Presentation on theme: "He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands Above All Earthly Powers Isaiah 13-13."— Presentation transcript:
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands Above All Earthly Powers Isaiah 13-13
Who can we trust? For Ahaz: two options – The small powers: Ephraim, Syria, Philistia, Moab, Edom – The great power: Assyria (Babylon) For Isaiah: one option: Immanuel
Isaiah 9:6-7 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
Isaiah 10:21 A remnant shall return (Shear-Jashub), Will return to the Mighty God
Isaiah 12:2-6 Surely God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name…sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things…great is the Holy One of Israel.
What of the Nations? Can we really trust Yahweh? Completely? We need to know God’s plans for the future...for the nations.
Oracles against the nations First Series of Five: Isaiah 13-20 – Each begins with ‘an oracle’ (Heb massa’) Second Series of Five: Isaiah 21-23 Third Series of Five: Isaiah 24-27
Isaiah 13:1-14:27 Babylon The ‘Superpower Power’ Solution Babylon: symbol of all the great superpowers of that day, and our day. (Note: Assyria was the actual threat). Babylon’s ‘Day’ meets the ‘Day of the LORD’ (Yahweh). Babylon’s King meets the King of Israel (Yahweh).
Lesson from Babylon: Isaiah 14:27 ‘For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? Babylon is destined to fall; no superpower solution will work.
Isaiah 14:28-32 Philistia the ‘small power’ coalition solution Year 715. Envoys sent (v 32) to Hezekiah? Proposal: an anti-Assyrian coalition (like chapter 7, Rezin and Pekah)
Isaiah 14:32b The LORD has established Zion (not Nineveh, or Ashdod) and in her his afflicted people will find refuge. Chapters 36-39. This is what happened in the time of Hezekiah (Immanuel). Foreshadows the real Immanuel, and the Zion that is Above
Isaiah 15:1-16:14 Moab A Lament Lament: 15:5; 16:9,11 Appeal to Judah for refuge – 16:1-2 the appeal – 16:3-4a content of the appeal – 16:4b-5 promise of a Davidic King who will reign in justice (is this originally Hezekiah?) Lesson: Look to a Son of David, God’s king; find refuge in Zion, God’s city.
Isaiah 17:1-18:7 Damascus/Ephraim the failure of the coalition against Ahaz Chapter 7: ‘Ask the LORD for a sign’. Ahaz refused. The sign: Immanuel (7:14). The point: trust Yahweh, and do not fear.
The Fate of Rezin/Pekah ‘In that day’ (17:4-9) History: divided into two great eras – Day of Man – Day of LORD (Yahweh). Human solutions are all tied to ‘this day’. Divine solutions when God brings in ‘that day’
Isaiah 18 the Cushite (Ethiopian) appeal ‘Land of whirring wings’ (Cush) 715 Ethiopian king Piankhi tried to organise a coalition against Assyria. Conclusion: (18:3-7) – All people of the world called to observe (v 3) – Yahweh ‘rests quietly’ (v 4). – Gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty (LORD of Armies) (v 7)
Isaiah 19:1-20:6 Egypt (the other Great Power) Egypt’s strengths mocked (19:1-10) Egypt’s leaders (wise men) scorned (19:11-17)
The Last Days: Egypt, Assyria and Israel (Isaiah 19:18-25) Jerusalem becomes the centre of the world. Israel’s language (the language of Canaan) is spoken. Yahweh is worshipped in every place. Yahweh delivers (even Egypt and Assyria) from their enemies. Yahweh heals all diseases Yahweh blesses ALL the nations (Abraham’s promise)
Isaiah 20: Barefoot and Naked God’s reminder: don’t trust the Egyptians. King of Assyria will come and lead them away ‘barefoot and naked’ into exile. Conclusion: Egypt is no solution.
Second Series: Isaiah 21-23 Again, five oracles (see headings ‘an oracle’) Much more enigmatic. Not always clear from the title. Conclusions seem ‘beyond history’
Isaiah 21:1-10 The Desert by the Sea (a ruined Babylon) Babylon: the rebellious Southern part of Assyria. Normally, lush and beautiful (Hanging Gardens). Hekekiah (ch 39) tempted to trust Merodach- Baladan. 21:8-10 Watchman: Babylon has fallen.
Isaiah 21:11-12 Dumah (Edom) Another ‘small nation’. Another report from the Watchman. Question: will there be a morning (after this dark night?) Answer: Yes (Assyria will be defeated), but another night will surely come (Babylon). Lesson: no hope in human events.
Isaiah 21:13-17 Arabia Again, no help from any human source
Isaiah 22:1-25 the Valley of Vision (Jerusalem). The end of self-sufficiency. 21:1-14. The self-sufficient city faces disaster 21:15-19. The self-sufficient man (Shebna) is ‘hurled away’. 21:20-25. A new leader, Eliakim (Key of David) offers some hope.
Lesson: only Yahweh can save: Hezekiah’s alternative (2 Chron 32:7-8) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles. And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king…said.
Lessons from the Oracles Lessons about history: Yahweh has a Day Lessons about God: Yahweh is both compassionate and sovereign. Lessons about worldly powers: they will fail. Lessons about the people of God: find refuge in God alone, and God will bless ALL nations through you (Abraham’s covenant. Gen 12).
A Mighty Fortress is Our God A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our helper He, amid the flood, of mortal ills prevailing; For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe. His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate. On earth is not his equal
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth His Name, from age to age the same. And He must win the battle.
And though the world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us. We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us. The Prince of Darkness grim; we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth; Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still. His kingdom is forever.