Isaiah 17–The Rise and Fall Of Empires

Isaiah was sadly having to deliver a message to Damascus and to the Northern Tribes of Israel.  After the Division of Israel under Jeroboam, the northern tribes took on the identity of Ephriam. The Southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin took on the identity of Judah as the sons of David. As time progressed, Ephriam became increasingly evil and first aligned with the Assyrians, whose capitol city was Damascus.  Then after some time they were conquered by the Assyrians, removed from the lands, and transplanted in Samaria.

Isaiah was giving both groups fair warning–If they thought they would take Judah; God had a different plan.  As they dared to challenge God and His people, God would destroy them, disband them, and make sure they would be completely and utterly forgettable. History tells us, that is exactly what happened.  The northern tribes were scattered. Assyria defeated, absorbed, and forgotten.

Amazingly, God’s people are still a nation, God is still in charge, and His name still above all names.  In our culture, men still believe they can eradicate God from the world–they are as mistaken as were the Assyrians.  Try though they may, all attempts to defeat and dispel God will fail. 

We as His chosen must remain on our knees and pray for direction and revival of our hearts and the heart of our nation.  Following God is always the best answer for peace, security, and prosperity. All other answers are at best band-aids and are never successful.  We must change the course and return to being “One nation under God, indivisible; with liberty and justice for all.” If we will; we can still have an impact on the world.

 Sadly, the alternative has been played out many times. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medes & Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Prussians, Mongols, Japanese, British, Axis, USSR…nations and empires rise and fall–God simply does not.  That’s why following the Lord and His plan is always the right course.

God Bless You


An oracle concerning Damascus.

Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
    and will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of Aroer are deserted;
    they will be for flocks,
    which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
    and the kingdom from Damascus;
and the remnant of Syria will be
    like the glory of the children of Israel,
declares the Lord of hosts.

And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
    and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain
    and his arm harvests the ears,
and as when one gleans the ears of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
Gleanings will be left in it,
    as when an olive tree is beaten—
two or three berries
    in the top of the highest bough,
four or five
    on the branches of a fruit tree,
declares the Lord God of Israel.

In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense.

In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
    and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge.
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
    and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11 though you make them grow[a] on the day that you plant them,
    and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
yet the harvest will flee away[b]
    in a day of grief and incurable pain.

12 Ah, the thunder of many peoples;
    they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations;
    they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
    but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind
    and whirling dust before the storm.
14 At evening time, behold, terror!
    Before morning, they are no more!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
    and the lot of those who plunder us.

Isaiah 15/16 The Fall of Moab

Truly one of the odd prophecies delivered by Isaiah for several reasons.  Moab, the country grown from the ancestors of Lot was not a favored country for Israel.  Throughout its history, Moab was never friendly to Israel and, as Israel returned to occupy Canaan, Moab did not assist nor make peace with Israel.  While the struggle was on again/off again Israel was never allied with Moab.  

So, when reading the prophecy, Isaiah grieves the demise of Moab which is legitimate not sarcastic.  It is a prophecy with a time frame, 3 years. Moab was a wealth land.  Its people affluent–so the prophecy that they would be destroyed within a day is daunting. According to Isaiah the destruction would be complete, and the people left penniless and homeless. It is the relation to Israel and the possible destruction of Israel that caused Isaiah’s pain.

Isaiah was truly personally vested in his visions from the Lord.  In Isaiah 16, Isaiah even makes mention of the coming Messiah.  The destruction of Moab is a foretelling of the complete destruction of the region.  The point is that the destruction would pass.  Isaiah would find the promise in the destruction. The promise of a ruler that would establish a throne of peace.  Such a promise provided hope to Israel, to Moab, and to us.  No matter the depth of life, God’s promise is to restore and redeem His chosen. 

As part of that group, His chosen, we are called to follow him closely and trust Him completely.  In that journey, we will not always know what lies ahead.  What we can be sure of is that God is never surprised, nor is He ever out of control.  Like Isaiah, we must cling the promise and endure the trials.  In that, we will find peace and eternal life with Christ.

