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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Education / Eric Rajaniemi's Blog: James 1:22; Romans 1:20 Welcome Guest
    Eric Rajaniemi's Blog: James 1:22; Romans 1:20
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    Mon, Mar 30th - 9:50PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it (20:1).

    This Tartan was a general in the Assyrian army, mentioned in II Kings 18:17. Ashdod was a city found in the northern kingdom of ten tribes. Sargon succeeded Shalmaneser (II Kings 17:3).

    This is the only place in the entire bible to find the name of Sargon. As recently as 100 years ago historians claimed that Sargon never lived, because no reference could be found linked to him in secular history. But, archaeologists found that the Assyrian form of his name is Sharrukin. Abundant historical materials concerning his reign have been documented for us.

    At the same time spoke the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off your loins, and put off your shoe from your foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot (20:2).

    The prophet Isaiah was to become a walking parable to Israel as a visual warning not to become confederate with Egypt. By going and reading the verses around II Kings 18:17 we can find that the Assyrians knew how undependable the Egyptian pharaohs had become to their “friends.” Now, was Isaiah asked to go nude, or was he “naked” as considered by the local customs? Clothing was, and still is, very essential to the customs of the East and nudity is so revolting that it becomes obvious that that is not what is meant in this verse. Isaiah was told to take off his outer garment of mourning along with his sandals. This would create immediate attention to the prophet. It would allow the prophet to make his point publicly. Isaiah was asked to do what was opposite of common custom and not to moral decency.

    And the Lord said, Like as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia (20:3).

    The prophet walked all about these nations for three long years! Naked and barefoot Isaiah did as the Lord commanded him, thus being a sign and wonder to these people.

    So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt (20:4).

    Since Egypt and Ethiopia could not protect themselves, they would not be very reliable allies for Israel. Both of these nations were invaded by Sargon and he lead them away in shame. Which thing Isaiah had prophesied to for three years. Perhaps they should have paid attention? Perhaps we should pay attention to God’s Word today? If we do not, we just may find ourselves being lead away into captivity, slaves to our lusts, our greed, our sins.

     And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.

    And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape (20:5-6)?

    The message today to the saints of Christ is this: We cannot depend upon our own physical strengths but need to rely upon God and His grace. We need to allow Christ free reign in our hearts, our thoughts and in our lives. He must not be denied access to any of our decision making. We must follow the lead of His Holy Spirit and do those things pleasing to God.

    This ends chapter 20, a short, concise chapter. Next time we shall begin looking at chapter 21 which has a theme of three judgments/burdens: Babylon, Edom, and Arabia. These burdens, if we were to be numbering them, would be numbers seven, eight, and nine. We will see that the “insignia” in this chapter are not quite so clear to us today as they would have been back in Isaiah’s time. Just as we easily recognize “stars and stripes” “God save the Queen” or any other national phrase so too people back in this time would have recognized what Isaiah was saying to them.

    Until we meet again, God willing, may Christ richly bless you and your family my beloved.

    ~Eric



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    Fri, Mar 27th - 8:33PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yes, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it.

    And the Lord shall smite Egypt: He shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the Lord, and He shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them (19:21-22).

    Have the Egyptians ever sacrificed and done oblation to Jehovah? Not that can be found in historical records or in the scriptures. Some most certainly have become Christians since the time of Phillip and that eunuch. But on a scale such as is spoken of here? No. This is something that is yet to come. Something to look forward to.

    As with individuals, so can it be with a nation. If its people repent and turn to God they can be saved. But it is a much more difficult thing for an entire nation to do this compared to an individual. Each of us can imagine this difficulty simply by thinking back on how hard it has been for us to either accept Christ Jesus as our Savior, or to entrust our entire lives to God. But anything is possible with God, we must always remember that.

    In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptian shall serve with the Assyrians (19:23).

    Could this be speaking of the time when Christ rules from Jerusalem? At that time people will most certainly be traveling from one country to another unhindered and be serving with one another in Jerusalem. There will not be armies, nor terrorists, to be afraid of while journeying from place to place.

    In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land (19:24).

    Isn’t it strange how often the phrase “in that day” appears in these verses? God speaks of a very specific day.

    The Lord is known to our nation, and yet I fear there are many of our nation that do not know the Lord. But the promise of the new covenant is that all shall know the Lord, from the least even to the greatest, which promise is sure to all the seed. The effect of this knowledge of God is that they shall vow a vow to the Lord and perform it. For those who do not know God, who either are not willing to come under binding obligations to the Lord or do not make good those obligations, they shall not receive the blessing.

    These three nations being joined to the Lord, they shall be added to the church, and be incorporated with all the saints. All conflicts shall be put to rest. There had been mortal feuds between Egypt and Assyria; they often made war upon one another; but now there shall be a highway between Egypt and Assyria (

    Isaiah 19:23), a happy correspondence settled between the two nations; they shall trade with one another, and every thing that passes between them shall be friendly. The Egyptians shall serve (shall worship the true God) with the Assyrians; and therefore the Assyrians shall come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria. Note that it characterizes those who have communion with the same God, through the same Mediator, to keep up a friendly conversation with one another. The consideration of our meeting at the same throne of grace, and our serving with each other in the same business of religion, should put an end to all arguments and conflicts, and join our hearts to each other in holy love. The Gentile nations shall not only unite with each other in the gospel fold under Christ the great shepherd, but they shall all be united with the Jews. When Egypt and Assyria become partners in serving God Israel shall make a third with them (Isaiah 19:24); they shall become a three-fold cord, not easily broken. The ceremonial law, which had long been the partition-wall between Jews and Gentiles, shall be taken down, and then they shall become one sheep-fold under one shepherd. Thus united, they shall be a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, Isaiah 19:24, Isaiah 19:25. Israel shall be a blessing to them all, because of them, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, and they were the natural branches of the good olive, to whom did its root and fatness originally relate, and the Gentiles were but grafted in among them, Romans 11:17. Israel lay between Egypt and Assyria, and was a blessing to them both by bringing them to meet in that word of the Lord which went forth from Jerusalem, and that church which was first set up in the land of Israel. “Qui conveniunt in aliquo tertio inter se convenient” - Those who meet in a third meet in each other. Israel is that third in whom Egypt and Assyria agree, and is therefore a blessing; for those are real and great blessings to their generation who are instrumental to unite those that have been at odds with one another. They shall all be a blessing to the world: so the Christian church is, made up of Jews and Gentiles; it is the beauty, riches, and support of the world. They shall all be blessed of the Lord. They shall all be owned by Him as His. Though Egypt was once a house of bondage to the people of God, and Assyria an unjust invader of them, all this shall now be forgiven and forgotten, and they shall be as welcome to God as Israel. They are all alike His people whom He takes under His protection. They are formed by Him, for they are the work of His hands; not only as a people, but as His people. They are formed for Him; for they are His inheritance, precious in His eyes, and dear to Him, and from whom He has His rent of honor out of this lower world. They shall be owned together by Him as jointly His, they shall all share in one and the same blessing. Note that those that are united in the love and blessing of God ought, for that reason, to be united to each other in charity/love.

