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Saturday, March 15, 2014

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Now Isaiah writes about events he saw relating to Egypt. Yet what he mentions cannot be associated with a specific historical event or anything related to it in the dynasties of Egypt down the line of history. There is no point in time where God came “riding on a swift cloud” dealing with Egypt. Even Moses never said the dark cloud between them and the pursuing Egyptians was God riding on a cloud. Cloud-riding is usually associated with the Second Coming of Christ. The original reads that it “comes to Egypt” (v. 1b), not “about” to come to Egypt. It is a vision and Isaiah describes what he saw.

At and near the Second Coming of Christ, the Lord is going to do several things. Isaiah lists the Lord’s actions with “I [the Lord] will” (v. 4a); “the Lord purposed” (v. 12c, 17); “the Lord mixed” (v. 14a); the “waving of the Hand of the Lord” (v. 16); the “altar of the Lord” (v. 19); “it will be for a witness to the Lord of Hosts” (v. 20); “Lord will make Himself known” (v. 21); the “Lord will strike and heal” (v. 22); and “the Lord of hosts shall bless” (v. 25). These events take us not into an historical event as many think, but into the “end time” and the Second Coming of Christ.

In the time of the end there will be “Egyptians against Egyptians” (v. 2a), “city against city” (v. 2c); division among the ranks of power.  They will resort to spiritism (v. 3c-d). God will deliver the Egyptians into the hands of Satan “a cruel/hard master” (v. 4) who is a “strong king” (v. 4b). The waters of the sea dry up (v. 5a); the river is dry (v. 5b); canals have a stench [Suez canal]? (v. 6a); the streams of Egypt thin out (v. 6b); fishermen will lament (v. 8a-c); the textile industry laments (v. 9a-b); the pillars of great historical monuments will be crushed (v. 10a); hired laborers are in agony (v. 10b); and the glorious “princes” are “utterly fools” (v. 11a), meaning that all the Wisdom of Egypt is of no avail (v. 12a).

These are not historical events on a human level and imperialistic clashes if rival leaders. This is the result of the Lord of Hosts (v. 12c). “Hosts” meaning His angels form the cloud for Him to ride on when He comes. Satan has “led Egypt astray” working with his earthly “helpers” (v. 13d; 14a-c). “In that day the Egyptians will be afraid” because of the Coming of the Lord when will wave a Hand against them (v. 16).

Isaiah is then shown the time when the Lord’s Spirit is poured out and “land of Judah” will become a terror to the evil ones in Egypt because the Lord has purposed it (v. 17). In Egypt there is a response to the final call of the Lord, but one fifth will cling to Satan (v. 18). Those who respond to the Lord’s Spirit will “cry out to the Lord” for help (v. 20b) because they will be oppressed for their new faith “and He will send them a Savior and Champion” and “will deliver them” (v. 20c). In the height of all this Michael and His angels come to rescue and save (Daniel 12:1-2).

“Thus the Lord will make Himself known in Egypt” and “they will worship . . . and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it” (v. 21). The Lord will smite and heal for “they will return to the Lord” (v. 22).  “In that day” (v. 23), there will be a highway of connections and communications between Egypt and the faithful ones in Assyria; and spiritual Israel will be the third one to join these new converts and be “a blessing in the midst of them.” The respondents from these two areas of the world, and the already faithful ones will all be “His people” and will be blessed by the Lord (v. 25).

Dear God,
Grant that all of us may rejoice in the beauty of salvation and the conversion of others during the final events of history.  Let us join hands with them according to Your purpose for all humanity and cultures.  Amen.

Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea