Read Isaiah 18-22
Great questions to ask while reading biblical prophets: what quality or character about God does this reveal? How can I know God through this historical prophet?
What can we learn from these chapters of Isaiah?
Isaiah 12:1-6 Thank the LORD! Don’t know how to approach God? First try thanksgiving. Prov 17:1-2starts off with better a little with quietness, find the little you can thank God for! Better a dry morsel and quietness with it, Than a house full of feasting with strife. A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, and will share, and the inheritance among brothers. These two proverbs will weave themselves through our study today.
Isaiah 16:5 describes a throne of lovingkindness, a judge full of faithfulness, and justice will rule in the tent of David, and this ruler will be prompt in righteousness. Faithfulness forever. Who is more kind than JESUS? And who is more righteous? None.
Prayer for prayers sake, only to prevail in a religious practice, or our will rather than to consult and learn from God will not prevail. (Isaiah 16:12) ASK and CONSULT HIM, find out his will. Have regard for your Maker. (Isaiah 17:7)
Isaiah is not all bad news. Isaiah 19:20 Egypt will one day give allegiance to the Lord of hosts. Egypt will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a SAVIOR and a CHAMPION, and HE will deliver them. FUN FACT: after the birth of Jesus he will live for a portion of his childhood in Egypt.
Isaiah prophesies about Israel, Ethiopia, the Assyrians and they hear many hard predictions. In some places, the news is so bad it shakes Isaiah to his core. However at the end of Isaiah 19 in verse 25 Egypt is blessed.
Egypt is called my people and Assyria, the work of my hands.
He finishes with Israel, my inheritance.
Here we learn judgment is always in order to bring a people back to God. Bring them back to the fullness of their purpose and blessing. Life is more than what they are chasing. Life is found in Christ coming and ruling, he will literally convert nations and redeem them. He will deal with nations running roughshod over his children, and then he will bring them into allegiance, and they will glorify God. Isaiah 19:22-25
As you read this prophetic book, some of the phrases might cause you to question what does he mean? When he writes a watchman is asked, how far gone is the night? And in v. 12 the watchmen, says morning comes but also night.?? After some study I found the meaning. Ahhh there will be a short reprieve ie morning will come, but night will come again.
Isaiah sees clearly how Hod’s people are looking to secure and fortify the land, but not looking to God who made the land, not depending on him, not taking into consideration HIM who planned it long ago.
Isaiah 22: 12-14 is severe where instead of humbling themselves, they throw a boisterous celebration with gladness, eating and drinking, even citing a proverb. Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we may die. This is way out of context and promotes a hedonistic lifestyle. Let us eat and drink sounds like Ecclesiastes 8, but it’s not. Solomon is promoting to be thankful for what we have. Solomon understands that there is a lot of vanity in this life. Ecclesiastes 8 is not advocating complacency in the face of a God given prophetic warning.
Jesus talks about the same destructive line of action in Luke 12:19. Jesus attacks the hedonistic concept, live for the now, there is no life after, no account will be given to GOD. He outlines a lucrative land owner who stores up provision, and produce in this life alone, so that he can take his ease, eat, drink, and be merry. This is foolish. Life is more than food. The body more than clothing. Jesus exhorts us to look to God who knows your needs. This leads us the a greater principle, stewardship.
Stewardship is a huge part of this life, and in Isaiah 22, the unwise steward is dealt with Shelbna, and a replaced by the servant, Eliakim who will faithfully handle authority. Isaiah seeing this transferred authority is simulcasting a future day of the ultimate faithful steward. A future day when Christ will rule, and currently DOES. Today there is no doubt Christ holds the keys (Revelation 1:18). This JESUS, who you and I need to open the door for eternal life, has the authority to do it. Furthermore he has done it and he holds the key of the house of David. Basically this refers to the actual power and rule over the Davidic KINGDOM. When you dive down the rabbit hole of biblical studies it usually turns up JESUS.
Pray with me to be a faithful steward like Jesus, and let us not give in to the hedonism so rampant in our world today. It’s not far-fetched to believe that we can be faithful stewards, and we can persevere. Take for example Philadelphia.
Exact language like in Isaiah is used which is why we are looking at Revelation 3:7 for understanding in stewardship. The message written to Philadelphia is from the one who has the key of David and opens a door no one can shut and vise versa. Sound familiar? Weigh out the commercial importance and convenience via this city. It is a gateway to the central plateau in the province of Asia. A city full of entrepreneurs. A city of stewardship. Philadelphia means brotherly love, full of loyalty and devotion.
Jesus like Isaiah knows their deeds. Jesus through John goes further to say I have no need to test you. Full stop. No need to test them, wow wow wow! Perhaps to those whom life itself has already been a massive perseverance test Christ offers no challenge. Only hold fast. This church IS under the rulership of Jesus calling him—LORD and not denying his name. Again this shows us that faithful stewardship is possible. Jesus can break the pleasure seeking hedonism off his people. A people like the Old Testament prophet Samuel saying, ‘speak LORD your servant is listening.’