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Lesson 16 -- Jesus is Our Champion

Isaiah Lesson 16 (chapters 19-20)

 

JESUS IS OUR CHAMPION

 

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 Jesus.

Read Isaiah 19:20

 

We’ve been 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

2.     Warn Judah 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 side.

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 destruction:

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.

v    Their 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

v    Their fertile land will dry up – verses5-7 – rivers will dry up, canals will stink, reeds and rushes will wither, sown fields will become parched.

v    Their industry will fail – verse 8-10 – no fish, weavers will have no flax to weave with, their employees will be sick at heart.

v    Leaders –wise men – verses 11-14 -   have become fools, deceived and let Egypt astray.

v    Their 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

Isaiah 19:18-25

In this same oracle of gloom, Isaiah predicts the coming glory of God for Egypt. Some day…

v    The Egyptians will be reconciled to God. There will be an altar to the Lord   verse 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.

v    There 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:

          Romans 11:26               A Deliverer from Zion

          Colossians 1:12-14        A Rescuer

          Colossians 1: 19-20       A Reconciler

 

          Colossians 1:21-23        Continue Firm in your Faith

          Psalm 34:17-18              He is close to the broken hearted (crushed in spirit)  

          Psalm 34:4-5                  Look to Him and Be Radiant

 

Through the Lord Jesus Christ we have the victory!!

 

 

          Do you know this champion, Jesus?