    I would hope and pray that each believer that reads this post can see themselves in the above paragraph. We shall be blessed of the Lord. We shall all be owned by God as His. If God can forgive nations of people that invaded and pillaged Israel then I think that we too can be forgiven of our sins against God and His people. We are precious in His eyes, dear to His heart, and He gains honor and glory from our service to Him. We all are part and parcel of His royal family of saints, no matter what race, color, or creed. Ethnicity is irrelevant. Gender is irrelevant. Because God unites all of us in love and blessing therefore we ought to be joined together to each other in love and blessings and relinquish conflicts, hostilities, offensiveness, and arguments.

    That, beloved, completes chapter nineteen of Isaiah. Next time we shall begin chapter twenty which holds one great thought; that in three years Israel would be invaded. Chapter 19 ended on a high note of future blessings for Egypt in a future millennial kingdom, while chapter 20 predicts events coming in the near future.

    Until we meet again, God willing, may God richly bless you my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    ~Eric



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    Thu, Mar 26th - 8:55PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    This entire section looks forward to the Day of the Lord for complete fulfillment.

    In that day five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction,

    In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord.

    And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a savior, and a great one, and He shall deliver them (19:18-20).

    Some of the cults have surmised that “an altar to the Lord” must be the pyramid. In reality the pyramid is nothing but a gigantic mausoleum for the entombment of kings and queens. What will be a “a sign”? What will be an ensign? The cross will yet be the place to which Egypt will look instead of to a crescent.

    There shall be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, an altar on which they shall do sacrifice and oblation; therefore it must be understood spiritually. Christ, the great altar, who sanctifies every gift, shall be owned there, and the gospel sacrifices of prayer and praise shall be offered up; for by the law of Moses there was to be no altar for sacrifice but that at Jerusalem. In Christ Jesus all distinction of nations is taken away; and a spiritual altar, a gospel church, in the midst of the land of Egypt, is as acceptable to God as one in the midst of the land of Israel; and spiritual sacrifices of faith and love, and a contrite heart, please the Lord better than an ox or bullock.

    Those that serve God must not be ashamed to own Him, but be forward to do any thing that may be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts. Even in the land of Egypt He had some faithful worshippers, who boasted of their relation to Him and made His name their strong tower, or bulwark, on their borders, with which their coasts were fortified against all assailants.

    Being in distress, they shall seek out God, and He shall be found by them; and this shall be a sign and a witness for the Lord of hosts that He is a God hearing prayer to all flesh that come to him,

    They shall have an interest in the great Redeemer. When they were under the oppression of cruel lords perhaps God sometimes raised them up mighty deliverers, as He did for Israel in the days of the judges; and by them, though He had smitten the land, He healed it again; and, upon their return to God in a way of duty, He returned to them in a way of mercy, and repaired the breaches of their tottering state. For repenting Egyptians shall find the same favor with God that repenting Ninevites did. But all these deliverances done for them, as those for Israel, were but figures of gospel salvation. Doubtless Jesus Christ is the Savior and the great one spoken of here, whom God will send the glad tidings of to the Egyptians, and by whom He will deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, that they may serve him without fear, Isaiah 19:20. See Psalm 65:2. When they cry to God by reason of their oppressors, the cruel lords that shall rule over them (Isaiah 19:4) He shall be entreated of them (Isaiah 19:22); whereas He had told His people Israel, who had made it their own choice to have such a king, that they should cry to him by reason of their king, and He would not hear them, 1Samuel 8:18.Luke 1:74, Luke 1:75. Jesus Christ delivered the Gentile nations from the service of dumb idols, and did Himself both purchase and preach liberty to the captives.

    I have to admit, that most of those last few paragraphs are from Matthew Henry’s commentary. I agree with what he has written on these verses which is why I have included them here. He used somewhat unusual language in explaining things in his commentary.

    It can be seen that Christ Jesus was being spoken of, and that it does not explicitly say that these five cities were to be magnets for Jews who had dedicated their lives to serving Jehovah. If they were so dedicated to God then they would not be in Egypt but would be in Jerusalem. It would appear that this is an “onion skin” section of scripture; we must peel layers off to find what the true complete fulfillment will be in the future. Just as today we are not completely “delivered” from sin, so too, these people were not completely delivered in Egypt. They believed but were still in need of deliverance from their oppressors.

    That is all for tonight, my friends. God willing, we shall meet here again and continue our journey through the Word of God. May the grace and peace of Christ Jesus be yours this day.

    ~Eric



    Comment (1)

    Wed, Mar 25th - 7:58PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell you now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts has purposed upon Egypt.

    The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof (19:12-13).

    The prophet openly asks the Egyptians where are all of its wise men now? He wants to know if they can say what God has decided to do with Egypt. Just how wise are they? We ought to be asking our “wise men” of today just how much do they actually know. How wise are the “experts” of our day? Do they understand what God has decided to do with America? I do not think that they even take that into consideration. They do not believe in God.

    “Noph” refers to Memphis as we now know it. It was an influential city in Egypt. “They have seduced Egypt” speaks of what others from outside of Egypt were able to accomplish in directing that nation’s actions. World history has recorded the story of Cleopatra, who was a Greek, and of what she accomplished as Queen of Egypt.

    The Lord has mingled a perverse spirit in the middle of it: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit (19:14).

    This is an accurate picture of what did happen to the Egyptians. Successive pharaohs decided to commence immense personal projects that were to glorify themselves. These projects did not produce anything that increased the productivity of the nation, they merely sucked valuable manpower and resources away from useful activities. One pharaoh attempted to create a diversion of Nile River water a long distance to please himself; it ended in disaster. It weakened the flow of the river, wasted money in its efforts, and cost the lives of over a hundred thousand men. It never was finished. In America today we must be on guard to prevent similar actions from being undertaken by our government. Otherwise we as a nation will be weakened by foolish projects meant only to glorify the reputations of those who proposed them in the first place. And as was the case with Egypt, America will be reduced to a lowly third world nation with absolutely no influence in shaping world events around us.

    Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do (19:15).

    God allowed this nation to become poor. He did not lift His hand to help them during the times when no other nation came to buy their produce or their manufactured goods. This caused there to be no demand for what the Egyptians had made and eventually caused their entire economy to collapse, causing massive unemployment.

    Isaiah speaks here of the failure of false religion, failure of material resources/possessions, and failure of spiritual power. Just as it did happen long ago with Egypt so too shall it happen in our future during the Great Tribulation.

