Isaiah 18-19

Oh, What A Day That Will Be!

“In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and there will be a monument to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and a witness that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is worshiped in the land of Egypt. When the people cry to the Lord for help against those who oppress them, he will send them a savior who will rescue them. The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians. Yes, they will know the Lord and will give their sacrifices and offerings to hi. They will make a vow to the Lord and keep it.” ­– Isaiah 19:19-22 NLT

Read the verses above slowly and carefully. Now think about the modern-day Egypt you know. Think about the recent turmoil, the riots, unrest and the deposition of their president. Recall all the stories from the Bible about Egypt and its treatment of the people of Israel. Their enslavement and abuse of God’s people. Their attempt to recapture them at the Red Sea. The Egyptians and Israelites share a long and not-so-pleasant history together. There were times when Egypt was the place where Israel turned for help and protection. Jesus’ own parents took him there after His birth to protect Him from Herod’s attacks. Egypt was never a place where God was worshiped or even recognized. It was a pagan nation with a multitude of gods. Yet, here we read that a day is coming when God will punish Egypt, then they will turn to the Lord and worship Him.

Can you imagine what this prophecy sounded like to the people of Isaiah’s day? How could they ever imagine Egypt and Assyria, two of their most powerful enemies, turning to God and worshiping Him alone? This prediction from the lips of Isaiah had to have sounded absurd and far-fetched. And it still sounds that way to us today. That a day could be coming when all the nations of the earth bow down and worship God and His Son Jesus Christ is hard to comprehend. It sounds ridiculous. Yet God says “in that day” He will not only chasten Egypt, He will redeem them. He will provide them with a Savior and will bring them into a right relationship with Him. In Isaiah’s day, these nations represented alliances that Egypt made in an attempt to rescue themselves out of trouble. When threatened by an outside force, they would turn to another nation for help. So instead of trusting God, they would place their trust in a nation and its military might. But in these passages God seems to be reminding Israel that the nations should be coming to them for help. They should be turning to Israel’s God for salvation. But because Israel failed to trust in God themselves, the nations failed to see Israel’s God as powerful and worthy of worship. Israel’s lack of faith in God failed to impress the nations. But the day is coming when that will all change. God will get the attention of the nations when His Son returns to mete out God’s judgment. But He will not just rebuke them, He will restore them. God will bring peace to the earth. He will cause warring nations to put down their weapons and lift up their hands in mutual worship of Him. Israel and their former enemies will be co-worshipers of God. Egypt and Assyria, sworn enemies in Isaiah’s day, will become one in their worship of God and His Son Jesus Christ. “For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will say, ‘Blessed be Egypt, my people. Blessed be Assyria, the land I have made. Blessed be Israel, my special possession” (Isaiah 19:25 NLT). What a day that will be! Unbelievable. Remarkable. Hard to imagine. But well worth waiting for.

Father, there is a great day coming when all things and all nations will be restored. There will be peace in the land. All men will share a common bond in their worship of You. Our enemies will be our brothers. Former foes will be joined by a common love for You. It is hard to imagine, but so exciting to think about. Help me to understand that those countries I view as enemies today will one day have their eyes opened and their hearts turned to You. There is a day coming when there will be no more enemies. There will be no more Al Queda, Iran, China, Cuba, Libya, or North Korea. There is a day coming when peace will reign, Christ will rule, and men will no longer have any reason to call each other enemies. Oh, what a day that will be! Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org