like, Chapter 26 showed us how the nation of Israel would come through the Tribulation. Today, in the first part of the study, we will continue to look at the full restoration of the nation of Israel as it comes through the Tribulation in chapter 27, and then come back to more current times of Isaiah’s day in the second part, Chapters. (28-30).
PART 1: CHAPTER 27
Chapter 27, Verse 1: Satan Will Lose The Battle
In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong, Will punish Leviathan the fleeing
serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea. See Rev 12:7- 13
Isaiah 27:1 and Rev 13, have many similarities. Here the prophet Isaiah speaks about the end time. The leviathan has similarities with the dragon in Rev 12:17 and the sea beast in Rev 13:14. The use of two symbols, the woman in labour (chapter 26:17–18) and leviathan (chapter 27) describes the pain and defeat of the Israelites by their enemies, on one hand and on the other hand, the leviathan’s destruction provides hope to the Israelites and focuses on God’s power to deliver His people.
Chapter 27, Verses 2-6 Restoration of Israel
These verses paint a picture of restoration; a vineyard of red wine is one that bears fruit unlike (Isa.5), God Himself is the one who keeps it. He will guard, watch over and water it every moment. (Hosea 14:5). He will do this, night and day. The One who keeps us does not slumber (Psa. 121:3- 4)
Verse 4 tells us that God is no longer angry at His vineyard. “My anger against Israel is gone. If I find thorns and briars bothering her, I will burn them up, unless these enemies of mine surrender and beg for peace and my protection. 6 The time will come when Israel will take root and bud and blossom and fill the whole earth with her fruit!”
Instead of being plucked up and carried off by every army that comes their way, Israel will be
settled permanently in the land. And as a vine that gets rooted firmly, there will be fruit. In the last fifty years, we see the nation of Israel has been re-established in the land, and there’s even been a physical fulfillment in that they are now one of the world’s largest exporters of fruit.
Chapter 27, Verses 7-13 Tables Turned
These verses tell us what was before, and how God turned the tables to the favour of His children. God doesn’t treat His people the same way as He treats those who are His enemies. Difficult times come to all kinds of people. For those who are God’s enemies, they could end up being destroyed. But for those that God loves, they are allowed to happen only to help us grow. God carefully measures how He disciplines His people. It’s all according to what we can handle. Heb. 12:6-11 tells us that to be chastened by God is a sign that we belong to Him and that He loves us! And that the result is a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
By this chastening of the Lord, the iniquity of Jacob is purged and all altars of stones dedicated to worshipping idols will be ground into fine dust as chalkstones.(Vs. 9). Finally, the cities that the enemies of God resided in, like Babylon, and all of their defences, (Rev. 17-18, Is. 25:2) will be brought to nothing. God will pull out His own His enemies, like a farmer separates the grain from the chaff in the wheat, and then picks up His own, one by one when the great trumpet is blown.
PART 2: CHAPTERS 28-30
In these chapters, Isaiah deals with more current times to his day; the coming destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel as well as the problems facing Isaiah’s own country, the nation of Judah
Chapter 28, Verses 1-4 Judgment for the Northern Kingdom
Ephraim is a name used to describe the very fertile Northern Kingdom of Israel; Isaiah, however, lives in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. God will send the nation of Assyria, to throw those of Ephraim to the ground. Because they are too proud to listen to the Lord, to have God tell them what to do. The Northern Kingdom of Israel, in particular the city of Samaria, would be destroyed by Assyria in 2 Kings 17:6.
Chapter 28, Verses 5-6 Promise for the Remnant
The promise to the remnant, the humble is that God Himself will be their "crown of glory" and He will grant the spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who battle at the gate. God wants us to get our sense of "importance" from the fact that we know Him. Our sense of "beauty" should come from our relationship with Him. 1 Pet 3:3-4 tells us that it’s not about how we appear in the exterior but the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Chapter 28, Verses 7-13 Problems With the "Remnant"
Though God has great things for those who will humble themselves, some of these people would miss out on what God had for them because of their own drunkenness. They will make bad decisions because of their drunkenness. A Japanese proverb says: "First the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, and then the drink takes the man."
These rebellious, drunken leaders didn’t like Isaiah’s ministry. Verse 9-10 says: “Who does Isaiah think he is,” the people say, “to speak to us like this! Are we little children, barely old enough to talk? 10 He tells us everything over and over again, a line at a time and in such simple words!”
God’s reply is, "If you’re having trouble understanding baby talk, then I’ll just speak to you through foreign oppressors (the Assyrians) who speak an unknown language when you are invaded.”
Chapter 28, Verses 14-22 Warning for Jerusalem’s Rulers
The warning shifts from Ephraim to Jerusalem and the leaders of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Because they have made a lie their refuge and falsehood their hiding place. They thought that by making a covenant with death, and an agreement with Sheol, that when the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to them. But God says that people who are trusting in falsehood and lies will find their stories swept away. (Vs. 17) and that He is cancelling their contract with the devil. The devil doesn’t have any authority to make a lasting deal with anyone. The only outcome will be death and hell, along with the devil. (Vs. 18-19)
These people by their actions were waging a war against God in futility. Akin to trying to sleep on a bed that is too short and with covers that aren’t big enough for a covering; exposing them to the anger of God. (Vs.20-22) The Lord will come suddenly and in anger, as at Mount Perazim and Gibeon, to do a strange, unusual thing—to destroy his own people! (Vs.21)
Chapter 28, Verses 23-29 Listen to the Teaching of God
The Lord of hosts, is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. So listen to His Words. Psalm 19:7–8 (NLT) says: 7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.
