God is Just- Isaiah- Week 4- Day 2

Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength. He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms: the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof. And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest.

Isaiah 23:10-12

Explanation:
In verses 8 and 9 we find out that God is the one who has pronounced judgement on Tyre. The prophet continues in verses 10 through 12. Let us take it phrase by phrase.

“Pass through the land as a river…O daughter of Tarshish”- There were trade partners and even colonies around Tarshish related to the city of Tyre. There are a couple of ways to translate the Hebrew here, but it seems that He is calling those that have been away from Tyre to come and see what has happened.

“there is no more strength”- What they will see when they pass through the land like a river? When they look through the land, they will find that the economic and military strength of Tyre and Sidon are gone. Why?

“He stretched out…he shook….the Lord….to destroy the strongholds thereof”- God has judged the land. They have depended on themselves and become prideful. They had denied God, and become arrogant. They had oppressed and God was bringing justice.

“And he said…”- The “He” here continues to be God.

“Though shalt no more rejoice…virgin…daughter of Zidon”- Tyre is pictured here not as a of a fresh, young, vibrant woman, but an oppressed, older, tattered woman.

“arise, pass over to Chittim”- Chittim is another name for the island of Cyprus. He is telling them to go beyond their own coasts to go to the closest island to them.

“there…no rest”- Even in this place there will be no rest. The Assyrians, who were used by God to bring judgment, would not let the sea keep them from continuing to attack beyond the coasts of Tyre.

Now those who had been oppressed by Tyre would no longer be oppressed by them. God, in his justice, will crush the arrogant and prideful nation and bring justice to those it oppresses.

Application:
Some people may read a passage about God bringing judgment on a culture and be tempted to think of God as unjust. God is just. He is not arbitrary in His judgment. Tyre and Sidon had sinned against God, and oppressed others. God was promising judgment, and it would come. God hates oppression, and ultimately all that is wrong will be made right.

Response:
• Are you concerned with justice as the Bible describes it?

God is Jealous- Isaiah- Week 4- Day 1

Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.

Isaiah 23:8-9

Explanation:
Isaiah chapters 13-23 are primarily a series of pronouncements of judgement to different nations and peoples of the earth. Isaiah 23:1 proclaims the topic of this chapter, namely the coming judgement of Tyre. Tyre was an ancient city known for its seaport. It was a Phoenician city that was known for its trade. Because of its location on the Mediterranean coast it was well positioned for trade and had colonies as far away as Tarshish, which was in modern day Spain.
In verses 1-7 of this text, God addresses the judgement of Tyre, and seems to go from west to east in his revelation of this coming judgment. The nations are finding out about the judgement of Tyre. It is almost as the mariners, coming home from a long trip to sea, are finding out that they have no city in which to port.

What is said about this city in these verses?

  • Tyre was a crowning city. The phrase could also be translated, “the giver of crowns.” Because of the riches of the city, trade with this city had created power and authority for leaders in the earth.
  • Tyre was a merchant city. The city was known for its commerce. Its’ contacts and alliances around the world brought it great strength and riches. The merchants were “princes.” This speaks to the amount of riches and political clout that it had.
  • Tyre was an honored city. Those from this city were so influential that they were honored throughout the then known world. Tarshish (in Spain), Cyprus, and Egypt are named in this chapter. This would cover a large portion of the Mediterranean world at the time.

This makes the question asked in verse 8 a reasonable question. The question is asked, “who hath taken this counsel against Tyre?” Who has something against this nation? It is handing out crowns! It is bringing riches! Its leaders are honored! Who would destroy it?

The answer comes in verse 9. “The Lord of Hosts hath purposed it…” The God of Israel is the one who has allowed and even caused for this to happen.
We must remember two important truths at this point.
First, the primary audience of the book of Isaiah is Judea. This is not to say that they are the only ones who would have read it, but that it was primarily for them. Secondly, this is a foretelling of what would happen. It had not yet happened.
The pagan gods of that time would have been described as involved in human history, but the purpose for their involvement would be for the lifting up of the nation that worshipped it. Contrast that with the purpose for the God of Judea in taking counsel against Tyre. He is doing it to “stain the pride of all glory and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.” God is not doing this to make Israel prominent. He is not against men being honored or glorified. He is against people glorying in themselves apart from Him. It is pride found independent of the true God of the world that is at issue here. It is the pride and arrogance that says we can live independent of God, and that we are the source of our own power, wealth, and honor to which God is opposed. God is rightly jealous for any glory that is due to Him and Him alone.

Application:
Two passages of scriptures that stand out to me at this point:

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

James 4:6

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

1 Peter 5:5-7.

It is important for us to be responsible. We should take responsibility for our lives, work hard, and be wise with our decisions, time, and resources. At the same time, we must not begin to believe that we are the source of our own safety, security, wealth, power, and prestige. We must not be so independent in our thinking that we begin to believe that we do not need God. We must be aware of our own dependence on God in every area of our lives.

Response:
Is your life and attitude characterized by pride or humility?

God Judges- Isaiah- Week 3- Day 5

For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.

Isaiah 7:16-17

Explanation:
God explains that the sign of this child and his age will indicate His timing for judgement on Syria and Ephraim. He also explains that this judgement will not just be for Ahaz’s enemies. But the judgement will be for Him as well. (Verse 17). Interestingly the thing that Ahaz was trusting in instead of God was the king of Assyria. We know that Ahaz was willing to change the altar (2 Kings 16:10-12) and elements of the temple (2 Kings 16:16-18) to make the king of Assyria happy. He was willing to dishonor God by making appeasement for this pagan king. God tells Ahaz that the king in which he trusted would eventually be what God used to judge the nation for their sins.

Application:
It is often the case that God uses the things that we worship other than him to bring about our own discipline. Sometimes God gives allows the things we worship to devour us. How many people have been consumed by sexual promiscuity, drink, and drugs? What they worship ultimately destroys them. You have heard people say to be careful what you wish for. When we trust in something other than God that can become our undoing.

God can be trusted, and when we trust in something else the consequences can be devastating.

Response:
• What are you trusting in? Are you putting your confidence in God?
• Is there any false idols in your life that are limiting your trust and dependence on God?

Episode #4- Isaiah Study- God’s Rule Over the Nations

Brian Berry and Ben Jennings talk about how we can know that God is ruling and active among the nations. Every person can be assured of God’s rule over the nations by observing 4 truths about God.

  • Truth #1- God is jealous. V.8-9
  • Truth #2- God is just. V. 10-12
  • Truth #3- God is active. V.13-14
  • Truth #4- God is honored. V. 15-18

cantonbaptistabf.com
benjennings.org