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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, May 10 2023

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

We are studying chapter 17, 18, 19 and 20 today. We shall be reading from The New King James Version (NKJ), International Standard Version (ISV) and The Message Version (MSG) of the bible for our in-depth study today.

Chapter 17:1-14
1. A Rebuke to Damascus; Isa. 17:1-3
A message about Damascus: “Look! Damascus will cease to be a city. Instead, it will become a pile of ruins. 2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted— they will be devoted to herds that will lay at rest, and terrorism will be no more. 3 The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and royal authority from Damascus; the survivors from Aram will be like the glory of the Israelis,” declares the Lord of the Heavenly Armies.

This chapter contains a prophecy of the ruin of Syria and Israel, the ten tribes; who were in alliance against Judah. Damascus, the head city of Syria, must be destroyed; the houses, the walls, gates, and fortifications demolished, and the inhabitants carried away captive. It will be reduced not only to a village, but to a ruinous heap. Vs 2, the cities of Aroer (a province of Syria) will be forsaken so that the places which should be for men to live in are for flocks to lie down and none will disturb nor dislodge them. Vs 3, The fortress shall cease from Ephraim, that in Samaria, and all the rest. They had joined with Syria in invading Judah and now those that had been partakers in sin should be made partakers in ruin and judgement.

2. A Time of Weakness for Israel; Isa. 17:4-6
Vs 4, the glory of Jacob was their numbers, that they were as the sand of the sea for multitude; but this glory shall be made thin, when many are cut off, and few left. Then the fatness of their flesh, which was their pride and security, shall wax lean, and the body of the people shall become a perfect skeleton, nothing but skin and bones.

Vs 5, The corn is the glory of the fields (Psa 65:13); but, when it is reaped and gone, where is the glory? The people had by their sins made themselves ripe for ruin, and their glory was quickly taken away, as the corn is out of the field by the husbandman.

Vs 6, Mercy is here reserved in the midst of judgment, for a remnant that should escape the common ruin of the kingdom of the ten tribes. those that are left are but like the poor remains of an olive tree when it has been carefully shaken by the owner.

3. Repentance and Revival; Isa. 17:7-8

Vs 7-8, They shall be a sanctified remnant. These few that are preserved are such as, in the prospect of the judgment approaching, had repented of their sins and reformed their lives, and therefore were snatched as brands out of the burning judgement. They were awakened, partly by a sense of the distinguishing mercy of their deliverance, and partly by the distresses they were still in, to return to God. They shall look up to their Creator, shall enquire, where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, in such a night of affliction as this? Job 35:10, Job 35:1, Psa 123:2. We must remember that God is in covenant with us and the God of grace; particularly, when we are in affliction, our eyes must be towards the Lord, to deliver us (Psa 25:15).

4. Desolation to the Nations: Verses 9-14
Vs 9, Here the prophet returns to foretell the woeful desolations that should be made in the land of Israel by the army of the Assyrians.

Vs 10, the sin that had provoked God to bring so great a destruction upon that pleasant land. It was for the iniquity of those that dwelt therein. It is because you have forgotten the God of your salvation. The God of our salvation is the rock of our strength; and our forgetfulness and not mindful of him are at the bottom of all sin. The harvest used to be a time of joy, of singing and shouting (Isa 16:10), but it shall be a time of desperate sorrow, for they shall see not only this year's products carried off, but the property of the ground altered and their conquerors lords over them. The harvest shall be removed into the enemy's country (Deut. 28:33).

Vs 12-13, these verses read the doom of those that spoil and rob the people of God. If the Assyrians and Israelites invade and plunder Judah, if the Assyrian army take God's people captive and lay their country waste, let them know that ruin will be their lot and portion. God will make them like a wheel, or rolling thing, and then persecute them with his tempest and make them afraid with his storm, Ps. 83:13, Ps. 83:15. Note, God can dispirit the enemies of his church when they are most courageous and confident, and dissipate them when they seem most closely consolidated.

Vs 14, At evening-tide they are very troublesome, and threaten trouble to the people of God; but before the morning they are not. Like in Exo. 14:13-14 when Moses assured the children of Isreal
“And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever”.