Chapter 29, Verses 1-4 Coming Siege of Jerusalem
These verses tell us that it is not about sacrifices but obedience.We cannot buy a right standing with God by our many offerings (Vs.1) See 1 Sam 15:22-23, Psalms 51:16-17. God isn’t interested in you thinking that you have to do something to "butter Him up". He just wants you to get serious about following Him. Israel’s life of disobedience set God against them. (Vs. 2-4). The result was, heavy judgment, weeping and sorrow, God becoming their enemy, laying siege against them (Sennacherib laid siege to Jerusalem in 2 Kings 18:13–15; Isa. 36:1) and forts to destroy it.
Chapter 29, Verses 5-8 Deliverance for Jerusalem
Suddenly, by the Lord’s prerogative, the Nations fighting Jerusalem would vanish like a dream. (Is. 37:33-37). A picture of what would happen when Jesus comes back and He will fight to rescue Jerusalem. (Zech. 14:2-3). It will be so prompt, it will feel like they are just about to get their goal in conquering Jerusalem when they suddenly "wake up" and their victory has vanished.
Chapter 29, Verses 9-12 Ignorance as a Result of Hardened Hearts
Even with the disappearance of their enemies, they remain hard-hearted and so God gives them up to their own hardness of heart. "You want a hard heart? You’ve got a hard heart!" (Rom. 11:8)
Chapter 29, Verses 13-16 Rebellious Hearts
Just like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, they only drew near to God with their mouths and honoured Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him. (Matt. 15:1-11). They try to twist things like clay telling the potter “You know nothing” by their actions. God is not interested in "religion", but a "relationship" with you and I.
Chapter 29, Verses 17-24 Change is Coming
Verses 17-24 tell us of a change that is coming. One that brings fruitfulness and fertility (Vs. 17), spiritual restoration of hearing and sight (vs 18) “the deaf will hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the blind will see my plans.” The meek joyful, the poor exulting God, bullies vanishing and scoffers disappearing as well as those who plot evil. And those living in error will believe the truth, and complainers will be willing to be taught!
Chapter 30, Verses 1 -7 Following Bad Counsel
The backdrop to this chapter is that nation of Judah was facing the threat of the invading Assyrian army. They knew it was coming. God had encouraged the people to trust in Him, but there were some people who had a problem with that. So they went seeking help from Egypt. The first 7 verses of this chapter tell us how it grieves God when we choose to do things the world’s way instead of God’s way. When we seek counsel from the ungodly (Psa.1:1). The result according to verses 3-7 is disappointment, humiliation and disgrace. Because as a matter of fact, no help can come from the ungodly.
Chapter 30, Verses 8-17 Spiritual Stubbornness Brings Judgment
Verse 11 tells us that the people did not want to hear the truth. Instead they wanted to hear nice things. Just as in 2 Tim 4:3-4 KJV “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
The consequences of their perverse ways of life, we see in verses 13-14;
This perverse way of life will be like a towering, badly built wall that slowly, slowly tilts and shifts, and then one day, without warning, collapses— Smashed to bits like a piece of pottery, smashed beyond recognition or repair, Useless, a pile of debris to be swept up and thrown in the trash.”
Even when God tells them the secret of their salvation and strength, “Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength;” they refused to accept but chose to get help from the “world” Egypt.
Chapter 30, Verses 18-26 God’s Unfailing Love, Grace and Mercy Displayed
Verses 18-19 says: “Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love; he will conquer you to bless you, just as he said. For the Lord is faithful to his promises. Blessed are all those who wait for him to help them. 19 O my people in Jerusalem, you shall weep no more, for he will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. He will answer you."
Chapter 30, Verses 27-33 Destruction of the Enemy
Isaiah prophecies the destruction of the Assyrian army in Hezekiah’s day. Verse 31 says: “For through the voice of the Lord Assyria will be beaten down, As He strikes with the rod.”
The Assyrians suffered a great defeat in Isaiah 37:1-38 where God sent one Angel in verse 35 to destroy the entire army of the Assyrians made up of 185,000 soldiers.
Despite the pain and difficulties we face as believers, the leviathan’s destruction provides hope, and focuses on God’s power to deliver His children. God carefully measures how He disciplines His people. It’s all according to what we can handle. Heb. 12:6-11 tells us that to be chastened by God is a sign that we belong to Him and He loves us! And that the result is a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. And therefore restoration awaits us; here on earth and ultimately in heaven as long as we listen to the Lord’s wonderful counsel and excellent in guidance.
God’s blessings come to those who wait. Even when we don’t wait for Him, He waits for us. Verse 18 says: “Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love.” God is patient towards us and is waiting to give us a chance to repent. (2 Pet 3:9 KJV) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But it is in returning and rest will we be saved; and our strength is in quietness and confidence.
Parts of this study was culled from https://www.calvaryfullerton.org/