Isaiah 2022 • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 37:37
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1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob. 2 Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the Lord; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.
The first two verses here are very much a continuation of what we finished with last week in chapter thirteen. Remember Babylon did not rise to be a world power until after the fall of Assyria. Yet God revealed to Israel through prophecy what was to come. In chapter 13, God told them that even though He was going to use Babylon as a tool of judgement against Judah due to their idolatry, Babylon was also going to pay for having been used against God’s chosen people. And here God is once again giving them hope of the future, that God will have mercy on Israel.
3 It shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, 4 that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: “How the oppressor has ceased, The golden city ceased!
Again, at the time that Isaiah is prophesying these things, Babylon is not yet in control, Assyria is still the world power, but again remember, he is prophesying to Israel of the things to come and this is a great chapter where there once again is a near fulfillment that will come in this case with physical Babylon and yet a future fulfillment with a Spiritual Babylon or the world system that is still yet to come.
So this day is coming, and yes, you are going to be conquered, but in the days ahead you will be able to say…Isa 14:5-8
5 The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of the rulers; 6 He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, He who ruled the nations in anger, Is persecuted and no one hinders. 7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet; They break forth into singing. 8 Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you, And the cedars of Lebanon, Saying, ‘Since you were cut down, No woodsman has come up against us.’
This idea of the trees rejoicing and no woodsman has come against us. Was a foretelling about the destructiveness of war and defeat as Nebuchadnezzar used huge amounts of lumber both for fuel and for building and deforested much of Israel and Lebanon.
9 “Hell from beneath is excited about you, To meet you at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, All the chief ones of the earth; It has raised up from their thrones All the kings of the nations. 10 They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us? 11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, And the sound of your stringed instruments; The maggot is spread under you, And worms cover you.’
When you think about the rulers of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, Evil Murdoch, and Belshazzar…Wicked and cruel leaders, and there will come a day with these figures that seemed so powerful, larger than life that the dead will say, not so impressive now are you, you’re just like us, you have become like us. Your pomp, or your pride and arrogance have delivered you to Sheol, or the place of the dead, and it won’t just be humbling, it will be degrading and humiliating.
So God tells Israel that this is coming, but don’t worry about Babylon, long term, as I have a plan for them. And here in verse 12 I think he says the same to the rest of His chosen, Christians, as I think we transition here beyond physical Babylon, to Spiritual Babylon, or the power behind Babylon. Verse 12 we transition to speaking of a person, a creation, Lucifer Isa 14:12-14
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
This is the origin of positive confession, the belief that you can speak something into truth either in a positive sense, or be careful of speaking negative things into being as your words become truth, that is true if you are God, it is just pride if you are not, as we see here and will yet see, they didn’t work out well for Lucifer. Isaiah 14:15-16
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. 16 “Those who see you will gaze at you, And consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms,
So here we see who was the spirit behind both physical and spiritual Babylon. Isa 14:17-19
17 Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’ 18 “All the kings of the nations, All of them, sleep in glory, Everyone in his own house; 19 But you are cast out of your grave Like an abominable branch, Like the garment of those who are slain, Thrust through with a sword, Who go down to the stones of the pit, Like a corpse trodden underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial, Because you have destroyed your land And slain your people. The brood of evildoers shall never be named. 21 Prepare slaughter for his children Because of the iniquity of their fathers, Lest they rise up and possess the land, And fill the face of the world with cities.”
So Babylon is brought down and so is the spirit that is and was, behind Babylon. Isa 14:22-23
22 “For I will rise up against them,” says the Lord of hosts, “And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, And offspring and posterity,” says the Lord. 23 “I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, And marshes of muddy water; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” says the Lord of hosts.
You guys that know your Maine critters, what do porcupines eat? Tree bark, roots, leaves, perfect for the swamp that Babylon becomes. So again, they hadn't yet risen to power, but God is saying this is what is going to happen and it will go far beyond the historical defeat to the Meades. Now he already prophesied against the Assyrians, but he does so briefly here again…Isa 14:24-27
24 The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: 25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulders. 26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. 27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?”
Regardless of the strength of the power, if God has a plan, who is going to stop God…no one is going to stop God. Any of you know any Assyrians? No, they are gone. Now onto the Philistines, in the year that Ahaz died...
28 This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died. 29 “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, Because the rod that struck you is broken; For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper, And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent. 30 The firstborn of the poor will feed, And the needy will lie down in safety; I will kill your roots with famine, And it will slay your remnant. 31 Wail, O gate! Cry, O city! All you of Philistia are dissolved; For smoke will come from the north, And no one will be alone in his appointed times.”
So the prophecy is that when the Assyrians come to take Jerusalem, they will first be taking all of those cities that lay along the coast, so all of the Philistines are going away. So they are rejoicing that Ahaz has died and the Philistines are rejoicing thinking they are going to take advantage, but the message to them is not so fast, the Assyrians are going to come and they are going to take you out, but they aren’t going to take Judah.
Now chapter 15, actually 15 and 16 is about the destruction of Moab. Moab was like a wilderness area, south of Judah, does Moab sound familiar to you guys? Do you remember anyone who was from Moab? Ruth the Moabitess…Also, if you remember the story of Lot. When Lot left the area of Sodom, his two daughters got him drunk and they had incestuous relations with him. A son was conceived named Moab, and his people settled in the area south of Isreal and were pretty much in constant conflict with Israel. Isa 15:1-2
1 The burden against Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste And destroyed, Because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste And destroyed, 2 He has gone up to the temple and Dibon, To the high places to weep. Moab will wail over Nebo and over Medeba; On all their heads will be baldness, And every beard cut off.