    UNFULFILLED PROPHECY

    In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He shakes over it (19:16).

    “In that day” alerts us to what time frame is being referred to here. Yes, it is a dual reference. It strongly refers to a point in Isaiah’s future when Egypt would become a lesser nation on the world stage, but it also points forward much further into the future of world history when “He shakes over it.” God isn’t shaking His hand over our world today, nor did He do that back during Isaiah’s time. But God will execute judgment over all lands during the end of history.

    And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that makes mention of it shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts, which He has determined against it (19:17).

    It is easy to think that this is partially coming true during our lifetimes in the way events have played out between Egypt and Israel since 1948.

    I am stopping here for now, beloved. Next time we shall cover some verses that obviously do not have historical placement in our past. They speak of things yet to come. Until then, God willing, may your footsteps be blessed and may you have grace and peace abound in your heart.

    ~Eric

     

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    Sun, Mar 22nd - 8:59AM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither (19:6).

    Interestingly, even today these “brooks” to the sea are filled up. It had been a wonderful place almost like the Garden of Eden, but it is not like that today. Tourists continue to be amazed by the fact that the banks of the Nile are not lush with vegetation. Notice what God says next:

    The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more (19:7).

    This is a reference to the papyrus that was used in that day as a form of paper for writing. It was one of the main industries of Egypt and produced a great deal of wealth to the nation. The Phoenicians introduced papyrus to most of the civilized world and the main source of it was along the Nile River. Today papyrus can not be found along the Nile where it once was indigenous. It can be found in various places at specific points. It has become a luxury plant; it no longer is a common plant which is exactly what God said would become of it.

    The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish (19:8).

    Fishing was another great wealth-producing industry in Egypt since the Nile had abundant fish. The fish population has declined in the Nile and fishing has also disappeared. In Florida you can spot hundreds of people fishing along the canals and intercoastal waterway, but this is not so along the Nile River.

    Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded (19:9).

    Egypt grew flax, and they wove it into fine linen. It was very much like silk in texture. This is the linen material that the Israeli’s used in their original Tabernacle out in the wilderness. But here God said that that entire industry would cease, and it most certainly seems to be gone in its entirety. Another case of the Bible prophecy being fulfilled.

    And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish (19:10).

    Egypt today is nothing compared to what it once was. All of its wealth has disappeared.

    Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counselors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say you unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings? (19:11).

    The royal line of the pharaohs intermarried so excessively that it produced morons. Brother married sister too often and caused inbreeding which produced genetically inferior offspring. We should heed this warning today and be on guard against incest and inbreeding of all sorts for it does not produce healthy individuals that will survive.

    That is all for now, my friends. Next time we shall continue on in this nineteenth chapter of Isaiah. God willing, we shall meet here again to study God’s Word. May mercy, grace, and peace be with you today.

    ~Eric



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    Tue, Mar 17th - 7:31PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rides upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the middle of it (19:1).

    The idolatry of Egypt is the main target of God’s condemnation here. We will find this theme again in the book of another major prophet. Perhaps no other people were ever given over to idolatry more than the Egyptians, with of course the exception of Babylon. What Paul said in Romans 1:21-23 suit’s the Egyptians like a glove.

    Egypt was originally monotheistic, they worshipped one God, but they then lapsed into idolatry where every creature under heaven was worshiped. When Moses was ready to lead the people out of Egypt God had to wage war against the Egyptian gods via the plagues. Jehovah struck at all of their idols to show that He was supreme.

    Idolatry has disappeared from Egypt even though its people dwell in the ignorance and superstition of Islam. It is a land that dwells in spiritual darkness.

    And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbor; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom (19:2).

    During Isaiah’s time there were several pharaohs that were unable to control their armies and the leaders. The people no longer respected the government. This lead to the establishment of many city-states that were self-governing. This is why there were the great cities of Thebes and Karnak and Memphis. But this lasted only for only a period of time before devolving back into another form of government.

    And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the middle thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits and to the wizards (19:3).

    The proud nation of Egypt that had advanced so far that it influenced very many other nations, turned to idols and finally resorted to spiritism. During Moses’ time the Egyptian magicians weren’t fakers for they were able to duplicate some of the miracles that Moses did. This shows that they did, in fact, possess some satanic power. “The spirit of Egypt shall fail” has come true. They are no longer an influential nation among nations.

    And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, says the Lord, the Lord of hosts (19:4).

    Has this “cruel lord” already come and gone historically? It is quite hard to say. Perhaps the rule of Islam could be considered to be this “cruel lord.” Or maybe this is something that is yet to come? Perhaps it refers to the Antichrist of the End Times?

    And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up (19:5).

    I would hazard that the “sea” refers to the Mediterranean Sea and the “waters” are the many canals that existed in the delta region. The “river” is the actual Nile River that flows into the Mediterranean. The Nile transported tons and tons of silt from far inland out to the coast and deposited that material along the delta area. It was a nonstop task to dredge out their canals of this material in order to keep water flowing to outlying crop-growing areas.

    I’ll stop there for today, my friends. Next time I shall continue our study by viewing how the Nile has become nonproductive. Until then, guard your heart from all vileness and darkness. Be watchful of your heart and that of others around you.

    ~Eric



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    Mon, Mar 16th - 5:56PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.

    They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them(18:5-6).

     God will reckon with His and their enemies, Isaiah 18:5, Isaiah 18:6. When the Assyrian army promises itself a plentiful harvest in the taking of Jerusalem and the plundering of that rich city, when the “bud” of that project is perfect, before the harvest is gathered in, while the “sour grape” of their enmity to Hezekiah and his people is ripening in the flower and the design is just ready to be put in execution, God shall destroy that army as easily as the husbandman cuts off the sprigs of the vine with pruning hooks, or because the grape is sour and good for nothing, and will not be cured, takes away and cuts down the branches. This seems to point at the overthrow of the Assyrian army by a destroying angel, when the dead bodies of the soldiers were scattered like the branches and sprigs of a wild vine, which the husbandman has cut to pieces. And they shall be left to the fowls of the mountains, and the beasts of the earth, to prey upon, both winter and summer; for as God's people are protected all seasons of the year, both in cold and heat (Isaiah 18:4), so their enemies are at all seasons exposed.

    In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the mount Zion(18:7).

