Isaiah - Lesson 7

Scheming of the Nations

From this lesson, you will gain the knowledge and insight that trusting in God is essential, even in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty. The raging nations represent the upheaval and anxiety that can exist, but Yahweh remains in control and unaffected by their turmoil. The prophet uses the image of a scrim in a drama to illustrate how God's reality is often hidden by the apparent reality of the world. Waiting and trusting in God's timing allows Him to act and solve problems in ways that surpass human understanding and resources. The lesson emphasizes the importance of relying on God's unchanging nature and the futility of placing trust in worldly powers. By waiting expectantly and trusting in God's sovereignty, individuals can find peace and security amidst a turbulent world.

Lesson 7
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Scheming of the Nations

OT650-07: The Scheming of the Nations in Isaiah

I. Historical Background

A. Contextual Overview

B. Chronological Structure

II. Explanation of Text

A. Verse by Verse Analysis

B. Key Themes and Concepts

III. Significance

A. Relevance to the Book of Isaiah

B. Broader Biblical Implications

IV. Theology of the Text

A. Understanding God’s Response

B. Lessons for Contemporary Faith

  • 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



Scheming of the Nations

Lesson Transcript


We're looking at lessons in trust. And the first section of that subdivision is. Don't trust the nations. We've seen the glory of the nations in Babylon. We've seen the scheming of the nations in the Philistines. The more bites. The Syrians and the Israelites. And now we come to. A slightly different. Movement taking place. Chapter 17, verse 12. Alas, to the many nations that rage, they rage like the roaring sea. Alas, to the people who roar, they roar like the roaring of the great waters. Hmm. First of all, this is the first time we've seen a lass again or. Whoa. It's not a message against or a burden against or an oracle against it. It's a class for them. And notice that we have no specific nation being mentioned. It's the raging nations, the roaring nations. This makes me think that here in the middle of this collection of oracles against the nation, we have moved the focus back or out. However you want to say it, away from individual countries to the general situation. So here we are in a picture that in my mind is somewhat similar to what you have in the second Psalm. You have the nations raging, roaring in tumult, planning on how they can break the bars that bind them. And then you have you always response. I think a very similar thing happens here. You see these nations. Look at verse 13. Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters. When he rebukes them, they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale in the evening, sudden terror before the morning they're gone. This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us.


So it seems to me that the prophet is saying, okay, let's back up again and take the larger perspective. Let's take the larger view. What are we talking about here? We're talking about a world in upheaval, in uproar, and all of the anxiety, the fear, the worry that could result from that. But is that reality? Or is there another reality, I think, here of a device that is often used in I shouldn't say often, sometimes used in drama called a scrim. A scrim is a large veil of cheesecloth that is painted with a scene. And when there are no lights behind it and the lights from the house are shining on it, it looks solid, it looks as solid as a piece of wood or a piece of plaster or whatever. And so sometimes this device is used at the beginning of a scene. You're seeing perhaps a house in a forest or maybe a room in a house painted there on the scrim and action begins to take place behind it. And very skillfully, the house manager brings up the lights on the stage and begins to dim the house lights. And slowly you begin to perceive things on the other side of that scrim. And finally. When the house lights are fully dim and the stage lights are fully up, the scrim is invisible. And at some point when the audience is engrossed in what's happening on the stage, the scrim is silently raised and you're not even aware that it's gone. I think that's what we have here. The scrim. Oh, this is reality. This world in tumult, we think in again in our own day of the crisis in Ukraine. Is is is that going to be the trigger of an atomic war? Is.


Oh, my. The nations are raging, roaring. Again, a common image in the Bible, the sea, the waves crashing on the shore. The mountains sliding into the sea. When he rebukes them, they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills. Reality is your way. I mentioned Psalm two earlier. He who sits in the heavens laughs. No, Yahweh is not saying, Oh dear, what's going to happen here? How am I going to manage this one? How am I going to get them out of this mess? Oh, dear. What's this going to mean for my author? There they go again. Oh, my goodness. What kind of a mess will they get themselves into this time? Now. I think that idea is developed in chapter 18. Once again, we begin with Whoa. The Bible that I'm using here has a heading a prophecy against Kush. That's the heading they've used with every one of the Oracles Against the Nations. Chapter 19 A Prophecy Against Egypt. But that's not the heading that is used in chapter 18. It is woe. Just as we had in verse 12. Here it is again. So I don't believe that this is a prophecy against Ethiopia in particular. It's going to be mentioned as we'll see here in just a moment. But I think this is an ongoing expression of this idea that the nations may rage and roar, but it's Yahweh who is the real power behind all of this. Let's look at it. Woe, alas, for the land of growing wings along the rivers of Kush, which sends envoys by sea in papyrus boats over the water. While there's nothing sinful, there, is there? Go swift messengers to a people. Tall and smooth skinned to a people feared far and wide and aggressive nation of strange speech whose land is divided by rivers.


Well, wait a minute. Who is this people? It's not the Cushite. The Cushite just was to go to these people, whoever they are. All you people of the world, you who live on the earth. Here it is again. When a banner is raised on the mountains, you'll see it. When a trumpet sounds, you will hear it. What's he saying? He's seeing this picture of the Nile River. Where. The prevailing breeze is from the sea southward, so you can raise your sail and sail against the current south to Ethiopia. When you get there, you can put your sail away and ride with the current north up to the Mediterranean. A perfect, perfect communication system. That's what he sees, these white winged boats zipping up and down the Nile with messages for the great powers of the world. Here's the world in tumult. What are we going to do here? Let's go there. This is the word for today. Verse four. This is what the Lord says to me. I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. Sunshine. But if you've been in the Near East, you know that the heat of the sun is inescapable, makes no sound, makes no upheaval. But there it is. Similarly with due. No crashing rainstorm, no falling waters from the heavens. Simply there it is. There it is. I will remain quiet and look on from my dwelling place. Verse five four before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives and cut down and take away the spreading branches. They will all be left to the mountain, birds of prey and to the wild animals.


The birds will feed on them all summer. The wild animals all winter. Yeah. Go ahead. Rage and roar. God will simply be that pervasive sun. That inescapable Jew. And when the hour comes and the harvest is over, you'll cut off those branches and toss them out to be a place for the rabbits. Were the birds. Dinner on the leaves. So the picture we have again, we see it, we've seen it before. We'll see it again. The raging, the roaring of the nations, all the anxiety, all the trouble, all the worry. No, no. Focus on your way. Who is unchanging. Who is utterly reliable, who is everywhere present, who is inescapable. And he is at work. And when the hour comes. He will act and you'll know it. Wait. Wait. I've said it before, I'll say it again. Weight is a synonym for trust in the Old Testament. It's not just to pass time. It is the idea of to wait expectantly. I know that God is going to act. I know that he's going to solve this problem. I know that he's going to deal with this issue. And I will not run ahead of him to try to solve it in my own strength. I will not try to fix the issue in my understanding of the issue. I will not try with my resources to deal with it. I'll wait for him. Why does he do that to us? Why does he make us wait? I hate to wait. That's exactly it. He waits for us to come to the end of our own. Resources. He waits for us to come to the end of our own abilities. He waits for us to come to the end of our own assessment of the issues.


And finally, finally, when we've come to the end of ourselves, finally when we come to the place of saying, I can't do this, God says, Oh, good, now I can begin. That's the picture that I think is very, very important here. The season will go on. From planting to growth to heading out. To harvest. And the end will come. Wait. Now look at verse seven and verse seven, kind of for me confirms all of this. At that time, gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty from eight people, tall and smooth skinned. That's the people in verse two that the ambassadors from Kush were to go visit. You say? Who are those people? I don't know. But I don't think there's a cushite. They're not the Ethiopians. Point being messengers. Going up and down the Nile. Go to these people. And these people, this aggressive people of strange speech, they're going to serve the Lord. That's your message. Your message is to them to serve this one who waits. To be gracious to us. So I see this. Oh 1710 excuse me, 1712 through 18. Seven as a sort of an interlude in the middle of these oracles against the nations. Again, let me say to you, there is no oracle against the Ethiopians. There's an alas, but it's an alas that duplicates the last that was spoken to the raging nations. So I don't I don't think this is a prophecy against Ethiopia. I think that heading that is here in my Bible is incorrect. This is an interlude in the middle, reminding us what the issues are. It's not the nations. It's Yahweh who is in control. Okay. Now we come back to an oracle against a nation. And this is the nation of Egypt.


