Isaiah - Lesson 6

Lessons in Trust

This lesson provides an enriching exploration of the concept of trust in the context of the book of Isaiah. You delve into the intricate narratives that encapsulate lessons in trust, dissecting key passages and studying important characters from a perspective of trust. It helps you understand how trust operates in the biblical narrative and the relevance of these lessons in today's context. You learn about the transformative potential of trust and its role as a cornerstone for faith and community development. The lesson serves as a comprehensive guide to understand the theme of trust in Isaiah, enabling you to appreciate its depth and significance.

Lesson 6
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Lessons in Trust

OT650-06: Lessons in Trust

I. Introduction to Lessons in Trust

A. Contextualizing the Lessons

1. Importance of trust in the biblical narrative

2. Relevance in the context of Isaiah

II. Biblical Narratives Expounding Trust

A. Exploration of Key Passages

1. Detailed exegesis of selected verses

2. Interpretation and understanding of the narratives

B. Character studies

1. Isaiah's trust in God

2. Trust as manifested by other biblical figures

III. Practical Applications of Lessons in Trust

A. Trust in Personal Lives

1. Lessons for personal faith

2. Implications for daily living

B. Trust in the Community

1. Building trust in communal relationships

2. Trust as a cornerstone in community development

IV. Conclusion: Lessons in Trust in the Grand Narrative of Isaiah

A. Synthesis of key points

B. Reiteration of the importance of trust

  • Through the in-depth study of Isaiah, you'll gain understanding of its purpose, authorship, key themes, structure, and its significant contributions to the Old Testament, shaping your comprehension of prophetic literature.
  • In studying this lesson, you gain an understanding of the concept of servanthood in the Book of Isaiah, exploring its societal, literary, theological, and personal implications.
  • In the lesson, you explore Isaiah's divine vision, understand his servanthood in a biblical and cultural context, and reflect on its contemporary relevance and implications for today's believers.
  • By exploring trust as the basis of servanthood in this lesson, you gain a deeper understanding of biblical teachings, the role of Isaiah, and the practical implications for modern Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the significance of trusting Yahweh, the invisible God, in difficult times and the consequences of relying on human conspiracies and seeking guidance from mediums. By choosing to trust God and follow His light, you will find hope, experience His strength, wisdom, and peace.
  • This lesson, spanning chapters 13 to 35, delves into various aspects such as oracles against the nations, God's rule of history, Judah's situation, and the repercussions of placing trust in the nations.
  • In this lesson, you learn about trusting in God even in the midst of chaos and to not rely on worldly powers. By waiting expectantly and trusting in God's sovereignty, you can find peace and security amidst a turbulent world.
  • The lesson offers deep insights into trust from a biblical perspective, drawing on case studies from Isaiah and giving you practical applications for contemporary Christianity.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain insight into the message of trust in Yahweh presented in Isaiah chapters 13 through 35, emphasizing the contrast between human power and God's sovereignty and discussing the ultimate victory of God in eschatological literature.
  • This lesson highlights the theological impact of the exile and the questions it raises about God's promises and His power. It explores the issue of trust and warns against relying on worldly solutions, using the example of seeking help from Egypt. Isaiah challenges the people to wait for the Lord and defines trust as confident expectation.
  • In this lesson, the consequences of trusting in worldly powers like Egypt and Assyria are emphasized, highlighting their limitations compared to God's power. The lesson stresses the need for repentance, rest, and trust in God for salvation and strength. It calls for addressing the present condition of the people and the land rather than being complacent. The promise of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit is mentioned, which will lead to transformation and the establishment of peace.
  • This lesson introduces Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, and his dire dilemma on whom to trust—God or humanity—in a situation rife with political and personal peril. By examining Hezekiah's predicament, you will grapple with the notion that trust is the foundation of servanthood to God. The concepts of power, authority, and faith are analyzed through the lens of Hezekiah's interactions with Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. Ultimately, this lesson presents a thought-provoking exploration of trust in divine power versus human power, faith in the midst of desperation, and the implications of such trust for leadership and servanthood.
  • You will delve into the unique prophetic style of Isaiah, understanding his future-oriented prophecies, and the challenges brought by the exiles. You will explore predictive prophecy and how God's transcendence enables accurate predictions. Further, you'll examine the book of Isaiah's authorship, its implications, and the context of Assyrian-Babylonian transition.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about the themes of grace, servitude, and the promise of God's deliverance in chapters 40 to 55. You will understand the meaning behind the denunciation of idols and God's sovereignty, in addition to the assurance that even amidst fear, God is present and will aid His people.
  • This lesson analyzes the role of a witness, God's omnipotence and His role as the sole deity, His promise of deliverance and transformation, and the continuity of faith across generations through His spirit. The key message of this lesson is that God is the Creator and Savior, the only true God, and our role as His witnesses is to testify to His reality and His power in our lives and in the world around us.
  • In this lesson, you grasp the profound concept of God's grace, witnessing how He reclaims His chosen despite their sins. You delve into the biblical view of cause and effect, discovering God's principles at work. Moreover, you gain insights into the suffering servant, embodying true Israel, fulfilling what Israel couldn't. This figure vividly portrays divine calling, struggle, and unwavering trust in God. The lesson ends by revealing the promised restoration of Israel, instilling hope in God's unwavering promises.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain knowledge and insight into the concept of grace, the anticipation of God's saving work, the revelation of His victory, and the transformative power of Jesus' servant hood.
  • Through this lesson, you'll explore the significant role of justice, righteousness, and servanthood in the Book of Isaiah, showcasing the transformative power of God's grace in redeeming and restoring His people.
  • In this lesson, you journey through spiritual growth, witnessing human virtues and flaws, Israel's struggles, and divine grace. The Divine Warrior transforms God's people into beacons, illuminating God's glory. Finally, the Warrior, as the Messiah, brings comfort, freedom, and beauty amid sorrow.
  • This lesson provides a detailed exploration of the struggles of God's people, their plea for God's intervention, and their accusation towards God for their hardships. It calls upon you to reflect on the human condition and our inherent need for divine intervention. Lastly, the lesson underscores the importance of a relationship with God, not merely seeking righteousness but seeking Him and His presence in one's life.

