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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Isaiah 20: A prophecy against Egypt and Cush

     This event happened in 711 B.C., when Sargon II, whose rule extended from 722 to 705 B.C., was king of Assyria.  In this prophecy, Isaiah issues a very graphic warning to Judah that they should not rely on foreign alliances to protect them
      We are often asked by God to behave in a certain way in order to fulfil the mission which He has given to us, and Isaiah is instructed to go about with nothing on either his upper body or his feet which was a sign of humiliation. This he did for three years as a prophetic sign of the humiliation that both Ethiopia and Egypt would suffer at the hands of the Assyrians.
      However, the message was really for Judah, serving to remind them that they should always look to God for their defence, rather than placing their trust in foreign alliances.
      The message for us today is clear. We live in a world threatened and attacked from all quarters, and both governments and individuals seek to improve and rectify the balance by forging various alliances. One of the largest of these is the European Union which, despite much-heralded intentions of international co-operation, remains divided on many issues and tainted by corruption in many quarters. The answers to all of today's problems are not found in such alliances, they are found in God. Only when the nations of the world turn to God for guidance and then act in obedience to Him in accordance with His will, will we see the longed for change in society and in our way of life.

1 In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it—
2 at that time the LORD spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. 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.
3 Then the LORD said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush,
4 so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame.
5Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame.
6 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?’”

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