And once again, there are two chapters devoted to this 19 and 20. And what we find here. Is an indictment of those qualities, those resources, those characteristics that might make Egypt worthy of trust. I remind you again of the geopolitical situation. Egypt has been, in many ways the grande dame of the ancient Near East. One of their resources is gold and people like gold. Another of their resources is. Their wisdom. Across the ages, the Egyptians had accumulated proverbs, aphorisms, wisdom. Another of their resources is the Nile. In many ways. Egypt is heaven. The. Average temperature. Year round, 72 degrees in the summer. It might get up into the eighties and in the winter, maybe down to the upper fifties or lower sixties, but. Year round 72. It rains on average two days a year. And so unlike the Lebanese who are to this day, great travelers, Egyptians don't travel. Why would you leave heaven? Why would you go any place else? And this explains their concern with the afterlife. They're afraid that the afterlife might be worse than Egypt. And so one of the reasons we know as much as we know about Egyptian life is all the models that they put in their tombs. Models of fishing. Models of dairies. Models of building. What are those about? Well, they're so that after you die and you come awake again, you can say a ritual and bring your dairy farm to life. So in many ways across the years of the ancient near Eastern culture. Egypt is seen as the desiderata. If we could be like the Egyptians. And this continued. By this time, by the time of Isaiah. Egypt is on an inevitable downhill slide. Really their last great days were in the so-called late Bronze era, about 1200 B.C..


You get a clue to this when you remember that the pharaoh was willing to have his former slaves. The Hebrews. Their King Mary, his daughter. How have the mighty fallen when that happens? But nevertheless, Egypt still has her own sense of the glories of the past and the other cultures all had this same sort of envy of what Egypt as at least had been. And that's the picture that you see in this chapter. And that's what was happening in Judah. Okay. Okay. Damascus is gone. Israel is gone. Aman is gone. Moab is gone. The Philistines are about to go. But there's still Egypt. See the Lord rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear. Their ancient religion. Thousands of gods before the more recent Hindu religions creation. Egyptian religion was the most polytheistic in the world. Thousands of gods. A god for everything. So. Wow. With a God for everything. How can they lose? I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian. Brother will fight against brother. Neighbor against. Neighbor. City against city. Kingdom against kingdom. Eyes and nose is Egypt's history. Twice during their history, they had simply disintegrated into isolated city states. And that's the picture here. They will lose heart. I will bring their plans to nothing. They will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead. The mediums and the spirits. I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master. A fierce king will rule over them, declares Yahweh. Yahweh, the Lord of Heaven's Armies. So why would you trust the Egyptians? Well, look at their ancient religion. I mean, look at its complexity. Look at its beauty. Look at its power.


Yes. Yes, we can trust the Egyptians. They got a handle on the gods. Their religion is worthless. It will be able to do nothing against the upraised hand of your way. Well. Verse five. We've got the Nile. I have often said the Nile River is the world's first flush toilet before the building of the Aswan High Dam. Every year during the same five days, the river would flood and it would bring in a whole new layer of silt. And wash out into the Mediterranean. All last year's manure. It is still possible today. To stand with one foot in the desert and the other foot in a wheat field just as far as the irrigation water of the Nile has run. So the Egyptians called themselves the Gift of the Nile. They are. And it is no accident whatsoever that the first plague in the book of Exodus fell on the Nile. The waters of the river will dry up. The riverbed will be parched and dry, the canals will stink, the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. The reeds in rushes will wither. Also, the plants along the Nile, at the mouth of the river, every sown field along the Nile will become parched, will blow away and be no more. The fishermen will groan and lament all who cast hooks into the Nile. Those who throw nets on the water will pine away. Those who work with combed flax will despair. The weavers of fine linen will lose hope. The workers in cloth will be dejected. And all the wage earners will be sick at heart. That's called depression. What's he saying? Oh. The Nile is absolutely reliable. And as long as the Egyptians have the Nile, they will have resources. They'll have resources to spend on us.