Diving into this course by Dr. John Oswalt, you will find yourself immersed in the study of the Book of Isaiah, particularly focusing on its purpose, authorship, major themes, structure, historical context, author, and time of writing. The major themes like redemption, restoration, and the holiness of God will be unraveled, along with an examination of the book's literary style and chapter breakdown. Additionally, you will gain insights into the concept of servanthood within the context of ancient Israel, exploring its historical, literary, and theological perspectives. Isaiah's vision and his divine calling to servanthood will be thoroughly discussed, revealing the challenges he faced in his role and the contemporary relevance of his servanthood. You will delve into the relationship between trust and servanthood, with trust being a prerequisite to becoming a servant, as demonstrated by Isaiah. The class culminates in providing you with the knowledge of the transformative potential of trust, its importance in the biblical narrative, and its role as a cornerstone for faith and community development. Lastly, you will understand the message of trust in Yahweh presented in Isaiah, learn about the contrast between trusting in human power and glory versus living by faith, and gain an understanding of the importance of trust and the dangers of relying on worldly solutions.

Recommended Books

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

Growing out of the work that the author did in preparing two major commentaries on Isaiah, these essays range from comprehensive to specific, and from popular to scholarly....

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

Dr. John Oswalt



Lessons in Trust

Lesson Transcript


The first section of trust, the basis of servant hood was chapters 9 to 12, which I've titled No Trust. So. What to do. Years ago, there was a movement of so-called programed texts. You read a certain block of material and then you took a test and if you got a certain score. It would say. Skip over the next section and go to page 100, or if you got another score, it would say turn the page. So that's what's happened here. It has has failed the test. And the book says, Turn the page. We come to then the second subdivision of this division, which I've entitled Lessons in Trust. Chapters 13 through 35. Is God trustworthy? It has trusted human nations, particularly the nation of Assyria, his worst enemy. And so God is going to give through Isaiah some lessons about why that was a foolish choice and why wisdom would call upon you to trust your way. So that. Some 35 years later, his son Hezekiah, as his son Hezekiah, could take the test again and see if we've learned anything. So we're looking at this second subdivision. Chapters 13 through 35. This subdivision is divided into sections. And the first section is chapters 13 to 23. It's composed of a series of so-called oracles against the nations, the more literal biblical languages, a burden concerning. And most people have agreed it's an oral burden. It's a message that has been given to the prophet. And so we speak of oracles against the nation. But literally it's the burden that has come with regard to this nation. These are very particular. You have a series of nations, one after another, that are spoken to by the prophet. For God by God through the Prophet. Then comes the next section, chapters 24 to 27.


Once again, we have an issue of transition. Is chapter 24 the end of the Oracles of the Nation, or is it the beginning of God sovereign actor on this stage of history? And the answer is yes, in a very effective way. Isaiah leads us from the one thought to the other. Now I said 13 to 23 is quite particular. Speaking to particular nations, 24 to 27 backs off to a much more general view. Is your weight merely the reactor? Are the nations the primary actors? And you're always saying, Oh, okay. Since you did that, I'll have to do this. Chapters 24 to 27. Say, Oh, no, no. Yahweh is the actor. The nations are truly the reactors. So these chapters 24, 25, 26, 27 are speaking about gods rule of history. And in a very powerful way, it contrasts. The nations and you always kingdom. Then we move back to a more particular picture in chapters 28 to 33. So first, section 13 to 23, very particular. Second Section 24 to 27 more General. Third. Section 28 to 33. More particular again now focusing on Judas situation between about 714 and 701, when now Assyria has essentially taken everything except Judah and Egypt. What are we going to do? And so you have in these chapters a series of woes a elapses the Hebrews oii. Alas, for those who make this decision with regarding to this situation, alas, for those who make that decision and so forth and so forth and so on. And here in 28 to 33, the focus is heavily on the question of leadership. You begin with a primary emphasis on the foolish leaders. But slowly as you move through this action. The focus is more on the glorious leadership of Yahweh.


Look what those guys did to you. And look what he could do for you. 13 to 23, 24 to 27, 28 to 33. And the last section is a two chapter Section 34 and 35, which I see as the conclusion to all of those lessons in trust. Chapter 34. A desert. That's what you're going to get if you trust the nations. Chapter 35. A garden, if you will trust the Lord. So that's what we're looking at. And you say, Well, I think I heard you say this before when you introduced the study. You did. Repetition is the soul of education. But I want you. And my goal throughout these studies is that you will get a sense of the whole ness of the book. This is not just random ideas that somebody cobbled together. It has been organized carefully in order to drive the point home that the book is making your way can be trusted and being trusted. You can give your life to him in glad service for the sake of a lost world. Okay, let's go back then and talk a bit about. The nation's. Scholars have spent a lot of time trying to see if there's some clear organizing principle running through these oracles against the nation. And I think the answer is probably no. I think there is a broad general. Organization. But I don't think it is particular. And part of the reason I say that is because of the variety of suggestions that have been made about the way it's been organized. It begins with Babylon, chapters 13 and 14. Babylon the great glory of the nations over to the east of Judah at the lower end of Mesopotamia, where the Tigris and Euphrates come together. Although in Isaiah's day, Babylon was under the thumb of Assyria, Babylon was still the glory of the nations.