Summary of Chapter 18:1-7
This chapter is a prophecy of the desolation of a land or country, described by the wings with which it was shaded, and by the rivers by which it was situated.
1. The prophet addresses himself to the nation here described as a 'land shadowing with wings,' and as sending ambassadors, in a manner designed to call their attention to the great events soon to occur Isa 18:1-2.
2. He addresses all nations, calling upon them also to attend to the same subject Isa 18:3.
3. He says that God had revealed to him that destruction should come upon the enemies here referred to, and that the immense host should be left to the beasts of the earth, and to the fowls of the mountains Isa 18:4-6.
4. The consequence, he says, of such events would be, that a present would be brought to Yahweh from the distant nation 'scattered and peeled,' and whose land the rivers had spoiled Isa 18:7.

Summary of Chapter 19:1-25
This chapter contains prophecies of various calamities that should come upon Egypt in a short time, and of the conversion of many of them to Christ in Gospel times. The calamities are many; the Lord's coming unto them, which their gods cannot prevent, nor stand before, nor save them, and at which the hearts of the Egyptians are dispirited.

1. He sees Yahweh coming in a cloud to Egypt Isa 19:1.
2. The effect of this is to produce alarm among the idols of that nation Isa 19:2.
3. A state of internal commotion and discord is described as existing in Egypt; a state of calamity so great that they would seek relief from their idols and necromancers Isa 19:2-3.
4. The consequence of these dissensions and internal strife would be, that they would be subdued by a foreign and cruel prince Isa 19:4.
5. To these political calamities there would be added "physical" sufferings Isa 19:5-10 - the Nile would be dried up, and all that grew on its banks would wither Isa 19:5-7; those who had been accustomed to fish in the Nile would be thrown out of employment Isa 19:8; and those that were engaged in the manufacture of linen would, as a consequence, be driven from employment Isa 19:9-10.
6. All counsel and wisdom would fail from the nation, and the kings and priests be regarded as fools Isa 19:11-16.
7. The land of Judah would become a terror to them Isa 19:17.
8. This would be followed by the conversion of many of the Egyptians to the true religion Isa 19:18-20; Yahweh would become their protector, and would repair the breaches that had been made, and remove the evils which they had experienced Isa 19:21-22, and a strong alliance would be formed between the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Jews, which should secure the divine blessing and favour Isa 19:23-25.

Summary of Chapter 20:1-6 (NKJV)
In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it, 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. 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, 4 so shall the king of Assyria lead 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. 5 Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory. 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 escape?’”

This chapter contains a prophecy of the destruction of the Egyptians and Ethiopians by the Assyrians, which had been prophesied of separately in the two preceding chapter of Isa 18:1.
In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it. This was describing an event in 2 Kings 18:9-12 The Assyrian empire had extended its conquests over Syria, Damascus, and Ephraim or Samaria.

Vs 2 go, and loose the sackcloth from off your loins; a token of mourning, and which the prophet wore because of the captivity of the ten tribes; and it may be also on account of the miseries that were coming upon the people of the Jews; though some think this was his common garb, and the same with the royal garment the prophets used to wear, Zac 13:4 and put off your shoe from your foot; as a sign of distress and mourning. Here we see the obedience of God’s prophet to His instruction as a sign of His judgement coming against Egypt and Ethiopia.

Vs 3-4, Like as Isaiah has gone stripped of his special garment as a prophet, so shall the Egyptians and Ethiopians be stripped of all that they value, and be carried captive into Assyria.'

Vs 5-6, And they shall be afraid; The Jews, or the party or faction among the Jews, that were expecting aid from allied Ethiopia and Egypt. When they shall see them vanquished, they shall apprehend a similar danger to themselves; and they shall be ashamed that they ever confided in a people so little able to aid them, instead of trusting in the arm of God.

God wants His people to know that they can’t put their trust and security in other nations except Him, the one with everlasting Arms.
They shall be alarmed for their own safety, for the very nation on which they had relied had been made captive. And when the "stronger" had been subdued, how could the feeble and dependent escape a similar overthrow and captivity? All this was designed to show them the folly of trusting in the aid of another nation, and to lead them to put confidence in the God of their fathers.

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