January 25


Isaiah 11-14

Today we continue in the Wisdom Stream in the book of Isaiah. We are using the New American Standard Bible this week.

Today we also put Isaiah in the context of world history using a very unique world history chart. Here is the link that Serena promised: http://bibletimeline.net/

Prayer

Wow Lord God,  the fate of the ungodly is grim.  May we learn of this and run to you each day of our life.  We are grateful and live in Jesus Name.  Amen   

Commentary

Part of the big picture and reason we do this SevenStreams reading each day is to show that the kingdoms of this world are different than the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus.  Every King of this world is going down.  Every Kingdom of this world will come apart.  Let’s not put our hope in the things of this world.  Let’s stake our claims within the heart of the King of this world; our conquering, reigning Lord Jesus Christ.  And do notice that Jesus’ tactics for victory are starkly different from everyone else.

Isaiah 11

11 – A visit to the Garden of Gethsemane today shows the symbolism that Isaiah is talking about with his talk of a shoot coming from the stump of Jesse.  Gethsemane is covered with olive trees.  These olive trees that we can see today with our own eyes were all cut flat to the ground by Romans soldiers marauding the land and people in 70 A.D.  And here are these trees; same trees! that were sliced with intent to kill them.  Well the Assyrians came through and burned everything ca. 720 years before Rome did.  Assyria had the entire land conquered except for Jerusalem when God intervened.  But something is going to grow back, grow again from Israel (from Jesse).  He will be Jesus who is in the land 4 B.C. – 29 A.D. [those dates are another topic altogether].  The attributes of Jesus will never be exhausted.  The verses here describe his second coming.  The grand return home of God’s people scattered will be an epic parade; a world renowned marvel.  And no will oppress again.  What began in 1948 has ramifications that make your ears itch for the rest of the story.  

Isaiah 12

12 – The praise in chapter 12 could be called the refrain or reply or response from chapter 11.  God is comfort.  God is salvation.  God and His work is a story to be told and told to the whole world.  It is a call for praise to God who is right here!   Remember that Isaiah is saying this from Judah while Assyria is bearing down and enslaving and killing at will.  Most all felt like God was 10,000 miles away and had turned a deaf ear to the Israelites/Judeans that were still alive in the country.  And yet Isaiah is declaring who God is and what He is so in a way that makes him among the top writers in all world history.  Isaiah’s writing is purely marvelous.  Hey, read Isaiah 12 again tonight.

Isaiah 13

13 – Keep this timeline in mind while reading these next two chapters that foretell calamity to the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Philistines.  Isaiah writes between ca. 740-675 B.C.  So he is writing these two chapters ca. 725 B.C.  Assyria is ransacking The Levant (eastern Mediterranean shore).  He launches into doomsday talk for Babylon … and they haven’t even risen to power yet.  They wouldn’t even “rule the stage” for another century yet he speaks two centuries into the future about their fall at the hands of the Persians in 539 B.C.  Yes, a terrifying army will assemble and march on Babylon.  The Lord will orchestrate this and it will be apocalyptic for Babylon.  Their hearts will wither as Babylon is punished for its wickedness, arrogance, and sinful ruthless resolve.  Then Babylon will be abandoned; ghostly.  The peoples of Babylon will scatter like rats off a sinking ship.  All who are caught will meet the sword regardless of age.  The Medes/Persians who pursue them spell death for Babylon.  And Babylon will become a haunt for the dead.  All who live there once the Persians clean it out of all humanity will be wild dogs and such.  This is what we might call a “body slam” from God Himself.

Isaiah 14

14 – The Persians that will overtake the Babylonians in 539 B.C. soon realize that it is in order to encourage all the captive Jews to return to Zion.  So Isaiah is prophesying the return from Babylonian captivity almost two centuries before it happens.  Babylon isn’t even the world power yet.  Then there is prose that runs for 21 verses about a fallen Babylon.  It’s a chorus that has a similar mood to the song sung after the Exodus (ch.15) expressly the parts of it that sing of Pharaoh’s army and their annihilation.  This song against Babylon’s king is extensive.  Their defenses are broken.  Their enemies are happy.  The graves are joyful to welcome Babylon.  Everything “Babylon” is dead and food for flies, as arrogant Babylon is no more.  Then again, even the tombs of earth reject the putrid Babylon, so their remembrance; their future is finished too. Isaiah proceeds right back to the present day and declares that Assyria, who is currently razing (spell it) Israel and Judah is going to be crushed.  They think they are invincible but they are in their final decade already. The Lord’s hand is raised to strike Assyria.  It will be swift and terrifying. Then there is prophecy for Philistia – and it isn’t pretty.  The Assyrians came it to take Israel but, surprise, the Philistines received no clemency either.  Studying over our time charts of history and the dating of Isaiah 14, the “snake” in verse 29 is the era of the Assyrian leader Tiglath-Pileser (744-727 B.C.).  Though Philistia was a menace to Israel they were jubilant when Tiglath died.  But the succession was worse, and Assyria’s treatment of Philistia would be worse yet.  Who were they?  Shalmaneser (726-722 B.C.), Sargon (722-705 B.C.), and Sennacherib (704-681 B.C.)  These men would be venomous poison compared to Tiglath-Pileser.  The Lord is going to use these pagan kings and starve the Philistines into oblivion.  Finding a safe haven in these days is of naught for Philistines.  The only safe zone very soon is going to be inside the city of Jerusalem.  But, problem is the Philistines have always hated the Hebrews there.  So now what?  Isaiah will continue in the next chapter reciting the “what for” to adjacent nations.  The coming word is, “your next!”  Yes, we can fight God and end up fighting the whole world along with.  Or we can come to God and find rest.

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