They'll have resources to give to us. God says, Did you know that the Nile had a drain plug? I can drive the thing up now. Sometimes people say, Well, when did that happen or when is that going to happen? I'm not sure that Isaiah intends that. He's trying to make a point that compared to Yahweh, the Nile is worthless. Much. As Jesus said, you must hate your mother and father in order to serve me. He didn't mean that We must literally hate our mother and father, but he means that our choice of him must be so irrevocable that any other choice is. Meaningless. So here. Now, again, if in the last days the Nile River dries up and the Lord says, Oh, well, that's what I was talking about, I will say, Yes, sir, but I don't think we have to assume that he envisioned a literal occurrence. He's making a point. Your religion. Will not help you. Your wonderful physical circumstances will not help you. The verse 11. The officials of Zion are nothing but fools. The wise councilors of Pharaoh give senseless advice. How can you say to Pharaoh, I'm one of the wise men, a disciple of the ancient kings? Where are your wise men now? Let them show you and make known what your way of Heaven's armies has planned against Egypt. The officials of Zohar have become fools. The leaders of Memphis are deceived. The cornerstones of our people have led Egypt astray. The Lord has poured into them a spirit of dizziness. They make Egypt stagger in. All that she does as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit. There's nothing Egypt can do. Head or tail, palm branch or read. Your ancient wisdom. Figuring out how life works.


Figuring out how to succeed and how to avoid failure. All of that stuff is worthless. Why would you trust Egypt? It's religion, it's physical circumstances. It's wisdom. Are all nothing in the presence of God. Wow. In that day. The Egyptians will become weaklings. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that that Yahweh of Heaven's armies raises against them and the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified because of what the Lord Almighty is planning against them. That language is so typical of the preexisting Israelite prophets. Yes, the Lord will use the nations. To punish his people. But that punishment is not going to be total. He's going to redeem them. And when he redeems them, he's going to use his people to judge the nations in various ways. All of the preexisting prophets make those points, and that's what he's making again here. Egypt may have used you. Egypt may have oppressed you in various ways, but the day will come when the tables will be turned. Now. The rest of Chapter 19 is very, very interesting. In that day. This is verse 18 five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Kanan and swear allegiance to the Lord Almighty. One of them will be Heliopolis. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. What's he saying? He's saying. Why would you trust the nations? They cannot help you. And eventually they will be serving your God. As you perhaps know. In the first five centuries of the Christian church, North Africa. Egypt. Libya. Tunisia. Was the intellectual center of Christianity. Five cities will speak the language of Kanan. And I find that very interesting as a unreconstructed Hebrew teacher. Origin. Perhaps the greatest mind of earliest early Christianity compiled this huge, huge six columned Bible in which he compared the Hebrew to the Greek.


Entire linear eyes are interleaved. The Hebrew and the Greek. The language of Kanan. Now you say, Well, okay, well, so do you believe that Origin was the literal fulfillment of verse 18? Not necessarily, but I do say he's an illustration of what that's talking about, that suddenly the Hebrew language, the Hebrew Bible, and then the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible would become precious to the Egyptians and would be a major focus of their study. Looks to me like Isaiah knew what he was talking about. Several centuries in the future from his own day. In that day, there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt and a monument to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of Heaven's armies in the land of Egypt. When they when they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them our Savior and a defender. He will rescue them. So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians. And in that day they will know Yahweh. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings. They'll make vows to the Lord and keep them. The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague, Strike them and heal them. They'll turn to the Lord. They'll respond to their pleas. He will respond to their pleas and heal them in that day. There will be a. Way. Here's another example of this theme that I've said. Banner. Highway. Trees. These themes run through the book. All parts of it. Isaiah is a very picturesque thinker. So he doesn't merely say there will be a relationship between Egypt and Syria. You know, he says there will be a highway between them and the Assyrians will go to Egypt, the Egyptians to Assyria, the Egyptian, the Assyrians will worship together.


