Four More Nations Judged

God will judge, but He will also restore.

Prophecies against Israel: Isaiah 13-23 (4)

Pray Psalm 75.1.
We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.

Read Isaiah 17, 18, and 19.

Reflect.
1. The “nearby and soon” judgment of God will begin in Israel and Syria (ch. 17). We recall that these two nations were preparing go gang up on Judah and Jerusalem at the time of Isaiah’s prophecy. How is the offense of Israel described (vv. 8, 10, 14)? A “gleaning” will remain in Israel (v. 6). To what does this refer? How is this “gleaning” characterized (vv. 7, 8)?

2. Ethiopia and Egypt also come under the wrath of God, but He holds out hope even for them (18.7; 19.18-24). To what time does “that day” refer in 19.18, 19, 23, 24? What happens “in that day”?

Meditate.
God’s judgment against the nations continues to unfold, as Israel, Syria, Ethiopia, and Egypt now come onto His radar screen. Their sins are the usual suspects: idolatry, hubris, self-vaunting, offenses against God and His people.

God will demonstrate the worthlessness of their idols. He will humble them and make a mockery of their arrogance and self-vaunting. And, as all these nations come to judgment, He will preserve Jerusalem as an island of safety and salvation amid a sea of wrath.

But God does not leave these nations without hope. A “gleaning” of those who look to their Maker and have respect for the Holy one of Israel will endure through Israel and Syria’s downfall. These are they who repent of their sins and make their way to Jerusalem to serve God.

God has a “present” for Ethiopia as well, in that He will bring them to Himself at Mt. Zion (18.7).

And He will prepare a Savior for Egypt “in that day” when His salvation begins to be known to the nations of the world (19.18-25). God announces His judgment on these nations – all at the hands of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar – so that, when it comes to pass, they will remember His promise of a remnant and of salvation, and turn to Him in repentance and faith.

Prepare.
1. How is God glorified in judging the nations of the earth? Is this true yet today?

2. How is it clear that God intends His grace to reach to the nations of the world? How does He do that? 

3. Assyria and Egypt mark the western and eastern limits of those nations God is judging. But He will put in place a “highway” to unite them (19.23). What does this mean? To what – or Whom – does it refer? 

By this it is clearly promised that the glory of Israel and all her riches will be taken away, and only a few, who like the few berries on an olive branch can be counted easily, will be left. These are the ones who believe in the Lord. Just after this there is a prophecy of the entire human race turning away from the error of idolatry and recognizing the God of Israel. Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 AD), Proof of the Gospel 2.3

Lord, You have a remnant You intend to save, even among the people in my Personal Mission Field. Help me to…

Pray Psalm 75.

Pray for the nations of the world, and for the chosen remnant of God, yet to be saved. Ask God to use you as His agent of grace today.

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 75 (Galilee: Jesus Calls Us)
We give thanks, Lord, we give thanks for Your all-glorious Name is near!
Men Your wondrous works declare, Lord; let all living creatures hear!

When you choose the time of judgment, You will judge with equity.
Then the earth and all within it by Your hand no more shall be.

Warn the boastful, warn the wicked: “Do not boast or raise your horn!
Do not raise your boastful voices; do not speak with pride and scorn!”

Neither east nor west nor desert shall exalting bring to man.
God is Judge, He puts one down and makes another one to stand.

For the cup of judgment foams in Jesus’ sovereign, holy hand.
He has mixed it and will pour it out on every wicked man.

As for me, I will declare it: Evermore to God be praise! 
He abases all the wicked, but His righteous ones He saves!

T. M. Moore

Where do the prophets fit with the rest of Scripture? How can I be a better student of God’s Word? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better approach to and understanding of the Scriptures. Watch this brief preview video, then register at The Ailbe Seminary and enroll in this free online course.

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).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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