It was the center of sophistication. It was the center of commerce. It was the center of wealth. I sometimes think about it a bit like New York City as opposed to Washington, D.C.. Maybe the power is up at Nineveh, but the glory is in Babylon. And so we begin with the glory of the nations. On the east. We conclude with tire. Tire is the great Phoenician city, Canaanite city on the shore of the Mediterranean. In some sense, Babylon connected the farther east with the Near East. Tiger, in a real sense, connects the West. Tire faced west. Behind tire are the Lebanon mountains. Very difficult to get across. But in front of them is the boundless Mediterranean. You'll remember that tire and Sidon were the mother cities of Carthage. Carthage was a Phoenician colony far, far away in North Africa. So the Tyrion vessels traveled the whole Mediterranean. And so in that sense, if Babylon is the eastern glory, tyr is the Western glory. And in that sense it seems to me we have the other nations bookended between. After Babylon in chapters 13 and 14, we focus on the nearer nations, the Philistines. The Moa bites. The Ammonites. So here are these bookends of these great, great cities. And now we focused on the nearer ones. That takes us through chapter 16. In 17, we returned to talking about Damascus and Samaria. So from. Chapter 14. The end of 14 through 1516 and the first part of 17. We seem to be talking about these near neighbors and I've referred to them and I'll refer to them again as we go on the scheming of the nations, Babylon, the glory of the nations, these near neighbors, the scheming of the nations as they seek to somehow leverage Judah into their.


Ideas and concepts. Then in the latter half of chapters 17 and 18. I think the focus suddenly draws back to the world again. We've been talking about these individual nations. We're going to talk about them some more. But let's remember, this is a question of the nations versus your way. So we'll look at that in terms of the latter half of 17 and 18. Are they speaking about specific nations again or are they speaking more generally? I think generally. 19 and 20. We go to Egypt. In some sense the cause of all this. So these big bookends and now the big Egypt, they're 19 and 20. Then 21 is fascinating because it comes back to Babylon. And Babylon's connections with the Edomites. We'll talk about that. Why do you have two sections on Babylon, the opening and then another one and then chapter 22, The shocker. Judah. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We're talking about the danger of trusting those of Judah, trusting those other nations. Hmm. Why is Judah included here? Because pretty clearly, as the chapter develops, Judah is also trusting not Yahweh, but religion. The glory of the nations. The scheming of the nations. The beauty of the nations in Egypt. The commerce of the nations in Babylon and its connections with them. The religion of the nations. And then finally, chapter 23 tire. If you will, the wealth of the nations. So again, I want to give you I'm wanting to give you some feel of how this whole thing holds together and how it works together. If if I had you face to face, I'd give you a chance to ask some questions there. But I don't have you face to face. Let's go back now and look at this material in some more detail.


I want to suggest to you, and this will start to answer that question of why to Babylon's. I want to suggest to you that what is said about Babylon here is in fact a much more general indictment of the world of the nations. It's a more general statement. And let me show you why I think that's true. Raise a banner. Here it is again. Raise a banner on a bare hilltop. Shout to them, beckoned to them to enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded those I prepared for battle. I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath. Those who rejoice in my triumph. Listen. A noise on the mountains like a great multitude. An uproar among the kingdoms like nations massing together. The Lord of Heaven's armies is mustering an army for war. They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heaven, the Lord and the weapons of his wrath to destroy the whole earth. Well, for the day of the Lord is near. It'll come like destruction from the. Lord of Hosts. Because of this, all hands will go limp. Every heart will melt with fear. Terror will seize them. So forth. See, the day of the Lord is coming a cruel day with wrath and fierce anger to make the earth desolate, to destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened. Do you see why I think we're not just talking about historic Babylon here? We're talking about the nations of Earth and all those who have exalted themselves against your way. So in a real sense, I think this is introductory to everything that's falling. And he goes on to talk in those very general terms the heavens, the earth, the whole earth and so forth.


Finally in verse 17. See, I will stir up against them. The meades who do not care for silver, who have no delight in gold. Ah. Now we've come down to historic Babylon. Once again, scholars have a good deal of heartburn over this material. Why would Isaiah inveigh against Babylon? Babylon is no threat to them at in 714 or 15 or thereabouts. No, it's. It's after the exile that Babylon is the real enemy. So evidently somebody inserted this material here into. The book of First Isaiah. I don't think that's the case at all. Number one, as I've said, he's using Babylon as the symbol of the world's glory and God's ability to take that glory down right now. But number two. Number two. By inspiration. Isaiah knows that Assyria is not the ultimate enemy and may think so, but no, it's Babylon that is the ultimate enemy of Judah. And all that takes is the inspiration of the Spirit to help him know that fact. Now, what about the Meads here? The Medes were a warlike tribe that lived in the Zagros Mountains. That's the age across the Zagros Mountains parallel the Tigris River on the east, and are the boundary between Iraq and Iran today. So this mountain chain, the Zagros, runs northwest Southeast. Parallel to the Tigris River. The Medes were a warlike tribe that lived in the Zagros Mountains, the Meads and the Babylonians. Joined to defeat the Assyrians, and then they divided up the Assyrian empire. The Medes took the northern part, the northern part of Iraq, the eastern part of what is today, Turkey, southern part of Armenia, not the best part of the empire. The Babylonians got the best part, the southern part. But the Medes were only biding their time.


Babylon was essentially a one man show. Nebuchadnezzar. When Nebuchadnezzar died. Babylon started falling apart almost immediately. Took about 20 years for that to happen. But. While Nebuchadnezzar is ruling. The people in Persia. Modern Iran. We're gaining power. And. About. 545, the Medes allied themselves with the Persians. And Babylon's fate was sealed. So Isaiah knows this. I will stir up against them. The maids who do not care for silver or have no delight in gold, their bows will strike down the young men and so forth. Verse, verse 19. Babylon the jewel of the kingdoms. The pride and glory. Here is our word again of the Babylonians will be overthrown by God. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, she will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations. Now, that is, frankly, an unbelievable statement. Can you imagine if I said to you today, within a hundred years, New York is going to be absolutely empty? It will be a field of ruins and it will never be lived in again. You would say you're nuts. Babylon greatest city in the world, never going to be lived in. That's exactly what happened, isn't it? We didn't even know where it was until the middle of the 1800s. Yes. Don't stand up against your way. It's not wise. So what we have in this chapter, then, I would argue, is an opening, generalized introduction, where Babylon is used as the symbol of the glory of humanity, humanity rising up, demonstrating to the gods that we are the glory of the world. And then in the end of the chapter, moving to the future and literal Babylon and saying, and it's going to come down. It's going to come down and be deserted. Before very long. We come then to chapter 14.


Here is another, I believe, of these graphic illustrations that Isaiah loves so well. It is addressed. First of all, to Jacob. Verses one. Two and three. The Lord will have compassion on Jacob. Once again, he'll choose Israel. He'll settle them in their own lands. Foreigners will join them and unite with the descendants of Jacob. Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. Babylon is deserted, remember? But what about Israel? They're in their own place again. Israel will take possession of the nations, make them male and female servants in the Lord's land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors. My mind. Lessons in trust. Why would you trust the bad villains of the world? When the Lord will make them a desolate waste and the Lord will make you inhabited again. Jerusalem. To this day inhabited little dinky Jerusalem. David's Jerusalem was about 13 acres. Solomon's Jerusalem was not a whole lot more than that. And Babylon. Don't trust the nations. Now, then, in chapter three and four. Take up this taunt against the King of Babylon. Now we have John Milton to blame for saying this chapter is about Satan. Satan is Lucifer as the name is given here. I don't think that's correct. I don't think we're talking about Satan here. We're talking about creature Lee Pride. The creature which stands up against its creator and says, I will rule now. Is Satan an example of that? Absolutely. No question at all. But is this primarily talking about same? I don't think so. In fact, I think it's very likely sparked by the death of the Assyrian Emperor Sargon Sargon. Who was the one who completed the destruction of the city of Samaria. Was the only Assyrian emperor who was killed on the battlefield.


