Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Isaiah Post 9 - Enemies Defeated (Chapter 14)

Hi, and welcome back to my stroll through Isaiah.  I was on vacation for a week; thus the lull.

Chapter 14 starts off with a bold declaration – the LORD will have mercy on Jacob and will again 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.

This makes me think of beloved Ruth, and her attitude toward her mother-in-law:

“Entreat me not to leave you,Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.

This woman really got it!  By attaching herself to the God and the people of Israel, she became the great grandmother of King David.  Talk about receiving a blessing!

The context in Isaiah 14:1-2 is the last days, because these things had never happened in the history of the Jews, but it is happening now!  Jews are returning to the land, and many believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are returning to their Jewish roots in droves.  Those that are strangers to the Jews are clinging to the house of Jacob.

Zechariah 8:23 says, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’

I am not sure if they teach this verse in seminaries, but personally I had never heard it until I began my own study of Jewish roots.  And it LEAPT off the page at me!  Again, the context of Zechariah 8 is the last days.  What an exciting time we live in, to see the fulfillment of this verse!

But not all are excited.  Satan works hard to stir up sentiments against Israel, even among the church.  Perhaps especially in the church.  Many still cling to replacement theology - the idea that the church has replaced Israel in God's plan and favor.  The only logical thing then for them to do is to pick up the pro-Palestinian (Read:  Anti-Israel) cause, so that their theology may be justified.

Oh, and speaking of satan...  in verse 3, Isaiah begins speaking about the king of Babylon, but the prophecy then morphs into a type and fulfillment of the evil one in verses 11-12  The prophecy speaks of the coming beast empire and the antichrist of the last days

Lucifer actually means morning star.  The devil only imitates the true Morning Star.  Revelation 22:16 clearly tells us who the true Morning Star is:

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

 Satan can only imitate and deceive.

Isaiah continues describing the great fall of the evil one in verses 13-21.  The prophecy against the king of Babylon becomes pretty clear that Isaiah is now speaking of satan and his demise.

Satan's issue was pride. Pride is the root of much sin. Proverbs 16:18 warns us,  Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Is it a coincidence that a certain modern movement that publicly flaunts sin have adopted the very word into their festivals?

Anyway, I digress.

Scripture uses a similar pattern elsewhere.  Ezekiel 28 describes the downfall of the King of Tyre, and then that prophecy also morphs into a prophecy of the fall of satan (I don't think the king of Tyre was actually in the Garden of Eden).

The final beast kingdom is described in Revelation 13.  It's ugly.   A few chapters later, this beast  kingdom falls. Revelation 17:5 links this beast kingdom right back to Babylon.

And on her forehead a name was written:

We have already seen in a previous post that physical Babylon is gone.  The passage is using imagery to speak of spiritual Babylon.  My next post will elaborate on this spiritual Babylon, which has its roots in physical Babylon.

Isaiah 14 continues with more destruction of God's enemies.  Verses 24-25 speak of the destruction of Assyria.  Assyria WAS then destroyed by the Medes in 612 BC when Nineveh fell, 26 years before the fall of Judea to Babylon.

But the LORD has His purposes.  He and His purposes are sovereign - He raises up nations for His own purposes. This is confirmed in verses 26-27.

This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth,
And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?”

We can rest in the knowlege that He is in complete charge.

Most of the remainder of Isaiah 14 is a prophecy against Philistia; that they will be destroyed.  Indeed, the Philistines ceased to be a people hundreds of years before Jesus.

However, after a Jewish uprising in 135 AD, Roman Emperor Hadrian changed the name of the Holy Land to Palestina... knowing full well that the Philistines were the ancient enemies of the Jews.  And if you ever turn on the news, you will see that the name Palestine is still trying to be used against the Jews today.

The ultimate fake news.  Don't be fooled; the people fighting for the land called the West Bank (may I interject a rhetorical question here... West Bank of WHAT??) are a mixture of Arab people from all over the Middle East, many of whom made their way to the land in the 1800s and early 1900s as the Jews began restoring the devastated land.

The founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, was Egyptian.  The current president of the Palestinian Authority was born in Israel proper, in Safed.  And the "Palestinian" people are not just fighting for the kidney-shaped piece of land known to the world as the "West Bank" (aka the biblical heartland - the mountains of Israel).  When they chant "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" at their pro-Palestine rallies, they are speaking of the entire land, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Sorry, now I've REALLY digressed and gone all political.  But it is so intertwined with Bible prophecy that it is difficult to avoid.  I could write a series of posts on what the Bible has to say about dividing the land.  Just go read Psalm 83 and you will think you are watching the news.  In fact, I think I will wrap up this post with Psalm 83.

Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. Selah

Deal with them as with Midian,
As with Sisera,
As with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,
Who perished at En Dor,
Who became as refuse on the earth.
Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb,
Yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
Who said, “Let us take for ourselves
The pastures of God for a possession.”

O my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like the chaff before the wind!
As the fire burns the woods,
And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,
So pursue them with Your tempest,
And frighten them with Your storm.
Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.

Let the words of this psalm really sink in. And I am happy to say that Isaiah 14 ends on a happy note:

What will they answer the messengers of the nation?
That the Lord has founded Zion,
And the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.

For a whirlwind ride through the next six chapters of Isaiah, click here.

If you would like to start at the beginning of Isaiah, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment