↓Audio link to the sermon:(ZOOM worship recording)
(If you can’t listen on your iPhone, please update your iOS)
It is mentioned that Babylon was destroyed by the Lord because they were wicked ruler, like oppressing people, behaving domineeringly, striking people down, and subduing nations with relentless aggressions. Through this sentence, we can see that the judgment of God comes upon the proud people in the right timing. This time we will learn about the sentence to Egypt. It’s interesting that the sentence to Egypt includes not only judgment but also a recommendation for repentance.(Reference; 19:22). God sees through history, and at His appointed time, He judges the proud people, but also provides a way of restoration for those who repent. As believers, we would like to have such perspectives. Now, please read Isaiah Chapter 19.
In Isaiah 19: 1-15, the message about the destruction of Egypt is written. It is prophesied that the people who worship the false gods are about to be destroyed in the civil war. Under such circumstances, it is written that many people will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists, as described in verse 3. Due to the civil war, the people lose their emotional support and the country is destroyed. It is also one aspect of God’s judgment. I believe it’s the same in church and in our society. When we lose respect and trust with each other, our strength as a community weakens and we cannot fulfill our mission. Verse 4 says that「I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master, and a fierce king rule over them,…」Historically, Egypt has been under Persian, Greek, and Roman rule since the time of Isaiah. Through history, we can see the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Verse 11 says,「The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give senseless advice…」(Isaiah 19:11 NIV) Isaiah points out the foolishness of the officials and the politicians, who used to be the capital of Egypt. There seems to be a hidden message here that those people who witnessed the rule of Joseph, who were sold as a slave by his brothers, or those who witnessed the event of exodus, they didn’t learn anything from these experiences. Egypt was also the important setting of the Bible. God spoke not only to Jews, but also to the Egyptian people.
In verses 16-25, we can see the word “in that day” many times. That day is the day when salvation and judgment are revealed. Verse 16 and 17 says,「In that day the Egyptians will become weaklings. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the Lord Almighty raises against them. And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians;…」
The meaning of “The Egyptians will shudder with fear,…“ is that the harsh judgment of God creates fear of the Lord in Egypt. Also, there will be those people who repent, and fear of Judah will arise. That’s what Isaiah prophesied about.
First, restoration will be given to the land of Judah, where God has chosen. Then, the fear of God and Judah, God’s people, arises among the Egyptians who saw the restoration. That’s what Isaiah prophesied about. This prophecy is understood as an apocalyptic event, but Isaiah prophesied that in the land of Egypt, an altar to the Lord will be built, a Savior will be sent (20), and they will worship the Lord (21). The key word here is the understanding of “that day”. I explained that it was the day of salvation and judgment, but I also understand that it is related to the day of the second coming of the Savior Jesus. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and then went down to Egypt. Jesus trained his disciples, died on the cross, and completed the work of redemption for the sins of mankind. Mark later preached in Egypt, and many churches were established in Egypt. It is said that there are about 10% of Christians in Egypt now. Jesus came, the church was born, and the gospel was delivered to Egypt. Once again Jesus will come back and bring absolute peace to this land. Isaiah apparently understood the day of Jesus’ return as “that day”. Verse 22 says,「The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.」(Isaiah 19:22 NIV) The Egyptians will also return to the Lord, and one day the Lord will heal them. Verse 23 says,「In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together.」Everyone, please Imagine this. Today, Israel is surrounded by Arab people. The religion is also different. There seems to be no end to the conflict. However, Isaiah prophesied that the Second Coming of the Savior would provide global salvation, repentance, and absolute peace here on this land.
Bible prophecy goes beyond our understanding. However, a baby born as light creates a kingdom that never end. (Reference; Isaiah 9: 6-7.) One day, he will bring peace not only to the Middle East but to the whole world. Let us have such faith and trust to our Savior Jesus.