Resulting in a good deal of upheaval in the world of that day. Again, we'll have cause to talk more about this later. But I think the picture here is of the fall of a mighty tyrant. He's called the King of Babylon. But again, I think there's a sense in which he's seeing Babylon as the symbol of all the glories of the nations. It's a beautiful poem in Hebrew. It is very, very beautifully arranged. It is. A mockery of a lament. A lament is a particular poetic form in Hebrew. Designed to mourn over the loss of someone. And it has certain words, alas. Well, it has certain phrases. Oh, how. Etc., etc.. And it is typically arranged in a certain meter. Normally Hebrew poetry. Has. Two lines that are saying the same things synonymous. With three accents in each of the two lines. Three, three laments are typically arranged with the two lines. Three in the first line and two in the second. It's called a limping meter. Da da da da da da da da da da. This is arranged in the limping meter. But it's a mark. Instead of saying, Oh, how sorry we are that you have died, this says, Oh, how glad we are that you have died. The lament says the whole earth mourns over you. This says, The whole earth is glad you're dead. It's a mock and it's a dripping, dripping, sarcastic mock of, as I say, Creature Li Pride. Have you heard me say this before? These parallel themes, the exaltation of humanity. Absolutely stupid. The exaltation of Yahweh, absolutely wise. So we have here this mockery. It is in four stanzas. The first is on Earth. Oh, how the oppressor has come to an end. Oh, how his fury has ended.


The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked. The scepter of the rulers, which, in anger, struck down the people. And with unceasing blows and then fury, subdued nations with relentless aggression. All the lands are at rest and at peace. They break into singing. Oh, good. He is dead. Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon gloat over you and say now that you have been laid low. Nobody comes to cut us down. It's a mark of the Assyrian annals. One of the great pieces of ancient near Eastern literature are the records of their kingship that the Assyrians had inscribed on the temples, on the walls of their temples. And they're all self-congratulatory, if you believe them. No Assyrian ever lost a battle. It's wonderful. I ascended the highest mountains. I forced my troops over the peaks that nobody had ever crossed. I stopped up the rivers of Egypt with my feet. I. I cut down all the Cedars of Lebanon and took them to my glorious palace in need of a. Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon glowed over you and say, Now that you've been laid low, nobody comes to cut us down. Yeah. So the Earth is delighted that this person is dead. Then we go to hell. The realm of the dead. Below is all a stir to meet you at your coming. It rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you. All those who were leaders in the world that you all killed. It makes them rise from their thrones. All those who were kings over the nations. They will all respond and say to you, You also have become as weak as we are. You've become like us. All your glory. Has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps.


The maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. Hmm. Picture of a beautiful. Funeral procession. The corpse is draped with glorious robes. Pull back the robes. And what's underneath? Maggots. Now we go to heaven. From Earth to hell to heaven. Verse 12. How have you fallen from heaven? Morning star. Lucifer. Son of the dawn. You have been cast down to the earth. You who once laid low. The nations. You said in your heart. I'll send to the heavens. I'll raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit in throne on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zion. Martin's iPhone. Excuse me. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds. I will make myself like the most high. But you are brought down to the realm of the dead. To the depths of the pit. Human exaltation. Creature lake exaltation. I will make myself God. I will sit on the throne of God. I will be the ruler of my world. There's a Canaanite myth. The bail has been captured by death. And so one of the other gods says, oh, okay, I'm going to sit on bail thrown. Well, his feet don't reach the footstool. His head doesn't reach the headrest, and the armrests are too high for him. So he says, I don't think I can sit here. I think I'll have to go down. But you are brought down to the realms of the dead. Earth. Hell. Heaven. Back to Earth for the fourth stanza, beginning at verse 16. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate. Is this the man who shook the earth and made the kingdoms tremble? The man who made the world a wilderness who overthrew its cities would not let his captives go home.


All the kings of the nations lie in state. Each in his own doom. But you are cast out of your tomb like a miscarriage. You are covered with the slain with those pierced by the sword. This looks like somebody on the battlefield. That's why I say I think I think Isaiah may have had Sargon as his model here. Are covered with the slain with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit like a corpse trampled underfoot. You will not join them in burial. For you have destroyed your land and killed your people. Now, again, if you simply took verses 12 through 15, you might say, okay, Jesus said he saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning. So. You fallen from heaven. But but I hope I hope you will see that in the context of the poem. This is talking about a human creature. A a. Hypothetical KING or perhaps using Sargon as sort of the base going from there. Crucially pride. Why would you trust the nations? Why would you put any trust in them at all? Now, then. We've talked about Babylon as. A general introduction to the glory of the nations. And we've talked a few verses about literal Babylon. Now we've talked about the King of Babylon. Now go to verse 24 of chapter 14. The Lord Almighty has sworn. Surely as I have planned. So it will be as I have purposed. So it will happen. I will crush the Assyrian in my land, on my mountains. I will trample him. This is predictive prophecy, folks. His yoke will be taken from my people, his burden removed from their shoulders. This is the plan determined for the whole world. This is the hand stretched out over all the nations.


For the Lord of heavens, Army says purposed. And who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out. Who can turn it back? Now we've come very much into focus on Isaiah's own situation. And this point that is emphasized here is very common in regard whenever a serious shows up. This point God planned this, God purposed, this Assyria is operating according to God's plan. It's not a conspiracy. God's in charge. Get that through your heads. So a fascinating to me focus or focusing occurring there in chapters 13 and 14, bringing us right down to Assyria and then bringing us farther down. Look at how the chapter ends. Verse 28. This oracle, this burden, this message came in the year King has died. Do not rejoice. Are you Philistines? Now we've come all the way down to the first of these neighbors. The Philistines who think that with ahaz his death. They've got a chance. And as this is now, you have no chance at all. Don't don't think that you, in your scheming, can somehow defeat your way. In chapters 15 and 16. Then we continue, as I suggested earlier, with this focus on the Near Nations. We started out with Babylon, the glory of the Nations. Focusing on down through Assyria to the scheming of the near neighbors. Chapters 15 and 16 again, focus on the pride of Moab. Moab is. They're on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. Moab has over the years oozed north and sort of taken over the territory that the tribe of Ruben originally had. So that Moab and Rubin have become sort of intermingled there at the north east side of the Dead Sea. And Moab. You remember is one of Lotte's children. Moab. In contrast to Edam, Edam is farther south, the south end of the Dead Sea.


Moab. Across the centuries tended to be more of an ally with Judah and Israel. Edam tended to be more of an enemy. But here is the picture of this near neighbor. This near neighbor that is proud of its. In a sense, safety over there on the east side of the Dead Sea. And it's that pride. If you look at chapter 16, verse six. We have heard of Moab Pride. How great is her arrogance? Of her conceit, her pride in her insolence. But her boasts are empty. This theme of arrogance and humiliation that occurs again and again. The. Picture you see in the two chapters is of attack coming from the north, and this would be appropriate. There are two great highways in this region. The one is the way of the sea that comes down from Damascus. Across northern Galilee, across the valley of Jezreel, to the pass that is guarded by the city of Megiddo. On through that pass on to the coast and on down the coast to Egypt. That's the one. The way of the sea. The other is called the Highway of the Kings. And it proceeds pretty much straight south from Damascus, along the east side of the Jordan River through Gilead. Aman. Moab. Edam and on down to the Gulf of a lot, or the Gulf of Aqaba on the east side of the Sinai Peninsula. That's called the Highway of the Kings. So it's quite reasonable to think that the Assyrian forces, the main army, is on the. Highway of the sea headed toward Egypt. But we can imagine that raiding groups came down the Highway of the Kings. And so the oppression starts in the. If we're looking at the Dead Sea here, starting at the north and then pressing down.


