God Restoring the World!

Devos for 3/25/18

The last three of chapters of the prophetic burdens of Isaiah against the nations, chapters 21–23 cover the nations or cities of Babylon, Edom, Arabia, and Tyre & Sidon, with chapter 22 being a curious parenthetical prophecy against the city of Jerusalem. This last set appears to be a more severe set of judgements beginning with a second oracle of judgement agains Babylon. This a feature we do see in the rest of the Bible, and in particular in apocalyptic literature such as the Apostle John’s Revelation, where the judgments become increasingly severe as the rebellion and hard-heartedness of humanity increases.

Monday- READ- Isaiah 21:1–10 Attitude is Everything

We see here a response from Isaiah, (vs.3&4), that reminds us of chapters 15 &16, but here Isaiah is not weeping, as he did for Moab, but he is aghast as it were. In this second and more severe oracle against Babylon, (the first in chapter 13), the Medo-Persian conquests is in view (vs.2a), and again the lesson for us is not to gloat when those we may dislike get “what’s coming to em”. At the same time God’s end time judgments are also in view, (see vs. 9b & Rev.18:2), and Isaiah is depicted as watching and waiting for this. How can we have a proper balance of awaiting the final justice of God (restoring the world) while not personally gloating when it comes?

Tuesday- READ- Isaiah 21:11–16 Two Sons

Remembering that Judah is the ultimate audience here, there is a warning to her not to make alliances with other nations that are under the judgment of God (even if it is a year away vs.16–17), even if those nations might be closely related to Judah. (The nation of Edom came from Jacob’s brother Esau and the Arabians were descended from Ishmael). As we’ll see in subsequent chapters Judah was to learn to trust in the Lord! Is your trust in God out of balance with your trust in other people?

Wednesday- READ- Isaiah 22:1–11(2 Kings 18–19 & 2 Chronicles 32) Fruitless Preparations

Isaiah makes it beyond obvious that Jerusalem has looked to everything but the Lord in her extensive preparations for (what we assume is) the impending Assyrian invasion (vs.8–11). What is interesting is that Hezekiah, king of Judah did trust in the Lord, see 2 Chron. 32, but clearly the populous did not. This is consistent with biblical teaching that we are all responsible to trust in the Lord for our own salvation, no human mediator or leader can exhibit faith on our behalf. Is your trust in God out of balance with your trust in your own abilities?

Thursday- READ- Isaiah 22:12–25 Party Time- Really?

Jerusalem has gone beyond the pale — Instead of repentance there is revelry, instead of piety there is partying in the city. Whether in the case of poor leaders like Shebna, or good men like Eliakim, the load of God’s people’s sin is too great. Judgment looms. What is the warning for us in these words? How can we keep from being self-absorbed like Shebna? How can we keep from thinking it depends on our performance like Eliakim?

Friday- READ- Isaiah 23:1–9 Pride and Materialism

Why did the Lord bring down Tyre? We know from Ezekiel 26 that Tyre was in fact an enemy of Judah, but here in Isaiah’s final prophetic burden agains the nations he seems more concerned with a root and a result where Tyre is concerned. The root is pride, and the result is materialism, while in reality, Tyre’s prosperity in commerce more than likely led to her pride, not the other way around. Perhaps we ought ask of ourselves: Does material prosperity make me confident in myself and proud, or does sinful pride lead me to pursue material prosperity?

Saturday- READ- Isaiah 23:10–18 Reversal of Fortune

Tyre has been humbled. She can no longer trade on the high seas, she has regressed to the primitive sustenance of farming. It seems likely that Tyre’s 70 years were equal to the 70 years of Judah’s exile in Babylon. What does Isaiah mean by verses 17&18? How can it be that the Lord can use the prosperity of ungodly Tyre for His purposes? Can you think of other examples in the Bible where God used wicked things for good?

Sunday- READ- Isaiah 22:20–25 True Eliakim

Jesus is a better Eliakim- clothed with the garments of the king, with the Father’s authority, of the house of David, and having the authority to open what no one can shut and shut what no one can open (Revelation 3:7). But where Eliakim could not bear the load, where he gave way, Jesus will bear all things, He will shoulder the load of His people and not give way. Because He will not fall, therefore we will not be cut down! Meditate on this as we prepare to worship together today.

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