God Bless You


 A prophecy against Moab:

Ar in Moab is ruined,
    destroyed in a night!
Kir in Moab is ruined,
    destroyed in a night!
Dibon goes up to its temple,
    to its high places to weep;
    Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba.
Every head is shaved
    and every beard cut off.
In the streets they wear sackcloth;
    on the roofs and in the public squares
they all wail,
    prostrate with weeping.
Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,
    their voices are heard all the way to Jahaz.
Therefore the armed men of Moab cry out,
    and their hearts are faint.

My heart cries out over Moab;
    her fugitives flee as far as Zoar,
    as far as Eglath Shelishiyah.
They go up the hill to Luhith,
    weeping as they go;
on the road to Horonaim
    they lament their destruction.
The waters of Nimrim are dried up
    and the grass is withered;
the vegetation is gone
    and nothing green is left.
So the wealth they have acquired and stored up
    they carry away over the Ravine of the Poplars.
Their outcry echoes along the border of Moab;
    their wailing reaches as far as Eglaim,
    their lamentation as far as Beer Elim.
The waters of Dimon[a] are full of blood,
    but I will bring still more upon Dimon[b]
a lion upon the fugitives of Moab
    and upon those who remain in the land.

Send lambs as tribute
    to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, across the desert,
    to the mount of Daughter Zion.
Like fluttering birds
    pushed from the nest,
so are the women of Moab
    at the fords of the Arnon.

“Make up your mind,” Moab says.
    “Render a decision.
Make your shadow like night—
    at high noon.
Hide the fugitives,
    do not betray the refugees.
Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you;
    be their shelter from the destroyer.”

The oppressor will come to an end,
    and destruction will cease;
    the aggressor will vanish from the land.
In love a throne will be established;
    in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
    one from the house[a] of David—
one who in judging seeks justice
    and speeds the cause of righteousness.

This is the word the Lord has already spoken concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord says: “Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab’s splendor and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble.”

Isaiah 14 Part 2–Pride, the Common Denominator

In this passage, Isaiah is describing the fall of the king of Babylon.  In his description, Isaiah parallels the fall to the fall of Satan. Ezekiel does a similar description in his prophecy about the king of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:12-17). The common theme is very simple, the pride and arrogance of these “great ones” are the very things that brings them down.  It is no secret that God establishes and destroys kingdoms, empires, and leaders.  In Daniel 2, John 19, Romans 13, I Timothy 2, and 1 Peter 2 God makes clear that He is the one that establishes governments.

In this passage, Isaiah reminds the king of Babylon that his pride and arrogance will be his demise–just as it was for the morning star–Satan.  There is a common axiom that states, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  That was why God always sought to lead Israel–He knew men would fall into pride and arrogance as they obtained power. Since Lucifer, God watched leaders let their personal arrogance seduce them into forgetting their place was established by God and once that occurred, chaos and destruction followed. 1/3 of the angels were cast out of heaven with the morning star.  The handwriting was on the wall for the king of Babylon.  Throughout time, leaders have risen and fallen simply by chasing the intoxicating feeling of power and control. It never lasts.  It is simply an illusion, a mirage sparkling in the distance that ends up being a desert.

Solomon, the wisest king, said it best in Proverbs 3, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways–and He will make your path straight.”  God sets the path and trajectory–we can choose to follow it or refuse and strike out on our own.  The former brings life and peace, and the latter brings chaos and destruction. Please pray for our country and its leaders; pray that they will realize this truth.

God Bless You


The realm of the dead below is all astir
    to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
    all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
    all those who were kings over the nations.
10 They will all respond,
    they will say to you,
“You also have become weak, as we are;
    you have become like us.”
11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,
    along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
    and worms cover you.

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.[b]
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit.

Isaiah 14 Part 1–Restoration

The Lord has never hidden His love for Israel.  As they contemplated the destruction of their nation, Isaiah was called upon to also remind them restoration followed.  God’s timing is His own and history reminds us that Israel’s restoration as a nation was never really completed until 1948.  Still, God did restore His people.  He used the world after WWII to bring the Israeli people home from across Europe and the world.  Now Israel stands as an independent nation with influence across the globe.

Then and now, God has laid claim to HIs people. That is why those that honor God honor Israel.  It is also why those who hate God want Israel wiped from the map.  One can never underestimate the power of the tiny nation.  As God loves His people Israel, He also loves those around the world that have chosen to have a personal relationship with Him.  They are His adopted children and have the same devotion.  

