Isaiah 22 -- 26
The day of the Lord, which is the highlight in today's reading, is about 2700 years closer today than when Isaiah first gave his prophecies. The message was first given to Judah, then to Israel, then to the surrounding Gentile nations, and finally to all the world: He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord has spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us . . . we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. . . . You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. . . . O Lord our God, other lords besides You have had dominion over us. . . . They are dead, they shall not live (again) (Isaiah 25:8-9; 26:3-4,13-14).
For centuries the Israelites had faced many hostile enemies. First they suffered slavery under the Pharaoh in Egypt and then oppression by invading neighboring nations, including the Philistines. Soon the fierce Assyrians would destroy the Northern Kingdom, and eventually Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians would destroy the Temple and the Holy City. However, the prophet Isaiah foretold the eventual complete destruction of Babylon by the Kingdom of Persia which, at the time, did not even exist as an empire. He foretold, about 150 years before he was born, that a man named Cyrus would eventually set the people of God free.
But far worse than any outside enemy were the Israelites who worshiped and served heathen gods. These false gods were the real reason for the defeat of the chosen people of God. Truly, many other lords (masters) had held dominion over Israel, but they are dead.
How impossible it must have seemed to those people that they would suffer defeat and captivity, and then eventual release and return to the Promised Land. But, just as surely as that prophecy was partially fulfilled in ancient history, it will be fully and gloriously realized with the soon return of Jesus Christ the King -- The Mighty God . . . The Prince of Peace (9:6), who will make complete restoration. He has made provision for both Jew and Gentile who receive Him as Lord of their lives. Even now, it is no longer necessary to live in slavery to Satan and our fleshly passions, for Jesus has made it possible for us to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37; compare 6:1-2).
Israel's history illustrates the experience of every true believer. There have been powerful enemies that once controlled the mind, body, soul, and spirit -- other lords (masters), represented by traditional religions, social customs, and fleshly desires: The lust of the flesh (sensual gratification), and the lust of the eyes (covetousness), and the pride of life (I John 2:16). Just as Christ withstood Satan's temptations by the power of the Word of God, so the Christian must also depend on the whole counsel of God, all of His Word, to defeat Satan's temptations (see Matthew 4:1-4). These enemies of the Spirit-filled life attempt to discourage, defeat, defraud, and destroy our freedom in Christ. Satan seeks to impose upon us manifestations of fear and unbelief. But they are dead (powerless).
So let us place our faith in God and His Word, and let not sin therefore reign in (control) your mortal body, that you should obey (yield to) its lusts (sinful passions). . . . But yield yourselves unto God . . . as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:12-13).
By Eliakim, master of Hezekiah's household (Isaiah 22:20-22); what was said of him is true of Christ who is also Master over the household of faith. But Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house are we (Hebrews 3:6). It is Christ who opens, and no man shall shut, who shuts, and no man shall open (Rev. 3:7).
22:2 stirs means full of shoutings; 22:11 ditch means reservoir; 22:21 government means authority; 22:24 flagons means bottles or jars; 23:8 traffickers means merchants; 23:10 strength means ability to resist; 23:13 raised up means overthrew; 24:6 are desolate means suffer for their guilt; 24:7 mourneth means dries up; 24:15 fires means dawning light; 24:19 clean dissolved means split open; 24:23 ancients means elders; 26:7 weigh means make smooth and straight.
Government Official: Rep. Michael Doyle (PA) · BPM Staff: Rita Guerra · Pray for Bible Pathway Distributors · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Dr. Hash's mother, Iva Ann McElroy · Country: Yemen (10 million) in southwestern Arabia · Major language: Arabic · Attempts to convert Muslims to Christ are fiercely opposed · 98% Muslim; .03% Christian (all secret believers) · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for trials because then we can learn patience (Romans 5:3).
Memory Verse for the Week:
I Thessalonians 4:18