    The tribute of praise which should be brought to God from all this: In that time, when this shall be accomplished, shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts. 1. Some understand this of the conversion of the Ethiopians to the faith of Christ in the latter days, of which we have the specimen and beginning in Philip's baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8:27, etc. Those that were a people scattered and peeled, meted out, and trodden down (Isaiah 18:2), shall be a present to the Lord: and, though they seem useless and worthless, they shall be an acceptable present to Him who judges of men by the sincerity of their faith and love, not by the pomp and prosperity of their outward condition. This then is the condition of which we find ourselves in today. Therefore the gospel was ministered to the Gentiles that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, Romans 15:16. It is prophesied (Psalms 68:31) that Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. 2. Others understand it of the spoil of Sennacherib's army, out of which, as usual, presents were brought to the Lord of hosts, Numbers 31:50. It was the present of a people scattered and peeled. (1.) It was won from the Assyrians, who were now themselves reduced to such a condition as they scornfully described Judah to be in, Isaiah 18:1. Those that unjustly trample upon others shall themselves be justly trampled upon. This is a thought which we must keep in mind each and every day: Revenge is of the Lord, not of us. (2.) It was offered by the people of God, who were, in disdain, called a people scattered and peeled. God will put honor upon His people, though men put contempt upon them. Lastly, the present that is brought to the Lord of hosts must be brought to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts; what is offered to God must be offered in the way that He has appointed; we must be sure to attend Him, and expect Him to meet us, where He records His name. This then is the established way for anyone, and everyone, to approach and meet with God. There are not “many” ways to God’s presence; there is only one Way, that being Christ Jesus.

    Next time we will explore chapter 19 in which we will learn of the burden upon Egypt. No other nation figures as prominently in the history of Israel as does this nation. It was in the nation of Egypt that Israel was born. Seventy souls from the family of Jacob traveled there, and four hundred years later more than a million souls left that nation, headed for the Promised Land.

    Abraham ran off into Egypt and got into trouble there. Joseph was sold into Egypt and during a great famine Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt to try and survive. Two of Israel’s kings, Ahaz and Hezekiah, allied themselves with Egypt and discovered her to be an unreliable ally.

    So until we meet here again, may grace, peace, and love be yours.

    ~Eric



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    Sun, Mar 15th - 9:46PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    That sends ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, you swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled! (18:2).

    Some scholars have believed that this sea power is England or even the United States, but “vessels of bulrushes” does not align with any picture of the vessels of any modern nation. “A nation scattered and peeled” must be Israel. This nation has been peeled apart and its people scattered all over the entire globe. Only in the last 60 years has its people begun to filter back to the Promised Land.

    All you inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see you, when He lifts up an ensign on the mountains; and when He blows a trumpet, hear you (18:3).

    Many students of the Word of God consider this “ensign” to be the ark of the Tabernacle, which was later on transferred to the Temple. It disappeared at the time of the Babylonian captivity, and there is one tradition which says that it was carried off to Ethiopia. I do not know if the ark was ever carried there, or if it is hidden somewhere else. All that I do know is that it disappeared during the time of the Babylonian captivity. Some sort of sign, or symbol, will come out of this land of “wings.”

     

    For so the LORD said unto me, I will take My rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest(18:4).

    The assurance God gives to His prophet, by him to be given to his people, that, though He might seem for a time to sit by as an unconcerned spectator, yet He would certainly and seasonably appear for the comfort of His people and the confusion of His and their enemies (Isaiah 18:4): So the Lord said unto me. Men will have their saying, but God also will have His; and, as we may be sure His word shall stand, so He often whispers it in the ears of His servants the prophets. When He says, I will take my rest, it is not as if He were tired of governing the world, or as if He either needed or desired to retire from it and repose Himself; but it intimates that the great God has a perfect, undisturbed, enjoyment of Himself, in the midst of all the agitations and changes of this world (the Lord sits even upon the floods unshaken; the Eternal Mind is always easy), and though He may sometimes seem to His people as if He took no notice of what is done in this lower world (they are tempted to think He is as one asleep, or as one astonished, Psalm 44:23; Jeremiah 14:9), yet even then He knows very well what men are doing and what He Himself will do.

    He will take care of His people, and be a shelter to them. He will regard His dwelling-place; His eye and His heart are, and shall be, upon it for good continually. Zion is His rest for ever, where He will dwell; and He will look after it (so some read it); He will lift up the light of His countenance upon it, will consider what is to be done, and will be sure to do all for the best. He will adapt the comforts and refreshments He provides for His people to the urgencies of their case; and they will therefore be acceptable, because seasonable. Like a dew and a cloud in the heat of harvest, which are very welcome, the dew to the ground and the cloud to the workers. Note, there is that in God which is a shelter and refreshment to His people in all weathers and arms them against the inconveniences of every change. Is the weather cool? There is that in His favor which will warm them. Is it hot? There is that in His favor which will cool them. Great men have their winter-house and their summer-house (Amos 3:15); but those that are at home with God have both in him.

    That is all for tonight, beloved. Some feel that these verses still speak of the judgment yet to come upon the Assyrians for their part in ravaging Israel. It is possible that this is so. But no matter which nation this speaks of, the final fulfillment of this prophecy is yet to come. And in that it will deal with people of true faith, those who have complete trust in Christ the Lord. Again I will point out to you that I am capitalizing the pronouns that I feel refer to God. In this way we can perhaps get a better “feel” for what is being said in the Word of God.

    Until next time, I pray that my new brothers in Christ, Wesley, Liam, and James will determine in their hearts to walk in the ways of Christ their Lord and Savior. I also pray that my new sister in Christ, Anna, will decide to seek out a time each day to meet with her Savior to talk with Him and to listen to Him. I fervently pray these things, O Lord!

    ~Eric



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    Sat, Mar 14th - 9:08PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    Those who say that chapter eighteen is referring to England and the United States are very wearying to be honest. It is simply not sound interpretation of the Word of God. I believe that Ethiopia perhaps is the best nation to fit the text and “tenor” of this Scripture. The word for Ethiopia is “Cush.” In Genesis 2:13 we can find that this nation was surrounded by the river Gihon.

    Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (18:1).

    This verse opens up a variety of issues; most significant of all could be that of “rivers.” Observe that the place appointed for Adam's residence was a garden; not an ivory house nor a palace overlaid with gold, but a garden, furnished and adorned by nature, not by art. What little reason has men to be proud of stately and magnificent buildings, when it was the happiness of man in innocency that he needed none! As clothes came in with sin, so did houses. The heaven was the roof of Adam's house, and never was any roof so curiously ceiled and decorated. The earth was his floor, and never was any floor so richly inlaid. The shadow of the trees was his retirement; under them were his dining-rooms, his living-rooms, and never were any rooms so finely hung as these: Solomon's, in all their glory, were not arrayed like them. The better we can accommodate ourselves to plain things, and the less we indulge ourselves with those artificial delights which have been invented to gratify men's pride and luxury, the closer we approach to a state of innocency.

    The Lord God planted this garden, that is, He had planted it - upon the third day, when the fruits of the earth were made. We may well suppose it to have been the most accomplished place for pleasure and delight that ever the sun saw, when the all-sufficient God Himself designed it to be the present happiness of His beloved creature, man, in innocency, and a type and a figure of the happiness of the chosen remnant in glory. No delights can be agreeable nor satisfying to a soul but those that God Himself has provided and appointed for it; no true paradise, but of God's planting.

    Let it be our priority to make sure a place in the heavenly paradise, and then we need not expend ourselves with a search after the place of the earthly paradise. The rivers with which this garden was watered, Genesis 2:10-14, have spiritual significance in our day. These four rivers (or one river branched into four streams) contributed much both to the pleasantness and the fruitfulness of this garden. The land of Sodom is said to be well watered every where, as the garden of the Lord, Genesis 13:10. Observe that which God plants He will take care to keep watered. The trees of righteousness are set by the rivers, Psalm 1:3. In the heavenly paradise there is a river infinitely surpassing these; for it is a river of the water of life, not coming out of Eden, as this, but proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1), a river that makes glad the city of our God, Psalm 46:4. Hiddekel and Euphrates are rivers of Babylon, which we read of elsewhere. By these the captive Jews sat down and wept, when they remembered Sion (Psalm 137:1); but I think they had much more reason to weep (and so have we) at the remembrance of Eden. Adam's paradise was their prison; such wretched work has sin made. Of the land of Havilah it is said (Genesis 2:12), The gold of that land is good, and there is bdellium and the onyx-stone: surely this is mentioned that the wealth of which the land of Havilah boasted might be as foil to that which was the glory of the land of Eden. Havilah had gold, and spices, and precious stones; but Eden had that which was infinitely better, the tree of life, and communion with God. So we may say of the Africans and Indians: “They have the gold, but we have the gospel. The gold of their land is good, but the riches of ours are infinitely better.”

    “Woe” perhaps is not the best translation here. The same word used for “woe” is also used as “ah.” This is a sigh, or as it is used in Isaiah 55 it can be “ho” which a form of address to demand attention is. In any case, it draws our attention to what follows. “The land shadowing with wings” is how the land of Ethiopia has been described in the past because of all of the birds that live there. This is what people in the past have used to link Ethiopia of our day with this scriptural Ethiopia.

    That is all for today, beloved. Tomorrow, God willing, I shall write some more about this chapter. Until then, be merciful, be grace-giving, and love one another whole-heartedly.

    ~Eric



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    Fri, Mar 13th - 9:21PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

    And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.

    In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation(17:7-9).

    Observe here the sin that had provoked God to bring so great a destruction upon that pleasant land. It was for the iniquity of those that lived therein. “It is because you have forgotten the God of your salvation and all the great salvations He has wrought for you, have forgotten your dependence upon Him and obligations to Him, and have not been mindful of the rock of your strength, not only who is Himself a strong rock, but who has been your strength many a time, or you would have been sunk and broken long since.” Note the God of our salvation is the rock of our strength; and our forgetfulness and unmindfulness of Him are at the bottom of all sin. Therefore have we perverted our way, because we have forgotten the Lord our God, and so we undo ourselves. The destruction itself, aggravated by the great care they took to improve their land and to make it yet more pleasant. Look upon it and it was all like a garden and a vineyard; that pleasant land was replenished with pleasant plants, the choicest of its own growth; nay, so nice and curious were the inhabitants that, not content with them, they sent to all the neighboring countries for strange slips (cuttings), the more valuable for being strange, uncommon, far-fetched, and expensive, though perhaps they had of their own not inferior to them. This was an instance of their pride and vanity, and (that ruining error) their affection to be like the nations. Wheat, and honey, and oil were their staple commodities (Ezekiel 27:17); but, not content with these, they must have flowers and greens with strange names imported from other nations, and a great deal of care and pains must be taken by hot-beds to make these plants to grow; the soil must be forced, and they must be covered with glasses to shelter them, and early in the morning the gardeners must be up to make the seed to flourish, that it may excel those of their neighbors. The ornaments of nature are not to be altogether slighted, but it is a mistake to be over-fond of them, and to bestow more time, and cost, and pains about them than they deserve, as many do. But here this instance seems to be put in general for their great efforts in cultivating their ground, and their expectations from it accordingly; they do not doubt their plants will grow and flourish. But look upon the same ground at the time of harvest, and it is all like a wilderness, a dismal melancholy place, even to the tourists, much more to the owners; for the harvest shall be a heap, all in confusion, in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow. The harvest used to be a time of joy, of singing and shouting (Isaiah 16:10); but this harvest the hungry eat up (Job 5:5), which makes it a day of grief, and the more because the plants were pleasant and costly (Isaiah 17:10) and their expectations proportionately raised. The harvest had sometimes been a day of grief, if the crop was thin and the weather unseasonable; and yet in that case there was hope that the next would be better. But this shall be 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 of it. This is a good reason why we should not lay up our treasure in those things which we may so quickly be despoiled of, but in that good part which shall never be taken away from us, namely Christ Jesus. Our treasure needs to be stored up in saving others from final judgment, in teaching other saints what is good and true. We need to be peacemakers, return good for evil.

    So we discover that man must repent from his idol worship completely. Otherwise judgment from God shall descend upon man and it shall be complete in its nature.

    Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the rock of your strength, therefore you shall plant pleasant plants, and shall set it with strange slips (17:10).

    The prophet speaks to the northern kingdom of Israel here, and it has since been literally fulfilled. It does have its spiritual application. The land of Israel today has been planted with all sorts of pleasant plants and slips. The Mount of Olives is covered with trees. Literally millions of trees have been set out over the past 60-70 years in Israel.

     

    In the day shall you make your plant to grow, and in the morning shall you make your seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.

    Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!

    The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

    And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us (17:11-14).

    They shall be a sanctified remnant, Isaiah 17:7, Isaiah 17:8. These few that are preserved are such as, in the prospect of the judgment approaching, had repented of their sins and reformed their lives. Therefore they were snatched like brands out of the burning fire, or such as having escaped, and becoming refugees in strange countries, were awakened, partly by a sense of the distinguishing mercy of their deliverance, and partly by the distresses they were still experiencing, 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 35:11. They shall acknowledge His hand in all the events concerning them, merciful and afflictive, and shall submit to His hand. They shall give Him the glory due to His name, and be suitably affected with His providences. They shall expect relief and succour from Him and depend upon Him to help them. Their eyes shall have respect to Him, as the eyes of a servant to the hand of his master, Psalm 123:2. Observe, it is our duty at all times to have respect to God, to have our eyes ever towards Him, both as our Maker (the author of our being and the God of nature) and as the Holy One of Israel, a God in covenant with us and the God of grace; particularly, when we are in affliction, our eyes must be towards the Lord, to pluck our feet out of the net (Psalm 25:15); to bring us to this is the design of His providence as He is our Maker and the work of His grace as He is the Holy One of Israel. They shall look away from their idols, shall no longer worship them, and seek them out, and expect relief from them. For God will be alone regarded, or He does not look upon Himself as at all regarded. He that looks to his Maker must not look to the altars, the work of his hands, but disown them and throw them away, must not keep the least respect for that which his fingers have made, but break it to pieces, though it be his own workmanship - the groves and the images; the word signifies images made in honor of the sun and by which he was worshipped, the most ancient and most plausible idolatry, Deuteronomy 4:19; Job 31:26.

