TODAY’S READING: ISAIAH 19-25
The judgment of Egypt; the judgment of Babylon; the judgment of Edom; the judgment of Arabia; the judgment of Jerusalem; the judgment of Tyre; the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; the blessings of the Millennial Kingdom.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Isaiah points to the judgment of Egypt as we come into chapters 19 and 20. He pictures the “Lord riding upon a swift cloud” coming in judgment into Egypt (19:1) causing such havoc and upheaval that is sends Egypt into a massive civil war (19:2). Once again, though there was certainly an historic fulfillment of this prophecy in Isaiah’s day, it is also pointing to a different day! Specifically, “that day”! What day? The day of the Lord! The day of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. The Assyrian judgment of Egypt is simply a prefigure of our Lord’s judgment upon Egypt in the near future! Isaiah sees a time when the land of Judah is preeminent in the world (19:17), and both the Egyptians and the Assyrians will be subject to Israel’s Messiah and worship Him (19:18-23). During the Millennium, Isaiah sees these three former enemies, Israel, Egypt and Assyria living in harmony, blessed of the Lord (19:24-25).
In chapter 20, God uses Isaiah to be an object lesson to warn the people of Judah who were seeking an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. God tells Isaiah to remove his outer garment and his sandals to picture what would become of the Egyptians and Ethiopians: they would become humiliated and destitute (“naked” and “barefooted”). He says that the Assyrians would expose the Egyptians “behinds” (20:4), and because Judah had sought an alliance with them, they too, would be ashamed, and realize that rather than trust Egypt, they should have trusted the Lord!
As chapter 21 begins, “the desert of the sea” is a reference to the Babylonian plain by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Babylon is identified in 21:9 as the object of this prophecy, and once again, it becomes obvious that there is both an historic and prophetic fulfillment of God’s prophecy through Isaiah, as the words “Babylon is fallen, is fallen” (21:9) are repeated in Revelation 14:8 and 18:2, to be fulfilled at the time of the Second Coming. Verse 10 lets us know that Babylon’s destruction will spell freedom for God’s people Israel, who will have been “threshed” (i.e. beat down, or afflicted). The remainder of chapter 21 deals with the judgment of Edom (21:11-12) and the judgment of Arabia (21:13-17).
Having prophesied God’s judgment upon the nations surrounding Jerusalem, in chapter 22, Isaiah prophesies God’s judgment upon Jerusalem. It is called “the valley of vision” in 22:1 because Jerusalem was surrounded by valleys on three sides. From an historic standpoint, this is the judgment found in II Kings 25, as Babylon invaded Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar in 588-586 B.C., but notice the tell-tale signs of a futuristic fulfillment at the Second Coming of Christ in 22:8, 12, 20 and 25 – “in that day”!
In chapter 23, God prophesies that Tyre, the commercial trading center of the Mediterranean world would be destroyed because of her pride. This prophecy was fulfilled in an historical sense by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. when he laid waste the city.
Note the word “Behold” in 24:1. “Behold” always points to a future event. What Isaiah describes in chapter 24 is the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. In the first six verses Isaiah describes a universal judgment of the entire earth. Verse one is tremendously graphic: “Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.” In verses 13-16, Isaiah points to the fact that the godly remnant that survives the Tribulation Period will praise the Lord for His righteous judgments. The Apostle John sees the same fulfillment in Rev. 7:1-10; 15: 3-4; 16:5, 7; 19:2. The remainder of the world will be judged in a horrific fashion, as described in 24:17-23.
In chapter 25, the millennium is described as a feast, or a banquet at which Gentiles from all over the entire world will bow their knee and worship Israel’s king who sits on His throne in Jerusalem (“this mountain” – 25:6, 7, 10).
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
19:16 – “in that day”
19:18 – “in that day”
19:19 – “in that day”
19:21 – “in that day”
19:23 – “in that day”
19:24 – “in that day”
20:6 – “in that day”
22:5 – “it is a day of trouble”
22:8 – “in that day”
22:12 – “in that day”
22:20 – “in that day”
22:25 – “in that day”
23:14 – “in that day”
24:21 – “in that day”
25:9 – “in that day”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
In ELIAKIM, MASTER OF HEZEKIAH’S HOUSEHOLD – Isa. 22:20-22 (What is said of him is true of Christ Who is the master over the household of faith – Rev. 3:7; Heb. 3:6; Gal. 6:10).