Day 198

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Isaiah 18:1-23:18 (The Message, Life Application Study Bible, NLT)
Carmen Tall, Governing BoardAt first glance these verses appear to be a series of stories of Old Testament battles.  How could they possibly be relevant to my life?  As I studied God’s Word, He revealed plenty of lessons that I need to learn — far too many to list here. I’ll share one theme that God revealed to me, and I pray His words will penetrate your heart as well.A common theme that is repeated throughout these chapters is one of chaos and calm; chaos when people are in control–being ruled by their own fears and desires, and subsequent calm when they remember to go to God and let God be in control of the outcome.For example in Chapter 18, the King of Ethiopia was fearful of the approaching stealth-like Assyrians.  He frantically took matters into his own hands, “and sent messengers up the Nile asking the surrounding nations to form an alliance.  Judah was also asked to join, but Isaiah told the messengers to return home because Judah only needed God’s help to repel the Assyrians.  Isaiah prophesied that Assyria would be destroyed at the proper time.”  (Notes to Isaiah 18:1ff  NIV)In complete contrast to the fear, Isaiah prophesied, “For the Lord told me this, ‘I will watch quietly from my dwelling place–as quietly as the heat rises on a summer day, or as the dew forms on an autumn morning during the harvest.'”   (verse 18:4, NLT)  God’s plan.  Calm.  Soothing words.  God knows the outcome.In chapter 19, scripture tells us that the Egyptians are fighting against each other–brother against brother.  For guidance, instead of going to God, “they will plead with their idols for wisdom.  They will call on spirits, mediums, and psychics to show them which way to turn.”   (v. 19:3 NIV).  Chaos.God had a better plan for their future.  “On that day, there will be a place of worship to God in the center of Egypt.”.  When they cry out in prayer to God because of oppressors, he’ll send them help, a Savior who will keep them safe and take care of them. (v.19:19-20 Message).  God Control.  Calm.Our Savior has been here and he will be returning.  In the meantime, instead of “running up and down the Nile” looking for friends and alliances to help with our battles, let’s remember to first seek God.  He will comfort and guide our work, if we are willing to listen.
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2 responses »

  1. The end of chapter 19 shows an amazing resolution to the Middle East situation: Egypt and Assyria will turn to the Lord and worship Him together with Israel. May that day come soon!

    Chapter 21 must have been confusing to the people when Isaiah delivered this prophecy because Babylon was just a town on the Euphrates river at this time. It would be 150 years before Babylon would become a world power, but God already predicted its downfall. How amazing is our God!

  2. Carmen, Thank you for sharing this insight from this difficult passage! You certainly opened my eyes. Calm in crisis, in chaos in craziness; I suspect we could all use some of that.

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