As one of His chosen, we must live and act as the devoted ones.  Hide the word of God in our hearts. Pray without ceasing. Do not forsake the meeting and fellowship with other believers.  Instead, simply trust God and humbly follow His lead in our lives.  If we will, Like Israel, we will experience God’s restoration in our lives.

God Bless You


The Lord will have compassion on Jacob.
    Once again, He will choose Israel
    and will settle them in their own land.
Foreigners will join them
    and unite with the descendants of Jacob.
Nations will take them
    and bring them to their own place.
And Israel will take possession of the nations
    and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land.
They will make captives of their captors
    and rule over their oppressors.

On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 

you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

                How the oppressor has come to an end!

                        How his fury[a] has ended!

The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,
    the scepter of the rulers,
which in anger struck down peoples
    with unceasing blows,
and in fury subdued nations
    with relentless aggression.
All the lands are at rest and at peace;
    they break into singing.
Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon
    gloat over you and say,
“Now that you have been laid low,
    no one comes to cut us down.”

Isaiah 13–The Omnipresence of God

Isaiah’s messages were warnings of trials yet to come and of joys yet to be experienced.  Prior to his death in the early to mid 7th century BC, he not only predicted the fall of Israel ad Judah, but he also predicted the fall of mighty Babylon the empire that had only begun to rise.  We know of the nation’s rise and fall.  We know of Daniel and his friend’s impact on the nation and its successors.  But in 690BC, neither Nebuchadnezzar nor his son Belshazzar were even a distant thought. 

Still, God allowed Isaiah to see the night when the Medes and Persians ended the siege by sneaking in through the water source that fed Babylon. That was some 150 years in the future 539 BC.  What a great reminder that God is Omnipresent–in all places and times at once.  He is never surprised or never late.  He knew in Eden that His son would die at Golgotha. He knew that a day would come when men would be redeemed.  He also knew that His Son would return, and this world would change. 

We are grateful that God is patient and has held his hand to allow all who would follow him the opportunity to do so.  As with the life and death of Methuselah, (When he dies, judgement follows), God never intends to be subtle. As we see more of the prophetical words rising to view, we need to personally prepare through prayer and submission for the shaking and completion of his plans.  We cannot control the world or its behavior, but we can as Hezekiah did, cry out for God to stay His hand and extend grace.  Moses interceded for a wretched people. Hezekiah prayed for mercy and received it.  James said it best in James 5:16, “The prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  

Let us become a people of prayer.  Let us get our hearts in order and follow God closely and humbly. Then we can claim as Jonathan Saul’s son, “Come on, perhaps the Lord will Work for us.” I Samuel 14:6.

God Bless You


Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
    cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the land a desolation
    and to destroy its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
    will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
    and the moon will not shed its light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil,
    and the wicked for their iniquity;
I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant,
    and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
12 I will make people more rare than fine gold,
    and mankind than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
    and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
at the wrath of the Lord of hosts
    in the day of his fierce anger.
14 And like a hunted gazelle,
    or like sheep with none to gather them,
each will turn to his own people,
    and each will flee to his own land.
15 Whoever is found will be thrust through,
    and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
16 Their infants will be dashed in pieces
    before their eyes;
their houses will be plundered
    and their wives ravished.

17 Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
    who have no regard for silver
    and do not delight in gold.
18 Their bows will slaughter[d] the young men;
    they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
    their eyes will not pity children.
19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
    the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
    when God overthrew them.
20 It will never be inhabited
    or lived in for all generations;
no Arab will pitch his tent there;
    no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
21 But wild animals will lie down there,
    and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
there ostriches[e] will dwell,
    and there wild goats will dance.
22 Hyenas[f] will cry in its towers,
    and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand
    and its days will not be prolonged.

Ephesians 5–The Sanctity of Marriage

In an organized society, there are some foundations and cornerstones that bring stability to the base.  Those foundations, when solid, can withstand great weight and stress from external forces.  Amid that stress, there can be pain, grief, and loss. The ability to move on afterward, however is tied directly to the strength and stability of what lies underneath.

It is critical to evaluate one’s personal walk with God. It is always easier to find fault in others than it is to admit our own insufficiencies.  More importantly, in our society, we must remember how critical the covenant of marriage and the strength of family is.  I am increasingly reminded that Satan wants to destroy the very pillars of marriage and family to destabilize the entire nation. 