The shaving of the heads and beards cut off is a sign of what? Morning…Isa 15:3-6
3 In their streets they will clothe themselves with sackcloth; On the tops of their houses And in their streets Everyone will wail, weeping bitterly. 4 Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out, Their voice shall be heard as far as Jahaz; Therefore the armed soldiers of Moab will cry out; His life will be burdensome to him. 5 “My heart will cry out for Moab; His fugitives shall flee to Zoar, Like a three-year-old heifer. For by the Ascent of Luhith They will go up with weeping; For in the way of Horonaim They will raise up a cry of destruction, 6 For the waters of Nimrim will be desolate, For the green grass has withered away; The grass fails, there is nothing green.
7 Therefore the abundance they have gained, And what they have laid up, They will carry away to the Brook of the Willows. 8 For the cry has gone all around the borders of Moab, Its wailing to Eglaim And its wailing to Beer Elim. 9 For the waters of Dimon will be full of blood; Because I will bring more upon Dimon, Lions upon him who escapes from Moab, And on the remnant of the land.”
Chapter 16 is the completion of the destruction of Moab, verse 1
1 Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, From Sela to the wilderness, To the mount of the daughter of Zion.
The idea here is that they should once again pay tribute to Jerusalem. The area of Moab used to be part of Israel and there is an invitation here for them to resume that practice and therefore indicating that they want to once again submit themselves to God. Basically, the Assyrians are coming, God is going to spare Jerusalem, but all of these other areas are going to be wiped out, so basically repent and live, or don’t. If they don’t we see in verse 2, Isa 15:2
2 For it shall be as a wandering bird thrown out of the nest; So shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.
That’s not a good thing, displaced, lost, and not long for this world. Isa 15:3-4
3 “Take counsel, execute judgment; Make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day; Hide the outcasts, Do not betray him who escapes. 4 Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; Be a shelter to them from the face of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end, Devastation ceases, The oppressors are consumed out of the land.
Not to confuse things here, but just a reminder that there was a near fulfillment of this when Jerusalem was surrounded and defeated in 70 A.D. which Jesus warned his Disciples about, when you see Jerusalem surrounded to flee Judea I think it’s Luke 21, and we know there is yet a future much larger fulfillment coming with a similar warning that involves the abomination of desolation during the tribulation period, and the coming battle of Armageddon. This is the one spoken of in Matthew and what Daniel spoke about, 2 Thessalonians talks about it, Revelation tells us that God has prepared a place for the Jews to hide during that time...., back to this..
5 In mercy the throne will be established; And One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, Judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness.”
SO again, right now with Assyria coming, you should resume your tribute to Jerusalem, this is your opportunity…take it up there and hide because they are coming and if you don’t go, you’re going to be like a bird thrown out of the nest and Judah is going to be saved, but in the future, there will be time when they are fleeing and in that day, you should hide them, you better help them, because a throne is going to be established, the throne of David, a son of David established on the earth. Now has this yet happened? Not yet…Isa 16:6
6 We have heard of the pride of Moab— He is very proud— Of his haughtiness and his pride and his wrath; But his lies shall not be so.
Moab is prideful, but it is a misplaced pride, he is reading his own press, but he is deceived. Isaiah 16:7-9
7 Therefore Moab shall wail for Moab; Everyone shall wail. For the foundations of Kir Hareseth you shall mourn; Surely they are stricken. 8 For the fields of Heshbon languish, And the vine of Sibmah; The lords of the nations have broken down its choice plants, Which have reached to Jazer And wandered through the wilderness. Her branches are stretched out, They are gone over the sea. 9 Therefore I will bewail the vine of Sibmah, With the weeping of Jazer; I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; For battle cries have fallen Over your summer fruits and your harvest.
Any of you guys ever get the opportunity to participate in one of the potato harvests up north? Or the blueberry harvest, I don’t want to know about any of your other harvests…You know if you have ever been a part of one in an agricultural community it is a time of a lot of work and great rejoicing. But not this time. The Assyrians are coming and they are going to wipe the area out. Deforesting, slash and burn, not just the trees, the vines, all that they would harvest. See verse 10, Isa 16:10
10 Gladness is taken away, And joy from the plentiful field; In the vineyards there will be no singing, Nor will there be shouting; No treaders will tread out wine in the presses; I have made their shouting cease.
SO all the hard work, with none of the reward. So Isaiah is not rejoicing in this, nor is he letting anyone else, he says I have made their shouting cease, I think this lack of joy in their destruction extends to God here verse 11 Isa 16:11
11 Therefore my heart shall resound like a harp for Moab, And my inner being for Kir Heres.
This also expresses the heart of God. He never takes pleasure in Judgement or even the destruction of the wicked, He sees the pain involved in that, He desires that all would come to salvation, destruction and judgement come, because He is just, but His desire is salvation, not judgement. That is not just the case for these old cities around Judah, but for those in rebellion against Him today, those that He sent His Son to die for if they would just repent and receive salvation…but Moab was very much like rebels are today.
In the day that they heard this, they didn’t say, oh, God, thanks for the heads-up! We will resume our offering our tribute to Jerusalem right now, and unite with them. Nope, their pride would have said, we’re all set on our own, we’ve got this....verse 12 Isaiah 16:12-14
12 And it shall come to pass, When it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, That he will come to his sanctuary to pray; But he will not prevail. 13 This is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning Moab since that time. 14 But now the Lord has spoken, saying, “Within three years, as the years of a hired man, the glory of Moab will be despised with all that great multitude, and the remnant will be very small and feeble.”
Next week Damascus. You guys might recognize that name as a modern city that exists today. Let’s pray.
Have a blessed week!