Thursday, August 6, 2020

06 Aug 2020 - Isaiah 18

Isaiah Chapter 18 was a word directed to Ethiopia. Cush is the land of Ethiopia (the Hebrew word for Ethiopia in this passage, and throughout Isaiah, actually means "Cush") and was a chief rival to Assyria. Since Judah was caught in the middle between this conflict, Judah was hoping to align herself with Ethiopia against Assyria. Vs 1-2 characterizes the nation: the whirring insects, the tall, smooth skinned people and how the Ethiopian ambassadors had come to make an alliance with Judah and the other nations of the region against Assyria.

Vs 3-4 “All you people of the world, you who live on the earth” calls out Isaiah. “The LORD said to me, I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest”  

The meaning is clear here. God does not need any allies, nor does He need anyone to tell him what the dangers are; He is watching everything very carefully from his dwelling place on High. The serenity, composure, and calmness of God are here contrasted with tumult of the Ethiopians and Assyrians. God never needs to get in a hurry.

It also echoes on waiting for God to act. The wisdom of waiting is harder to learn and practice, yet all things come around to him who can wait. The shimmering sunshine and the clouds of dew are both refreshing. Do you see how God’s security, tranquility, and peace in heaven are distinguished from the chaos on earth?  His presence will come as a refreshing strength when we wait on Him.

Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way! IN GOD WAITING IS ALWAYS WISDOM AND STRENGTH.  God acts on the absolutely best moment.

Vs 5-7 There is an agricultural metaphor and a wild imagery to illustrate what God would do to the enemy, just before the enemy would reach to claim the prize, the disaster would fall. The enemy will be slaughtered all together.  Vs 7 Isaiah announces a day when Ethiopians will come and worship the LORD and bring gifts to Him to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, to Mount Zion. We know it was fulfilled in Acts 8:26-40, when an Ethiopian came to worship the LORD at Jerusalem, and then trusted in Jesus at the preaching of Philip.

Yes, satan has been decisively defeated in the death and resurrection of Christ. So today we embrace and apply the victory of Christ by faith in our battles against the devil—mainly by believing and wielding the word of God. “Don't be afraid, the Lord will fight for you if you hold your peace and remain at rest." Exo14:14. Notice there was a condition; God will fight your battles if you'll stay at rest.

Identify the peace robbers in your life. What's causing all that stress? Quit worrying about the medical report, a loved one you miss, the contract you didn't get, a difficult child, or those annoying people who are talking about you. God will part the Red Seas; He'll restore what you have lost and the fullness of your calling. He'll fight your battles if you'll remain at rest.

Romans 16:20 “The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

Read this Psalm aloud and let this be your prayer today

Through You, we push back our enemies; through Your name we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but You give us victory over our enemies, You put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise Your name forever” (Psalm 44:5-8). Amen