Monday, July 19, 2010

Empires come and empires go...

Today's reading in Isaiah mentions the demise of some of the mighty empires of Isaiah's day. Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia. All will lose their status as empires and come crashing down.

Think of some of the recent empires of our day: Spain, England, Germany, Russia. All have come crashing down.

There is one major empire standing: USA. It will come crashing down. Today? Tomorrow? Who knows? But it will not be forever.

The next empires? Probably India and China. At some point there will be a world empire. But I am jumping ahead in the book...

Back to Isaiah.

Isaiah 18
A Message about Ethiopia

1 Listen, Ethiopia[a]—land of fluttering sails[b]
that lies at the headwaters of the Nile,
2 that sends ambassadors
in swift boats down the river.

Go, swift messengers!
Take a message to a tall, smooth-skinned people,
who are feared far and wide
for their conquests and destruction,
and whose land is divided by rivers.

5 Even before you begin your attack,
while your plans are ripening like grapes,
the Lord will cut off your new growth with pruning shears.
He will snip off and discard your spreading branches.
6 Your mighty army will be left dead in the fields
for the mountain vultures and wild animals."

Isaiah 19
A Message about Egypt

1 This message came to me concerning Egypt:

Look! The Lord is advancing against Egypt,
riding on a swift cloud.
The idols of Egypt tremble.
The hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.

16 In that day the Egyptians will be as weak as women. They will cower in fear beneath the upraised fist of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 17 Just to speak the name of Israel will terrorize them, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has laid out his plans against them."

Isaiah 21
A Message about Babylon

1 This message came to me concerning Babylon—the desert by the sea[i]:

Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert,
like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.
2 I see a terrifying vision:
I see the betrayer betraying,
the destroyer destroying.
Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes,
attack and lay siege.
I will make an end
to all the groaning Babylon caused.

9 Now at last—look!
Here comes a man in a chariot
with a pair of horses!”
Then the watchman said,
“Babylon is fallen, fallen!
All the idols of Babylon
lie broken on the ground!”

A Message about Edom

11 This message came to me concerning Edom[k]:

Someone from Edom[l] keeps calling to me,
“Watchman, how much longer until morning?
When will the night be over?”
12 The watchman replies,
“Morning is coming, but night will soon return.
If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask.”

A Message about Arabia

13 This message came to me concerning Arabia:

O caravans from Dedan,
hide in the deserts of Arabia.
14 O people of Tema,
bring water to these thirsty people,
food to these weary refugees.
15 They have fled from the sword,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
and the terrors of battle.

16 The Lord said to me, “Within a year, counting each day,[m] all the glory of Kedar will come to an end. 17 Only a few of its courageous archers will survive. I, the Lord, the God of Israel, have spoken!”

Empires come and go, but God is in control. Always has been. Always will be.

He is in control of world events right now...

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