Have you been watching
the Olympics and all the people that were being relied on to win the gold?Champions
win the competition. I believe there is only one true champion that we can rely on in all areas of our lives. That would be
Read Isaiah 19:20
studying beginning in chapter 23, the oracles of Isaiah which accomplish two things:
1.Warn ungodly (pagan) nations so that they like Israel
would be without excuse when judgment fell
not to rely on anyone but the Lord.
Today we look at
the oracle against Egypt. Egypt has had a significant part in the history of Judah and also in world history. Abraham ran to Egypt and found difficulties. The nation of Israel
found preservation through and deliverance from Egypt
during Joseph’s time. Jesus was protected after his birth in the nation of Egypt. One of the great saints of the church, Augustine, came from this area. Today
Egypt is a thorn in Israel’s
This oracle takes
them from gloom to glory!There is a champion who stands alone- above all else!
Let’s first look at the warning to Israel
through this oracle in chapter 20
The Sign of Shame:
Isaiah gives us
a piece of history here where he refers to the time that the Philistine city, Ashdod, is looking
for Judah to ally themselves with Egypt
against Assyria. And God instructs Isaiah to go around naked and barefoot for three years
as a sign to Judah not to rely on Egypt
for help against Assyria. Egypt would
only suffer destruction of shame, as Assyria was used an instrument of judgment against them.
Probably Isaiah did not go in the nude, but took off his outward garment of mourning which would attract immediate and startling
attention to him as he walked throughout Israel.
He would be a sign and wonder to Judah of the shame that would come upon
Egypt. (verse 3) The Lord was giving Judah every chance to listen to him and follow his
ways. Egypt was full of idol worship.
It was a fertile land with profitable industry which made it look very promising to help Judah. But as Isaiah 20:5 says ‘Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt
well be afraid and put to shame.”Isaiah 30:5 says it clearly…”everyone
will be put to shame because of a people useless to them, who bring neither help nor advantage, but only shame and disgrace.”
How God wanted his people to see the truth that He alone was the one worthy of their trust and able to deliver them from their
enemies! Have you experienced a time when you have experienced shame from trusting in someone or something else other than
the living God to deliver you?
The Signs of Destruction:The description of Egypt’s
As we now look at
Isaiah 19:1-17, we see the description of Egypt’s
destruction that happened over a period of years, the immediate fulfillment being through the King of Assyria, identified
in verse 6 as a cruel master.
vTheir idols will tremble before God (verse 1). They will even seek the mediums and spiritists
for help. What would be the Egyptians reactions? Verse 1 – their hearts melt within them,
Verse3 – they will lose heart
vTheir fertile land will dry up – verses5-7 – rivers will dry up, canals will
stink, reeds and rushes will wither, sown fields will become parched.
vTheir industry will fail – verse 8-10 – no fish, weavers will have no flax
to weave with, their employees will be sick at heart.
vLeaders –wise men – verses 11-14 -have become fools, deceived and let Egypt
vTheir state of mind – verses 16-17 – they will shudder with fear, be terrified
because of what the Lord Almighty is planning against them.
When what you depend
on is hno longer there how do you react? All Egypt
depended upon was gone!
The Way of Deliverance: The promise of God’s restoration/healing
In this same oracle
of gloom, Isaiah predicts the coming glory of God for Egypt.
vThe Egyptians will be reconciled to God. There will be an altar to the Lordverse 19 – 22. The Egyptians will cry out to God because of their oppressors and he will send
a Savior, defender (champion) and rescue them! He will make himself known and they will acknowledge Him, He will strike them
and heal them. Have you experienced turning to the Lord, and being healed? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He
called his people, Israel, in the same
way as described in Deurteronomy8;1-5. His desire is to show us what is in our heart. The one He loves, he disciplines.
vThere will be reconciliation with man/nations. Verses 23-25 A highway will be built between Assyria and Egypt.
The very enemy of Egypt will also worship
the Lord Almighty in the last days. Both Egypt and Assyria and Israel will be a blessing on the earth. The Lord will
bless them – Egypt, his people; Assyria, his handiwork; and Israel his inheritance. Doesn’t seem possible
today, but it is with our God! He is the champion, He is able, and it His desire to draw all people to himself. He is Above all ease and desires us to know him in that way – as our champion.
How do we apply this to our lives? There is one, Jesus, who
is able to be our savior, champion and rescuer. Not just a promise for the future, but for now!
The Promises for Us:
Colossians 1: 19-20 A Reconciler
Colossians 1:21-23Continue Firm in your Faith
Psalm 34:17-18 He is close to the broken hearted (crushed in spirit)
Psalm 34:4-5Look to Him and Be Radiant
Lord Jesus Christ we have the victory!!