Friday, February 3, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Isaiah 23-28
Today’s Bible Reading is, for the reader, a passage that is prophetic, reflecting both history past and history future. Isaiah continues his prophecy against the nations in Isaiah 23-28.
Isaiah prophesied the ancient city Tyre, in today’s southern Lebanon on the Mediterranean coast, would be “laid waste” (23:1). The “ships of Tarshish”, today’s Spain, would arrive at Tyre and find the great shipping harbor, its city, and commerce destroyed by the Chaldeans which was ancient Babylon (23:1-13).
Why would Israel be interested in the destruction of Tyre? The answer is found in these words: “The LORD of hosts hath purposed it…He stretched out his hand over the sea, He shook the kingdoms” (23:9, 11).
The destruction and devastation of Tyre was a testimony of God’s sovereignty. No nation, including our own United States, is so great and powerful that it can escape God’s judgment once He has set His face against it.
Isaiah 24 continues the theme of God’s judgment against the nations, describing a scene where the earth is pictured as suffering and waning under the curse of sin. As a point of observation: Daily we hear scientists, politicians, and the media all warning us of climate change, pollution, and natural disasters. In reality, since sin entered into the world the earth has been in the throes of what Romans 1:22 describes as “the whole creation groaneth and travileth in pain together”.
Isaiah 25 transitions from God’s judgment (Isaiah 23-24) to God’s people rejoicing that He is a refuge for His people, giving strength and rest to the poor and needy (25:1-12).
Isaiah 26 is God’s promise that He would one day deliver His people out of captivity and restore the Jews to their land.
Scholars believe the three animals noted in Isaiah 27:1, “leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent” and the “dragon that is in the sea” represent prophetically three nations of the world (“leviathan” is a large creature of the sea, some suggest the crocodile; however, there is no certainty).
Isaiah 28:1-8 is an announcement of God’s judgment against Ephraim, the northern ten tribes of ancient Israel taken into captivity by Assyria and never restored to the land.
Refusing to take their lesson from the destruction and devastation of Ephraim, Judah, consisting of the two tribes in southern Israel (i.e. Benjamin and Judah), refused to hear or heed God’s prophetic warning of judgment should the people continue in their sin (28:9-15).
Isaiah 28:16 is a prophecy of Christ, the coming Messiah, upon whom our faith is established (1 Peter 2:4-7; Roman 9:33; Psalm 118:22).
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith