One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Thursday, September 19, 2013: Isaiah 30:12-33:9
8 “Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of mankind shall devour him. But he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall become forced labor. 9 He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the banner,” says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem. Isaiah 31:8-9 (NKJV)
1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. 2 A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Isaiah 32:1-2 (NKJV)
There is a gigantic divide taking place in our world. It is the age-old battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. We see it described throughout the pages of Scripture. We are watching it unfold in our daily news.
Isaiah 31:8-32:8 gives us a glimpse of what God sees. This small picture is about Assyria and Judah. We should see these as symbolic of our world today. If we do, an amazing and powerfully prophetic word unfolds. Assyria is the world. Judah is the church.
It is so important for us who are Bible-believing Christians to SEE FROM GOD'S PERSPECTIVE. Isaiah 31:8 starts, "Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of mankind shall devour him."
In our day, it seems that the kingdom of darkness is advancing powerfully. When we look at the decay of moral values, the disintegration of the family, and the increase of horrific violence, it is hard to deny that evil seems to be winning. Assyria does not appear to be falling.
But God is all the while at work! There are two kingdoms in conflict. It is not our job to worry about or analyse the advance of Satan's kingdom. It is our job to be the salt and light of Christ's Kingdom in the midst of a crazy world.
God will handle Assyria in His own time and in His own way. Judgment will come NOT by man's sword, but by the Lord's doing. I am not saying we should be uninvolved or unengaged. Of course not. We hold forth the word of God in the midst of a world that is headed in the wrong direction. But, we cannot be dismayed at what seems to be loss of ground. Ultimately, God will show up and He can set things right in a moment!
Because... "His fire is in Zion, and His furnace is in Jerusalem" (Is. 31:9). While Assyria seems to be advancing, there is a fire growing in Zion. That means, we need to be stoking the fire of God's power and presence even while the world falls apart. The issue is not the FALL of the world, it is the FIRE in God's people.
Ultimately, Jesus wins! Do not be confused about that! Isaiah 32:1 says, "A king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice." I do not know how all this takes place. Is this in the Millennium, or is it in our present world? Here is what I see: while Assyria is falling to pieces, there will be a parallel action of God's Kingdom advancing. In the world there will be tribulation, but among the people of God there will be safety and blessing -- "a King will be reigning in righteousness, and princes (that's us) will be ruling in justice."
In that light, according to Is. 32:2, we will become a "hiding place" to which many in the world can run for safety. We will provide a "covering from the tempest." It is our job to be "rivers of water" to those dying of thirst.
The way of this world CANNOT ultimately succeed. God Himself guarantees His own victory. He shall reign forever and ever. While we live in a mixed up world, may we be full of His fire and reigning with Him.
The last verses of this passage sum it up. In Is. 32:7-8 we read about evil men and good men. While evil schemers are destroying the poor with lies, God's people will be GENEROUS. God will give us generous plans even while destructive agendas are hurting people. Christ's Kingdom shall prevail!