Prophecies against Israel: Isaiah 13-23 (3)
Pray Psalm 83.1-4.
Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
Read Isaiah 14.24-16.14.
1. On a map, look up the nations God promises to judge in these chapters. Can you see that God is encircling Judah and Jerusalem with judgment? What do you suppose He wants them to learn?
2. Why is God bringing judgment against these nations?
God’s patience with the nations, and with His people as a light to the nations, has run out. Suddenly, judgment is coming on Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Israel, Syria, and Jerusalem. These nations, and especially the people of Israel and Judah, pushed God to a tipping point of wrath, and the judgment He brings is terrifying and deadly.
And even Babylon, His instrument of judgment against all these nations, must fall to the judgment of God. As will the Persians who destroy Babylon, the Greeks who conquer the Persians, and the Romans who overwhelmed and replaced the Greeks in the West.
But there is hope. One is coming to sit on David’s throne and to rule in truth and righteousness (16.5). The pride God judges in nations like Assyria and Moab will be contrasted by the humility of His suffering Servant/King Who is to come. Where gladness, joy, and life are forfeited by those who rebel against God, gladness, joy, and life will be full and free to all who look for and rest in the coming King of righteousness, peace, and joy.
Babylon’s fall is still many years away, and many of those living in Isaiah’s day would not live to see it. But Moab – and Assyria and Philistia – will be destroyed in just three years. The message is clear: When you see this happen, believe that all the rest will happen too, and repent.
1. Meditate on Romans 1.18-32. What forms does the wrath of God take in our day?
2. Is God judging the nations of the world? Is He judging this nation? Is there a message in this for His people? Explain.
3. Wherever we see the judgment of God, we should look to our own souls, confessing our sins and seeking repentance. How can we know when the King of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit is ruling supreme in our lives?
What God has reared up and wishes to remain, no one can tear down. In the same way, what he has destroyed and wishes to stay destroyed, no one can rebuild. John Chrysostom (344-407 AD), Discourses Against Judaizing Christians 5.11.6
Give me eyes to see your wrath and judgment on our world, Lord, so that I…
Pray Psalm 83.
As you pray through this psalm, listen for the Lord to bring to mind ways that national world leaders are seeking to throw off His rule or are oppressing His people. Pray for God to shame them into seeking Him, and pray for the Lord to be exalted over all the earth.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 83 (St. Chrysostom: We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought)
O God, do not be quiet now; do not be silent, nor be still!
See how Your foes erupt in a row and those who hate You chafe at Your will.
Shrewdly they plan, conspiring as one, against Your daughters and Your sons.
“Come, let us wipe them out,” they say. “Let Israel’s name no more be heard!”
Bold they conspire to do us away, and covenant against You, O Lord.
Peoples and nations cast in their lot for this ambitious, wicked plot.
Deal with them, Lord, and bring them down, as You against old foes prevailed,
When You Midian cast to the ground and all her kings and princes assailed –
All who Your pastures sought to possess You brought to ruin and deep distress.
Make them like whirling dust, O God! Scatter them like the windblown chaff!
Rage like a fire consuming a wood, like flames that burn a mountain pass!
Blow like a tempest, bring them to harm, and terrify them with Your storm!
Fill with dishonor every face that they may seek Your Name, O Lord.
Bring them to shame, dismay, and disgrace, and let them perish under Your Word,
That they may learn Your infinite worth, O God Most High of all the earth!
T. M. Moore
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Forward today’s lesson to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on Isaiah. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link for the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Isaiah’s important message.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).