July 6 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 19-21 and Psalms 6
In Isaiah 19:19-25 there is a strange but marvelous passage which reads, “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 witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them. The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”
Here – right in the middle of all these prophecies concerning the destruction of godless nations, we find this passage of God’s vision and love for the whole world – that all nations would be invited to be His people – that judgment would cease. It is sin that causes judgment – and justice demands judgment. If a judge does not administer justice in a righteous fashion; we have no patience for him. Criminals deserve the sentence due for the crime committed – and crime is just another word for sin. When we read chapter after chapter of God’s judgment on the earth, we must realize that He is the judge of the whole earth – and when nations commit crimes, there will be judgment and punishment fitting the crimes committed.
Being a Judge is definitely part of the make-up of God but being a Father is His true heart’s desire. If nations turn from sin and run to Father-God will He not heal their wounds? When God speaks of Egypt, Assyria and Israel all serving The Lord together, we see His true design for the Earth.
Is judgment coming to the Earth? Indeed it is. Every nation – every people group – every individual who has rejected what is right and committed “crime” against God’s Holy design will be cast from His sight. Those who have turned from this rebellion and surrendered their hearts to God will be spared this judgment. How can this be? Its because Someone already paid the full price for the crime. Those who accept these terms are free to live in God’s kingdom – no expulsion – no punishment. What a deal!
I find it fascinating that at times, God seems to focus on entire people-groups at once – “the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians”. May this be true for this nation – may the nation you live in be visited by a national revelation of the Almighty – let there once again be national revivals that draw the world’s attention to the goodness and mercy of God.
1. Give an example from Scripture that depicts the mercy and judgment of God.
2. Give another example from Scripture which clearly depicts the heart of God towards the nations of the Earth.