In that day. Israel will be the third along with Egypt. And Assyria a blessing on the earth. The Lord of Heaven's armies will bless them, saying, Blessed be Egypt, my people, Assyria, my handiwork. Israel, my inheritance. What a day. Why did they? Why would you trust these nations? They cannot help you. They're all under judgment from your way. And many of them are going to turn to your God. Why would you trust them? Now, once again, we've got to be careful here as as I said in a previous lecture. Predictive prophecy is not given to us so we can figure out the future. A friend of mine, a prominent Old Testament professor. When Egypt. Signed a peace treaty with Israel. He said, Oh, this is the fulfillment of Isaiah 19. There will be a highway from Egypt to Israel to this area. And he said, we can confidently expect that Iran is going to make peace with Israel as well. Nope. We're going to be very careful in saying, Oh, oh, I know what this means. I know how this. What I want to say. And I say this to myself. I said to my students, Yes, When we finally see how these predictions are fulfilled, we'll say, Oh, yeah, that's what it was saying. But it's very, very risky beforehand to say, Oh, well, I've got it figured out. That's not the purpose. The purpose is to say. Our God has the future in his hands and we can walk into it confidently. And then when it occurs, we can say, See, I'll trust him today, and I'll trust him tomorrow because he has proven himself faithful. So predictive prophecy is very significant in this trust factor. But it's not designed so that we can create a timetable.


Chapter 20 now is in some ways shocking. It is another of these graphic illustrations, and it's really graphic. In the year that the supreme commander. Sent by Sargon. King of Assyria. Came to Ash Dodd. Ash Dodd is a philistine city. And attacked it and captured it. At that time, the Lord spoke through Isaiah, the son of Amos, and he said to him, Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet. And he did so going around, stripped and barefoot. I think we can say that he almost certainly wore a loincloth. I don't think he was stark naked, but nevertheless, he is in a very shameful condition. No shoes. No tunic. Stripped and barefoot. God. Is this any way to treat your faithful servant? No, it isn't. But it is the way God does it. And again. And again. We have to say. Was it any way to treat your son? To nail him to a cross? No, it isn't. But for the sake of the world. For the sake of the world. He's not terribly concerned about our. Sense of self-worth and self identity. We are his servants. We are his servants. And certainly one of the marks one of the marks of this prophet is his willingness to say, yes, sir. Yes, sir. Now, what's this all in aid of? What's he doing this for? Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years. As a sign and a portent against Ethiopia and Kush. Now, at this point. Egypt is ruled by an Ethiopian dynasty. A Cushite dynasty. Again, this is part of the fall of Egypt after about 1000. They were ruled by Libyans, now ruled by Ethiopians. And interestingly, the power of Egyptian culture was such that these interlopers became more Egyptians than the Egyptians.


They call themselves pharaohs and they dressed up like the pharaohs did because, oh, we're Egypt. We're Egyptians now. For three years. Don't trust Egypt. The Egyptians are going to be dragged off into exile, stripped and barefoot. Get that. My goodness. So he is a living picture of what's going to happen to Egypt and why the Jordanians should not trust Egypt to deliver them from his area. They will be led away, young and old, with buttocks bared to Egypt's shame. Those who hear it is trusted in Kush and boasted in Ethiopia will be dismayed and put to shame. It's important to understand that language in the Old Testament. What does it mean to be put to shame? What it is, is it's the result of failed trust. Suppose I say to you. Here's a chair. And this is this is clearly a very, very good chair. I can see it's strong. I can see it's well constructed. Yes, it's definitely a chair. And you say, well, then go ahead and sit in it. Sit in it. Me. Well, it's a chair. It's definitely a good chair. It's a strong chair. It will certainly hold up somebody like me. But it. Sit in it then. Well. Och. And I sit in it and it collapses. What do you do? You laugh. I have been put to shame. My trust has failed me. That's what you got throughout the Old Testament. When the psalmist says, Oh, God, don't let me be put to shame. You're not talking about Don't let me do some shameful thing. It's saying, God, don't fail me. Those who trusted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame. In that day. The people who live on this coast will say, See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the King of Assyria.


How then, can we escape? Now, the dating of this passage in the year that the Supreme Commander sent by Sargon King of Assyria came to Ashdod and attacked and captured. That dating is significant because the king of Ashdod fled to Egypt for asylum and after the Assyrian army had captured Ashdod, they said to the Egyptians, Give him up. Turn him over to us. And the Egyptians said. Yup. And turned the king of Ashdod back to the Assyrians and they killed him. It's in that year. That year. That Isaiah stripped and Barefoot says don't trust Egypt. This is what happens to those who rely on Egypt for help and deliverance. If that happened, how can we escape? Don't trust Egypt.