 As husbands, we MUST love our wives unconditionally and sacrificially.  They truly bring strength, stability, and order to our homes. They are the ones that make our houses HOMES and our children awesome adults. They sacrifice more in a day than most husbands do in a lifetime. As husbands, we are the only humans, most times, that our wives can be totally themselves to.  That may sometimes be difficult, but that is our role. Step back and look at all the birthdays, holidays, and events from school plays to soccer games and evaluate who really dressed, fed, and cleaned up those events–MOM. 

As wives, the only real gift you can give your husband is the respect that he needs as he attacks the world each day.  It is simply a thankless existence to make a living and do the things dads do to keep the boat afloat. It never is enough, and it never brings any accolades.  Wives are the critical people to respect and build up their spouses as the world takes aim at them each day.  Wives know the heart of their warriors grow faint and need someone to be in their corner; cheering them on to face the next day’s battle.

Together, marriage is a strong foundation to build families. Families are the basis of understanding authority and living in decent society.  In families, we learn that everyone has a voice.  In families, we learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable.  We learn that we simply do not always get our way. We learn “we are not all that and a box of crackerjacks.” We learn the word NO. We learn the terms Yes Ma’am and Yes Sir.

In short, God knew what he was doing to make marriage a covenant and not simply a living arrangement.  It is the foundation of what keeps a nation alive.  As you face your week. please–Husbands, love your wives like Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.  Wives honor your husbands and give them the respect and devotion that absolutely no one else in the world is willing to give.

God Bless You


Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives and Husbands

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Isaiah 12–Isaiah Prophet and Worship Leader

Isaiah’s role as a prophet was a very multi-faceted role. Historian, truth teller, evangelist, battle strategist.  But on this day, Isaiah was a worship leader.  It must have been unique to see the future destruction and then the restoration of God’s people.  It would have been hard to keep from judging the sin of Israel or trying to figure out the mind of God.

Isaiah did neither of those things.  Isaiah simply spoke the truth.  To him, having a glimpse of God’s perspective that looks at all places and times at once, was a gift.  Isaiah was worshipping the Lord and watching God’s chosen worship the Lord, because God had, in fact, destroyed Israel’s enemy and returned them to their inheritance.  For Israel, the song was yet premature, they had not yet been exiled nor had the Assyrians and Babylonians been destroyed.  The Remnant had not left, much less been returned.  But this song that Isaiah wrote was an accurate ballad for a later date.  What is more, it was a promise for hope–when the history of Israel had become abysmal.

It grows more apparent, in these times, that the world is exploding.  Across the globe, God is systematically being excluded from government, education, and families.  In America, we are banning worship at church, but encouraging protesters by the thousand to gather in the streets. The great news is that God is patient.  He truly wants His people to humble themselves and to seek His face. As with Israel, God wants to restore us, His people, but that requires repentance and revival.  

We simply need to face the fact that our nation and our world is teetering on the brink of judgement–but, as with Israel, we can turn and be restored. Pray, seek God and His truth, walk humbly, and turn toward God and His plan. Do not turn away from God to do your own thing.  Then we can join Isaiah in worship and praise God for His restoration. Then we can walk in peace without fear.

God Bless You


In that day you will say:

“I will praise you, Lord.
    Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
    and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 11–Jesus, The Game Changer

In his delivery of the difficult message to God’s chosen people, Isaiah never seems to give a tough decree without the follow of great hope.  Isaiah had just finished describing the enslavement of the people to Assyria and to Egypt he also talked of the return of the remnant anf the destruction of Israel’s captors.  Then, from that, Isaiah stops and begins a description of the shoot from the branch of Jesse that restores and brings peace.  

In Isaiah’s description, The one that will restore will do so with peace, wisdom, and understanding. There will be no need to raise a sword because he will unify and protect His own.  He will bring peace accross all nations and will rule with wisdom and not with might. Sadly, the description is not the description of most rulers.  The Messiah was not sent to be a mighty tyrant or warrior king, He was sent to seek and to save that which was lost.

Looking back at the coming of the Lord, He truly divided time and taught peace and unity.  He changed the world by reminding us that to be first–one must get to the back of the line.  The great should act with the most humility, and the leaders should be the most selfless servants. 

