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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17 - Isaiah 18-22: God Brings a Savior to Egypt

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 18-22

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God wanted Egypt, Assyria, and Israel to worship Him together as equals.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Isaiah spoke doom to the Egyptians. Civil war would throw them into chaos. Their gods would fail, their river dry, and Pharaoh's wise men would become stupid. The name "Judah" would cause massive panic.
Then, several cities would replace their multitude of gods. Assyria and Israel would join them in worshiping God. God would bless all three nations.
Egypt, Ethiopia, and Babylon fell.
Judah rebuilt their destroyed places but never sought God. He bitterly complained against their joyous parties in a time of mourning.
God would replace the steward of the king's house to someone who would respect the position.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God has dominion over even the strongest nations.

The god of the Israelites cares for the entire world. Egypt is one of the superpowers of its age. Israel's god would punish and destroy Egypt. No one is beyond God's influence.

Egypt's punishment would leave a group who would follow God.

God's punishment of Egypt would not be the final word for them. A remnant would not only survive but they would begin to worship God alongside Assyria and Judah. God would send Egypt a savior who would protect them. No one is beyond God's love and protection. Unfortunately, God's vision for Egypt, Assyria, and Judah never come true. Judah doesn't learn from God's punishment.

Judah looked to everything but God for their salvation.

How sad that God's Chosen People have decided to "make the best of the situation" instead of repenting in sackcloth and ashes. God's punishment is not meant to help you develop patience and joy in times of sorrow.

These are the collected visions of Isaiah, not one, singular vision.

Today may be confusing. Egypt will be punished. Then God would send a savior. Then Egypt is punished. Egypt, Assyria, and Judah would come together to worship God. Then Judah is punished. The reading gives an example of the difficulties in placing Isaiah's visions in chronological order. When the collection was put together the visions did not include references to the historical books. We do not know how long it took for all of these things to happen or if they happened in order which makes readings like today seem strange.

Are you being a good steward to God's people?

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