Next up in God’s judgment docket of the end times are Damascus, Israel (again or still) Ethiopia and Egypt. All these countries and others factor big time in the last days. Check out the video at the bottom which goes into more detail. With the unrest currently in the Middle East, our first chapter today comes up a lot in end time discussions. When will Damascus be destroyed? When we get to Ezekiel, we’ll dive deeper into all this. For now, let’s see what God has in store for these nations. Let’s dig in…
Isaiah 17 – Warnings for Damascus and Israel
This message came to me concerning Damascus:
“Look, the city of Damascus will disappear!
It will become a heap of ruins.
2 The towns of Aroer will be deserted.
Flocks will graze in the streets and lie down undisturbed,
with no one to chase them away.
3 The fortified towns of Israel (Ephraim – the northern kingdom) will also be destroyed,
and the royal power of Damascus will end.
All that remains of Syria (Aram)
will share the fate of Israel’s departed glory,”
declares the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
4 “In that day Israel’s (Jacob or the whole nation) glory will grow dim;
its robust body will waste away.
5 The whole land will look like a grainfield
after the harvesters have gathered the grain.
It will be desolate,
like the fields in the valley of Rephaim after the harvest.
6 Only a few of its people will be left,
like stray olives left on a tree after the harvest.
Only two or three remain in the highest branches,
four or five scattered here and there on the limbs,”
declares the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 Then at last the people will look to their Creator
and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
8 They will no longer look to their idols for help
or worship what their own hands have made.
They will never again bow down to their Asherah poles
or worship at the pagan shrines they have built.
9 Their largest cities will be like a deserted forest,
like the land the Hivites and Amorites abandoned
when the Israelites came here so long ago.
It will be utterly desolate.
10 Why? Because you have turned from the God who can save you.
You have forgotten the Rock who can hide you.
So you may plant the finest grapevines
and import the most expensive seedlings.
11 They may sprout on the day you set them out;
yes, they may blossom on the very morning you plant them,
but you will never pick any grapes from them.
Your only harvest will be a load of grief and unrelieved pain.
12 Listen! The armies of many nationsIsaiah 17 NLT
roar like the roaring of the sea.
Hear the thunder of the mighty forces
as they rush forward like thundering waves.
13 But though they thunder like breakers on a beach,
God will silence them, and they will run away.
They will flee like chaff scattered by the wind,
like a tumbleweed whirling before a storm.
14 In the evening Israel waits in terror,
but by dawn its enemies are dead.
This is the just reward of those who plunder us,
a fitting end for those who destroy us.
- Damascus is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world. And this chapter predicts its demise. It will become uninhabitable. Obviously, that hasn’t happened yet. However, it could happen any day now.
- God will shake Israel like harvesters shake an olive tree. Nevertheless, He will leave a remnant. A few survivors to keep the lineage going.
- The people of Israel will look at the Messiah. Yes, there will come a time when, through the 144,000, Jews will get that Jesus is the Messiah.
- Many nations will come against Israel in the end times. Like I said before, Ezekiel gets into that, so I’ll wait until we get there. If you are curious, check out the video at the bottom.
- The day is here, when the barren land of Israel is now flourishing. It is tended by Jews, but they don’t know Jesus. There is a tiny Messianic Jewish population. Check out the ministry links at the bottom.
- The attack on Israel by the nations will be like rushing waters — invading armies. Like a tsunami of Anti-Semites.
Isaiah 18 – Woe to Ethiopia
Listen, Ethiopia (Cush)—land of fluttering sails (or land of many locusts)
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.
3 All you people of the world,
everyone who lives on the earth—
when I raise my battle flag on the mountain, look!
When I blow the ram’s horn, listen!
4 For the Lord has told me this:
“I will watch quietly from my dwelling place—
as quietly as the heat rises on a summer day,
or as the morning dew forms during the harvest.”
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.
The vultures will tear at the corpses all summer.
The wild animals will gnaw at the bones all winter.
7 At that time the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will receive giftsIsaiah 18 NLT
from this land divided by rivers,
from this tall, smooth-skinned people,
who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction.
They will bring the gifts to Jerusalem, (Zion)
where the Lord of Heaven’s Armies dwells.
- Today, “Cush” may also include Sudan, Somalia and other Northeast African nations.
- Lately, Africa is witnessing swarms of locusts. Check out this recent article.
- Ethiopia ruled over Egypt until 633 BC.
- Sudan, one of the countries, is part of the Abraham Accords. They currently have an alliance with Israel.
- The people of that area first heard about God through the Queen of Sheba, who came to visit King Solomon. Later, they received the Good News of the salvation of Jesus Christ via the Ethiopian Eunuch, whom Philip encountered. We find that story in the Book of Acts.
Isaiah 19 – Woe to Egypt
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.
2 “I will make Egyptian fight against Egyptian—
brother against brother,
neighbor against neighbor,
city against city,
province against province.
3 The Egyptians will lose heart,
and I will confuse their plans.
They will plead with their idols for wisdom
and call on spirits, mediums, and those who consult the spirits of the dead.
4 I will hand Egypt over
to a hard, cruel master.
A fierce king will rule them,”
says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
5 The waters of the Nile will fail to rise and flood the fields.
The riverbed will be parched and dry.
6 The canals of the Nile will dry up,
and the streams of Egypt will stink
with rotting reeds and rushes.
7 All the greenery along the riverbank
and all the crops along the river
will dry up and blow away.
8 The fishermen will lament for lack of work.
Those who cast hooks into the Nile will groan,
and those who use nets will lose heart.
9 There will be no flax for the harvesters,
no thread for the weavers.
10 They will be in despair,
and all the workers will be sick at heart.
11 What fools are the officials of Zoan!
Their best counsel to the king of Egypt is stupid and wrong.
Will they still boast to Pharaoh of their wisdom?
Will they dare brag about all their wise ancestors?
12 Where are your wise counselors, Pharaoh?
Let them tell you what God plans,
what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is going to do to Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan are fools,
and the officials of Memphis are deluded.
The leaders of the people
have led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has sent a spirit of foolishness on them,
so all their suggestions are wrong.
They cause Egypt to stagger
like a drunk in his vomit.
15 There is nothing Egypt can do.
All are helpless—
the head and the tail,
the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.
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.
18 In that day five of Egypt’s cities will follow the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. They will even begin to speak Hebrew, the language of Canaan. One of these cities will be Heliopolis, the City of the Sun.
19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and there will be a monument to the Lord at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is worshiped in the land of Egypt. When the people cry to the Lord for help against those who oppress them, he will send them a savior who will rescue them. 21 The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians. Yes, they will know the Lord and will give their sacrifices and offerings to him. They will make a vow to the Lord and will keep it. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, and then he will bring healing. For the Egyptians will turn to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas and heal them.
23 In that day Egypt and Assyria will be connected by a highway. The Egyptians and Assyrians will move freely between their lands, and they will both worship God. 24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth. 25 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will say, “Blessed be Egypt, my people. Blessed be Assyria, the land I have made. Blessed be Israel, my special possession!”Isaiah 19 NLT
Looks like verse 2 came to pass in 2010 with the Arab Spring. Egypt is still the land of idols. Islam is a form of idolatry, but, I’m not getting into a discussion about Islam.
The Nile River
The Nile is the life-blood of Egypt. It’s the longest river in the world. Uniquely, it runs from south to north starting deep in Africa and ending at the Mediterranean Sea. It has seasonal flooding and receding. With this movement, it also carries silt which feeds the fish and nourishes the land. The land where they grow flax, cotton, papyrus, wheat, and other crops.
In 1960, some bright engineers and government officials thought it might be a good idea to build the Aswan Dam to control the ebb and flow of the Nile. They would have year-round irrigation. Consequently, the natural collecting of silt, that fed the fish and nourished the land, stopped. It’s called the biggest ecological disaster. It’s also letting in saltwater from the Mediterranean. Since the dam stopped the Nile’s natural flow into the Mediterranean, it allows the saltwater to enter the river. The saltwater intrusion killed its fertile lands. The dam engineers were fools deluding Egypt.
Egypt and the Church
Gospel author Mark started the first church in Alexandra Egypt. Before that, remember that Joseph took the Baby Jesus to Egypt to flee the infant genocide of King Herod. Today, 87% of Egyptians are Sunni Muslims. 13% are Christians, including only 4% who are evangelical Christians. The others are Coptic Christians. (Source: Voice of the Martyrs (VOM)) According to VOM, Egypt is a “restricted” nation and there are many Muslim extremist groups who persecute the Christians.
As Isaiah writes, in the last days, by God’s Grace, they will turn to the Lord. In the end, Egyptians will speak Hebrew and there will be a revival and a healing. Personally, I think we will all supernaturally speak Hebrew in Heaven.
Isaiah said that Egypt and Assyria would be connected by a highway (v.23). Right now, Egypt is providing natural gas and trucking it via Jordan to Lebanon. They are assisting them through their gas shortage.
God’s Judgment for All
In conclusion, God doesn’t wish ANYONE to perish or spend eternity condemned in hell. Notice the last paragraph. It ends with everyone happy and blessed. That’s how eternity with Jesus will be — happy and blessed. God doesn’t hate His creation. He hates how Satan has perverted everything that was good. In the end, Satan will lose. JESUS WINS! Who’s side do you want to be on?
Jesus wants you on His side!
What are you waiting for?