Then and now, His people are to be the ones to lead the nations to a right knowledge of God and draw them to God not push them away.  Make no mistake, God is all knowing and all powerful. He brings up nations and then takes them down.  He allows men the ability to destroy themselves–but desires most to restore and unify them.  Jesus, the shoot of Jesse, waits to be the change agent; if we will simply trust and follow Him.  Let’s Pray for revival for ourselves, our families, and our nation.

God Bless You


A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 

Isaiah 9/10–Accountability is Not Pleasant

The next message from Isaiah was not as uplifting as was the Handel’s Messiah piece!  God said enough is enough.  God said the people’s sin and arrogance and walking away will cause destruction, famine defeat and decimation.  But, all of that will not be enough to stay God’s hand of judgement. God wanted to be clear to the leaders of Israel, Assyria, Philistia, to the false prophets and corrupt leaders–no repentance, then no relief.  

God needed the ship to turn.  So, the horrific message was that He was all out of patience.  As a leader of God’s chosen people–they should have been scared spitless.  Instead, the folks just sinned more intensely and ignored God even more loudly. So, God said fine! When his judgement raged, there was no doubt it was not going to be minor or quick–the 10 tribes were dismantled, and Judah was carted off into exile.  death, destruction, and servitude followed, and God’s people seemed doomed.

Still, in the intensity of God’s wrath on the chosen People.  His name and his love never wavered.  We need to take hope in that.  Whatever lies ahead, we can cling to the promise of salvation and eternal restoration as God’s own people.  The 4 promises in Romans 8 remind us He will never abandon those He loves.   1) Vs 1–There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2) vs. 18–present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 3) Vs. 28–All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. 4) Vs 38–Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

In these promises from the apostle Paul, we can all take hope in God’s never-ending love for us.  We are not promised an easy journey, but we are promised eternity with Adonai. This is a small spot on a long line, and we must never forget He will walk through this with us and carry us through. That is a promise worth living for.

God Bless You


The Lord has sent a message against Jacob.
    it will fall on Israel.
All the people will know it—
    Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—
who say with pride
    and arrogance of heart,
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
    but we will rebuild with dressed stone;
the fig trees have been felled,
    but we will replace them with cedars.”
11 But the Lord has strengthened Rezin’s foes against them
    and has spurred their enemies on.
12 Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west
    have devoured Israel with open mouth.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

13 But the people have not returned to him who struck them,
    nor have they sought the Lord Almighty.
14 So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail,
    both palm branch and reed in a single day;
15 the elders and dignitaries are the head,
    the prophets who teach lies are the tail.
16 Those who guide this people mislead them,
    and those who are guided are led astray.
17 Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men,
    nor will he pity the fatherless and widows,
for everyone is ungodly and wicked,
    every mouth speaks folly.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

18 Surely wickedness burns like a fire;
    it consumes briers and thorns,
it sets the forest thickets ablaze,
    so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.
19 By the wrath of the Lord Almighty
    the land will be scorched
and the people will be fuel for the fire;
    they will not spare one another.
20 On the right they will devour,
    but still be hungry;
on the left they will eat,
    but not be satisfied.
Each will feed on the flesh of their own offspring[b]:
21     Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh;
    together they will turn against Judah.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised…

Woe to those who make unjust laws,
    to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
    and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
    and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning,
    when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
    Where will you leave your riches?
Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
    or fall among the slain.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
    his hand is still upraised.

Isaiah 9–Tough Times Call for Great Promises of Hope

There is so much in the world that is difficult.  In Israel and in Judah, the actions, and decisions of the people cost them freedom, peace, and prosperity.  Most importantly, they lost their way in following the Author and Creator of the universe. 

But, Isaiah got word from the Lord that there was great news ahead news so great that Israel could rejoice.  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” –sound familiar? 

Like any dad, Adonai did not want His chosen to lose hope.  So, while there was great struggle–there was also the promise of a Savior for the world and for Israel.  That promise has resounded in the ears of millions of people over thousands of years.

Handel set it to music, and it has brought audiences around the world to their feet for hundreds of years.  Isaiah was the first to pen this promise of Jesus coming and changing of the world.  What a great thing that is, and what a great promise kept by our Lord. We need to rise and follow closely the God that would in fact sacrifice His precious son to save a lost world and restore His chosen people.  As Handel wrote–Hallelujah!

God Bless You!


The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness 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.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.