    This ends chapter seventeen. Next time we shall delve into chapter eighteen and discover the fifth burden/judgment. The exact nation being spoken of is probably up for debate. That is for another day, God willing. Until next time we meet here, beloved, mercy, grace, and peace be yours.

    ~Eric



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    Tue, Mar 10th - 9:36PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

    The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, says the Lord of hosts (17:2-3).

    “Cities of Aroer” is a suburban area near Damscus. This entire area was to be destroyed. It has probably happened in the past and shall happen once more in the future.

    The northern kingdom of Israel must face up to her share of the judgment of Damascus due to the alliance they have. As recorded in II Kings 15:29 both were besieged by Tiglath-pileser, and were deported by the Assyrian, Shalmaneser, as recorded in II Kings 17:6. This partially fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy and for many this is the total fulfillment as far as they are concerned. As can be seen many times in the Bible we find that God lets us know through the partial fulfillment that there is more to the prophecy than that.

    And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.

    And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.

    Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel(17:4-6).

    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. Israel died of a lingering disease; the kingdom of the ten tribes wasted gradually; God was to them as a moth, Hosea 5:12. Such is all the glory of this world: it soon withers, and is made thin; but there is a far more exceeding and external weight of glory designed for the spiritual seed of Jacob, which is not subject to any such decay - fatness of God's house, which will not wax lean. Israel is all gathered and carried away by the Assyrian army, as the corn is carried out of the field by the husbandmen, Isaiah 17:5. The corn is the glory of the fields (Psalm 65:13); but, when it is reaped and gone, where is the glory? And the victorious army, like the careful husbandmen in the valley of Rephaim, where the corn was extraordinary, would not, if they could help it, leave an ear behind, would lose nothing that they could lay their hands on.  There shall be but a small remnant, a very few, who shall be marked for preservation ( Isaiah 17:6): Gleaning grapes shall be left in it. The bulk of the people were carried into captivity, but here and there one was left behind, perhaps one of two in a bed when the other was taken, Luke 17:34. The most desolating judgments in this world are short of the last judgment, which shall be universal and which none shall escape. In times of the greatest calamity some are kept safe, as in times of the greatest degeneracy some are kept pure. But the fewness of those that escape supposes the captivity of the far greatest part; those that are left are but like the poor remains of an olive tree when it has been carefully shaken by the owner; if there be two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough (out of the reach of those that shook it), that is all. Such is the remnant according to the election of grace, very few in comparison with the multitudes that walk on in the broad way. I trust that you can see the parallels with the saints of today. Beloved, many claim to be Christ’s but are not. We shall be surprised by those whom we find in heaven, and those whom are not found. We must always keep in mind that only a remnant of believers will survive. Are we walking closely enough to Christ to qualify as a part of said remnant? This, is why I am posting these messages here.

    The people had by their sins made themselves ripe for ruin, and their glory was as quickly, as easily, as justly, and as irresistibly, cut down and taken away, as the corn is out of the field by the husbandman. God's judgments are compared to the thrusting in of the sickle when the harvest is ripe, Revelation 14:15.

    That is all for tonight, my friends. Next time we shall continue this study in chapter 17. Until then, may grace and peace and love be yours to share with everyone around you.

    ~Eric



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    Mon, Mar 9th - 5:02PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    THE FULFILLMENT OF JUDGMENT WITHIN THREE YEARS UPON MOAB

    This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning Moab since that time.

    But now the Lord has spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be condemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble (16:13-14).

    It seems fairly evident that when God deals with the nations that have to do with Israel, He uses a calendar. Does He ever use a calendar with His church? You might want to check that one out on your own! Within three years the Moabites were to be destroyed, Assyria was the agent of this destruction. Because of Moab’s pride they received God’s judgment.

    Lucifer, the son of the morning, was also lifted up with pride. He wanted to elevate himself above the throne of God. He wished to establish his own self-contained kingdom and be totally independent of God. I would say that this is the basic position of liberal theology today. Pride causes people to reject God’s Word as being true. Most people desire a do-it-yourself type of religion. Most feel that they must do something to warrant salvation, because it appeals to their pride. These people will accuse believers of being hypocritical, selfish, intolerant, and even anti-God. It all rests upon their pride in self rather than trusting completely in God. “We have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).

    In the case of Moab if they had repented and returned to serving God it is reasonable to assume that like Niniveh they would have steered clear of this judgment. But they did not change. So too, today if we will decide to repent and return to serving God we can steer clear of the final judgment which results in being thrown into the lake of fire.

    Will pride get in the way? Or will common sense rule the day?

    That finishes chapter 16. It was short, very short. But it contained important messages for all of us today. Next we turn to chapter 17 where the theme will be seen to be one concerning the burden of Damascus and Ephraim.

    Interestingly, Damascus was the leading city of Syria long ago, and it still is that today. It could be the oldest living city in the entire world. Who knows for sure? But in this chapter Damascus refers to the entire nation of Syria.  Ephraim is the name of a tribe of Israel, and it is the name of a city, a mountain, and of a man. It is often used to refer to the ten northern tribes of Israel. In Hosea we find: “For Israel slides back as a backsliding heifer…Ephraim is joined to idols…”(4:16-17).

    So, in this chapter we are to read about the burden of the nations of Syria and Israel. Because Israel aligned itself with Syria against Judah to the south, it became linked with the judgments pronounced on Syria. As always, partners in crime means partners in judgment.

    The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap (17:1).

    I imagine that there are already some who are saying to themselves, “This hasn’t happened, look, there is a thriving city there today!” I simply ask, “How many times has this city been over run and put into ruins?” All around present day Damascus are ruins, any of which could be evidence of the original site of this ancient city. This is a question best left to future archaeologists to solve.

    Damascus has managed to survive many wars and armies. But it will not survive the Great Tribulation Period. It will cease to be a city, it will be a mass of ruins. Once more we have to wade through layers of prophecy for there is the immediate partial fulfillment and then there is the final, complete fulfillment during the end times.

    That is all for today, my friends. Next we shall study the remaining verses of this 17th chapter of Isaiah. Until then, remember that our God has purposed before the beginning of time all things that are to happen. Nothing in our daily lives is beyond His notice nor His knowledge beforehand. He does desire us to pray to Him and ask for His assistance. It is the basis of “you have not because you ask not.” Don’t have enough faith? Ask God through prayer for more faith. Don’t have enough wisdom, patience, or love? Get down on your knees and through prayer ask God for more of each. Lay your pride down and ask. Children know full well how hard it is to ask for help in school, I remember that well, even now. Ask and you shall receive. Do you need help? Then ask God to help you now, today.

    May Christ’s mercy, grace, and peace be yours.

    ~Eric

     

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    Sat, Mar 7th - 8:43PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    Chapter sixteen begins with a final appeal to Moab to repent and accept the mercy of God which He has provided for her.

    Send you the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion (16:1).

    A lamb was to be sent from Moab to Israel for an offering on the altar there. The lamb was the animal of sacrifice which best represented Christ Jesus, “…the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). If Moab sent a lamb they would signal that they recognized the God of Israel. They did not send a lamb. The Moabites wanted to be religious without acknowledging the fact that they were subject to the higher will of God. This was their sin.

    For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughter of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon (16:2).

    The river of Arnon is not much of a river and it surely did not separate the Moabites from the Assyrians.

     Take counsel, execute judgment; make your shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; betray not him that wanders.

    Let mine outcasts dwell with you, Moab; be you a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.

    And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness (16:3-5).

    We have here advice for the Moabites, advice to make peace with Israel and to even go so far as to hide the Israeli outcasts in the future. Verse five would seem to speak to something more than simply establishing the throne physically once again in Jerusalem. “In mercy” implies that God will have exerted His will upon all peoples of the world and set up His throne in Jerusalem. He will be sitting upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David. Truth implies Christ Jesus in person, and the tabernacle of David would probably be accepted as to refer to Christ also. Christ when He returns the second time will judge, seek judgment, and make righteousness come quickly.

    We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so (16:6).

    God had rejected and judged Moab because their pride had led them to reject God’s offer of mercy. God would have delivered them, but instead they trusted in their own righteousness, just as many people do today.

    That is all for today, beloved. Next time we shall look at the final eight verses of this chapter and consider how quickly the fulfillment of this judgment would come upon Moab. God willing, until then may mercy, grace and peace be yours. Walk in the Light of the Son and keep your feet upon His Way.

    ~Eric



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    Tue, Mar 3rd - 6:51PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly.

    And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh: their voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz: therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; his life shall be grievous unto him(15:3-4).

    The Amorite king Sihon's capital (Num 21:26, etc.) was Heshbon, now Hesban, 20 miles E. of Jordan, on a line with the N. of the Dead Sea. At Jahaz, a little S. of Heshbon, Israel overthrew Sihon (Deu 2:32-33). Heshbon was rebuilt by Reuben (Num 32:37), but assigned to the Levites in connection with Gad (Jos 21:39). It passed from Israel into the hands of its former masters the Moabites before the captivity. It is included accordingly in Isaiah's (Isa 15:4) and Jeremiah's (Jer 48:2-34; Jer 48:45) denunciations of Moat.

    Jeremiah says, "in Heshbon they (the Chaldaeans) have devised evil against Moab." The old proverb shall hold good again; as long ago Sihon seized Heshbon, and came out of that city as a devouring flame against Moab, so now the Chaldeans shall seize Heshbon and make it their starting point to destroy Moab.

    This is a graphic portrayal of what those people felt when this burden from God descended upon them. This judgment was so severe that even the prophet was moved:

     

    My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction (15:5).

    Isaiah’s heart went out to these people even though they were enemies of Israel. He sympathized because of the terror that had come upon them. This burden reveals to us the heart of God. In spite of people’s sin today, God still loves them and will extend His mercy to them if they will but turn back to Him.

    For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing.

    Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows.

    For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beerelim.

    For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land(15:6-9).

    The plural, NIMRIM, would comprise both the N. of Gad and the N. of Moab for there were evidently two cities named Nimrah, one in each area. The name means “limpid water.”

    “Eglaim” is the same as Eneglaim ("fountain of two calves"). It could be found on the extreme boundary of Moab (Isa 15:8), over against Engedi, near where Jordan enters the Dead Sea.

    East of the Dead Sea in Moab is where “Dimon” could be found. I give these only as a means to try and picture the boundaries of Moab. This way we can see the extent of this judgment from God.

    Next time we shall study chapter sixteen. God willing, I will meet with you here. Mercy, grace, and peace be with you all.

    ~Eric



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    Mon, Mar 2nd - 5:45PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    This very short chapter records the burden of Moab. Two chapters dealt with Babylon and here we begin two chapters dealing with Moab. Why such treatment for Moab? In Isaiah’s day this land was quite important, and it was a great kingdom.

    Moab was the nation which came from Lot through the incestuous relationship with his oldest daughter. Moab, the illegitimate son of Lot, was the father of the Moabites. These people became the enemies of Israel. Balak, their king, hired Balaam, the prophet, to durse Israel, for he feared them when they passed through the land of Moab.

    The story told in the Book of Ruth concerns a maid of Moab. King David was part Moabite for his father Jesse was a descendant of Obed, the son of Boaz and Ruth.

    Today the nation of Moab has disappeared. Are there any modern descendants? Perhaps the closest thing we have today are representatives. Those people who make a profession of being children of God but actually have no relationship with him. Like Festus and Felix, the Moabites were “almost persuaded.” The Moabites lived very close to the kingdom but they never became a part of it. They were neighbors of God’s people but never became followers of God.

    The modern “Moabite” can be easily discovered. He is in our churches. He walks around as a Christian. Here is the person Paul describes in II Timothy 3:5:

    “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Or as in Jude 16: “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaks great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” The modern Moabites are ungodly individuals. They merely pretend to be godly, but they are not in their hearts. They flatter you with great swelling words when they think they can get something from you, but then drop you the second they find that they cannot get anything from you. They are not to be trusted, just like Moab was not trusted by Israel.

    The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence (15:1).

    “In the night.” This nation was destroyed quite suddenly by the Assyrians. They struck like a storm during the darkness of night. Kir is Kerak on a mountain peak about ten miles from the southeast corner of the Dead Sea.

    He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off (15:2).

    These are not well known places to us today. “Bajith” means house and would seem to refer to the temple of Chemosh which was in that land. “Dibon” was a town on the east side of Jordan where the Moabite stone was found. “Nebo” is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land. “Medeba” was a city that belonged to Reuben, see Joshua 13:16.

    All of these cities and places belonged to Moab during Isaiah’s time. Although the Moabites professed to know God, they spent their time in heathen temples dedicated to pagan gods, saying that they were worshipping the living and true God, Jehovah.

    That is all for today, my friends. God willing, we will continue on our journey through the book of Isaiah the next time we meet here. Grace and peace be yours today.

    ~Eric



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    Sun, Mar 1st - 6:47PM



    BOOK OF ISAIAH STUDY

    The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

    That I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders (14:24-25).

    These verses depict that the Assyrians who were capturing the Jews and hauling them away to servitude in their foreign land were to be broken through future judgment by God. We have already seen that other nations were to be employed of God to bring about their demise. Babylon was to be taken down while in the midst of a feast.

    This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.

    For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? (14:26-27).

     

    Here, laid out in plain language, is God’s purpose. And since He has purposed certain things to take place, who alive is capable of preventing them from happening? No one has that capacity. God’s hand stretches across the entire world, all countries fall under His authority. He requires payment for sins committed against Him, we must pay. Except we cannot without death, so God has provided, through His exceptional mercy, a substitute payment. Christ Jesus came and willingly paid the price for all of our sins against God. When we decide to accept Christ as our Savior we acknowledge that what He did for us was genuine, it actually happened. Only a perfect sacrifice could work to redeem sin, God being perfect sacrificed His only begotten Son to redeem all of us, as long as we were willing to admit in our hearts that we required Christ’s sacrifice to be redeemed.

    In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden (14:28).

    Now it could be argued that this means the previous burden that has been laid out, or it could mean exactly what comes next in verse 29.

    Rejoice not, whole Palestine, because the rod of him that smote you is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent (14:29).

    This burden, this prophecy, that lay as a load upon them, to sink their state, came in the year that king Ahaz died, which was the first year of Hezekiah's reign, Isa 14:28. When a good king came in the room of a bad one then this acceptable message was sent among them. When we reform, then, and not till then, we may look for good news from heaven. 

    Now here we have a rebuke to the Philistines for triumphing in the death of king Uzziah. He had been as a serpent to them (Isa 14:29), had bitten them, had smitten them, had brought them down, 2Ch 26:6. He warred against the Philistines, broke down their walls, and built cities among them. But when Uzziah died, or rather abdicated, it was told with joy in Gath and published in the streets of Ashkelon. It is bad taste to rejoice in our neighbor's fall. But let them not be secure; for though when Uzziah was dead they made reprisals upon Ahaz, and took many of the cities of Judah (2Ch 28:18), yet out of the root of Uzziah should come a cockatrice, a more formidable enemy than Uzziah was, even Hezekiah, the fruit of whose government should be to them a fiery flying serpent, for he should fall upon them with incredible swiftness and fury: we find he did so.  2Ki 18:8, He smote the Philistines even to Gaza.

    Note, If God removes one useful instrument in the midst of his usefulness, He can, and will, raise up others to carry on and complete the same work that they were employed in and left unfinished.

    And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. 

    Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.

    What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it(14:30-32).

    A prophecy of the destruction of the Philistines by famine and war. The Philistines shall be howling and crying (Isa 14:31), and there shall be a total dissolution of their state; for from Judea, which lay north of the Philistines, there shall come a smoke (a vast army raising a great dust, a smoke that shall be the indication of a devouring fire at hand), and none of all that army shall be alone in his appointed times; none shall straggle or be missing when they are to engage; but they shall all be vigorous and unanimous in attacking the common enemy, when the time appointed for the doing of it comes. When God has work to do he will wonderfully endow and dispose men and women for it.

    For the encouragement of the people of God (Isa 14:32): What shall one then answer the messengers of the nations? This implies, (1.) That the great things God does for his people are, and cannot but be, taken notice of by their neighbors; those among the lost make remarks upon them, Psa 126:2. (2.) That messengers will be sent to enquire concerning them. Jacob and Israel had long been a people distinguished from all others and graced with uncommon favors; and therefore some for good-will, others for ill-will, and all for curiosity, are inquisitive concerning them. (3.) That it concerns us always to be ready to give a reason of the hope that we have in the providence of God, as well as in His grace, in answer to every one that asks it, with meekness and fear, 1Pe 3:15. And we need go no further than the sacred truths of God's word for a reason; for God, in all He does, is fulfilling the scripture. (4.) The issue of God's dealings with His people shall be so clearly and manifestly glorious that any one, every one, shall be able to give an account of them to those that enquire concerning them.

    Now,2. The answer which is to be given to the messengers of the nations is, (1.) That God is and will be a faithful friend to His church and people, and will secure and advance their interests. Tell them that the Lord has founded Zion. This gives an account both of the work itself that is done and of the reason of it. What is God doing in the world, and what is He designing in all the revolutions of states and kingdoms, in the ruin of some nations and the rise of others? He is, in all this, founding Zion; He is aiming at the advancement of His church's interests; and what He aims at He will accomplish. The messengers of the nations, when they were sent to enquire concerning Hezekiah's successes against the Philistines, expected to learn by what politics, counsels, and arts of war he carried his point; but they are told that these successes were not owing to any thing of that nature, but to the care God took of His church and the interest He had in it. The Lord has founded Zion, and therefore the Philistines must fall. (2.) That His church has and will have a dependence upon Him: The poor of his people shall trust in it, His poor people who have lately been brought very low, even the poorest of them; they more than others, for they have nothing else to trust to, Zep 3:12, Zep 3:13. The poor receive the gospel, Mat 11:5. They shall trust to this, to this great truth, that the Lord has founded Zion; on this they shall build their hopes, and not on an arm of flesh. This ought to give us abundant satisfaction as to public affairs, that however it may go with particular persons, parties, and interests, the church, having God Himself for its founder and Christ the rock for its foundation, cannot but stand firm. The poor of his people shall betake themselves to it (so some read it), shall join themselves to His church and embark in its interests; they shall concur with God in His designs to establish His people, and shall wind up all on the same plan, and make all their little concerns and projects bend to that. Those that take God's people for their people must be willing to take their lot with them and cast in their lot among them. Let the messengers of the nations know that the poor Israelites, who trust in God, having, like Zion, their foundation in the holy mountains (Psa 87:1), are like Zion, which cannot be removed, but abides for ever (Psa 125:1.), and therefore they will not fear what man can do unto them.

    This completes chapter fourteen. Next we will begin chapter fifteen which records the burden of Moab. God willing, we shall meet again and delve into this next chapter of Isaiah. Mercy, grace, and peace be yours on this snowy night in southwest central Virginia.

    ~Eric

     

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    About Me

    Name: Eric Rajaniemi
    ChristiansUnite ID: ejroyal
    Member Since: 2007-09-08
    Location: Bedford, Virginia, United States
    Denomination: Born-again, Church of the Brethren
    About Me: I refrain from any denomination as much as possible since my faith has to do with Jesus Christ and not denominations. My wife and I are charter members of Lake Side Church of the Brethren for they desire to follow the New Testament precepts. We hav... more

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