Read Isaiah 15 - 21
In Today's Reading:
Moab's ruin foretold; Syria (Aram) and Israel threatened; God's judgments; Egypt to worship the Lord; captivity of Egypt foretold
The prophet Isaiah was led to turn his thoughts from the glorious future reign of the King of Peace to proclaim the judgment of God upon the unbelieving. First it was pronounced upon the idolatrous northern kingdom, saying: The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim (Isaiah 17:3). He then included Judah, saying: In that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin. . . . there shall be desolation. Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation (17:4,9-10).
The fortress of Ephraim refers to the ten-tribe northern kingdom, a symbol of wealth, power, and self-glory, which would be ruthlessly destroyed by Assyria. Surprisingly, he also prophesied that Judah, the glory of Jacob, would fade, a reminder that the kingdom of Judah and the Holy City of God would eventually be destroyed because they too had become involved in worldly pursuits, numerous sins, and idolatry.
Nothing hides the will of God from view as deceptively as success and pride, both of which foster self-sufficiency. Perhaps this is why our Savior cautioned: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust does corrupt
(destroy), and where thieves break through and steal
(Matthew 6:19). Wealth accumulated for self-interest may lead to greed and can weaken faith
, as James pointed out, saying: My beloved brethren, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him?
(James 2:5). Covetousness leads to an endless pursuit of earthly possessions.
Our Lord Jesus warns: Beware of covetousness (greed): for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses (Luke 12:15).
The Lord is able to speak to each of us personally as to how He would have us invest in transforming lives and fulfilling His Great Commission. Paul wrote to Timothy: Charge (Instruct, Command) them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded (conceited), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17; also Deuteronomy 8:18).
As the One who will sit on the throne of David (Isaiah 16:5) - the Lord God shall give to Him the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32-33) and as the Savior (Isaiah 19:20; compare Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11).
16:3 bewray = betray; 16:11 my bowels = my inner being, heart; 17:11 a heap = a failure; 19:8 angle = hooks; 21:14 prevented with their bread him that fled = gave food and water to the fugitives.
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Henry Rogers · BP Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Robert Andrews (NJ), Rep. Lane Evans (IL), and Rep. Ted Strickland (OH) · Country: Malawi (10 million) in southeastern Africa · Major languages: English and Chichewa · Religious freedom · 34% Protestant; 23% Roman Catholic; 16% Muslim; 16% animist; 4% cults
Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to write His precepts in your heart (Colossians 3:16).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:24