And what we see in these chapters is a description of refugees fleeing southward. Now, remember that as it is today, the middle of the Dead Sea is often dried up. You didn't have to go all the way around the south end of the Dead Sea to get to Judah. You could go straight across to Bethlehem. Very possibly. Naomi and her husband crossed the middle of the Dead Sea area there on that dry tongue of land. So, anyway, these refugees are going southward and coming into Egypt from the south. Now, I want to call your attention to a verse in chapter 16. Verse three is where I want to start. Make up your mind. Moab. Moab says to Judah. Render a decision. Make your shadow like night at high noon. Hide the fugitives. Do not betray the refugees. Let the more bite fugitives stay with you. Be their shelter from the destroyer. The oppressor will come to an end. Destruction will cease. The aggressor will vanish from the land. Now, here's the verse. Verse five. In love. A throne will be established. In faithfulness. A man will sit on it. One from the House of David. One who, in judging. Remember what I said about the act of judging not. Announcing condemnations, but bringing order. Who, in judging seeks Justice Nisbet. And speed's the cause of righteousness. When you talk about the holy character of God. There are four of the key characteristics love. Faithfulness or truth. Justice and righteousness. And they will be displayed by this. Man from the House of David. You ask, do you think that's a messianic prophecy? And the answer is yes. Yes. Our hope is not in Moab. Our hope is not in those great flocks and herds that were typical of the whites.


Our hope is in the man from the House of David, who displays the very character of God. We have seen the Philistines. The more bites now come to Chapter 17. A prophecy against Damascus. Okay. The Philistines on the Southwest, the mobile. It's on the east and South. And now we've gone to Damascus in the northeast. Damascus will no longer be a city, but will be a heap of ruins. The cities of a roar that's a region of Syria will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down with no one to make them afraid. The fortified city. Here it is again will disappear from Ephraim. Well, wait a minute. I thought we were talking about Damascus. Well, go on. The royal power from Damascus, the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites, declares the Lord Almighty in that day, to the glory of Jacob. Glory will fade. The fat of his body will waste away. It'll be as when reapers harvest the standing grain, etc.. Now, wait a minute. I thought we were talking about Damascus. This is a burden upon Damascus. But in the middle of this burden against Damascus, this Oracle against Damascus, we switched to talking about Israel. Yes. Remember, Syria and Israel were allied and they were attacking Judah. You got to trust them. Are you going to be. Destroyed by them. Are your is your trust in Yahweh going to be destroyed by them? Philistines. Moa bites. Damascus and Israel. Why would you trust them? Why would you fear them? Now look at verses seven and eight. In that day, people will look to their maker. They will turn their eyes to the holy one of Israel. They will not look to the altars to the work of their hands.


And again, throughout his book, Isaiah loves to contrast. Will you worship your maker or will where you worship what you have made? Who's the maker here? Him. Are you? They will have no regard for the ash or poles and the incense altars their fingers have made in that day. Their strong cities, which they left to the Israelites will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth, and all will be desolation. Mm hmm. So. I think what we're seeing here is a bit of a an intermediate conclusion where he is saying, hey, don't trust those. It's going to come a day when you will come to your senses and you will trust the Lord, not the nations or not those human like gods that you have made for yourself. There will come such a day. You have forgotten God your Savior. This verse ten. You have not remembered the rock your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plant and plants and plant imported vines, though on the day when you set them out, you make them grow. On the morning. When you plant them, you bring them to Bud. Yet the harvest will be as nothing in a day of disease and incurable pain. Here he's using that imagery of the vineyard again and saying as the Lord plant it is vineyard and got nothing. So you planting your alien vineyards will get nothing. I think wrapping it all up here, there's going to come a day when you will indeed worship your maker. But in the intervening time. It's going to be bad news.