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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 18 and 19 and 20

Isaiah 18

18:1 Proclamation Against Ethiopia

Woe to the land shadowed with buzzing wings,Which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, 2 Which sends ambassadors by sea,Even in vessels of reed on the waters, saying,"Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth of skin,To a people terrible from their beginning onward,A nation powerful and treading down,Whose land the rivers divide."
3 All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth:When he lifts up a banner on the mountains, you see it;And when he blows a trumpet, you hear it. 4 For so the LORD said to me,"I will take My rest,And I will look from My dwelling place Like clear heat in sunshine,Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." 5 For before the harvest, when the bud is perfect And the sour grape is ripening in the flower,He will both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks And take away and cut down the branches. 6 They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey And for the beasts of the earth;The birds of prey will summer on them,And all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.
7 In that time a present will be brought to the LORD of hosts From a people tall and smooth of skin,And from a people terrible from their beginning onward,A nation powerful and treading down,Whose land the rivers divide — To the place of the name of the LORD of hosts,To Mount Zion.

Isaiah 19

19:1 Proclamation Against Egypt

The burden against Egypt.
Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud,And will come into Egypt;The idols of Egypt will totter at His presence,And the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst.
2 "I will set Egyptians against Egyptians;Everyone will fight against his brother,And everyone against his neighbor,City against city, kingdom against kingdom. 3 The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst;I will destroy their counsel,And they will consult the idols and the charmers,The mediums and the sorcerers. 4 And the Egyptians I will give Into the hand of a cruel master,And a fierce king will rule over them,"Says the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
5 The waters will fail from the sea,And the river will be wasted and dried up. 6 The rivers will turn foul;The brooks of defense will be emptied and dried up;The reeds and rushes will wither. 7 The papyrus reeds by the River, by the mouth of the River,And everything sown by the River,Will wither, be driven away, and be no more. 8 The fishermen also will mourn;All those will lament who cast hooks into the River,And they will languish who spread nets on the waters. 9 Moreover those who work in fine flax And those who weave fine fabric will be ashamed; 10 And its foundations will be broken.All who make wages will be troubled of soul.
11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools;Pharaoh's wise counselors give foolish counsel.How do you say to Pharaoh, "I am the son of the wise,The son of ancient kings?" 12 Where are they?Where are your wise men?Let them tell you now,And let them know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt. 13 The princes of Zoan have become fools;The princes of Noph are deceived;They have also deluded Egypt,Those who are the mainstay of its tribes. 14 The LORD has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst;And they have caused Egypt to err in all her work,As a drunken man staggers in his vomit. 15 Neither will there be any work for Egypt,Which the head or tail,Palm branch or bulrush, may do.
16 In that day Egypt will be like women, and will be afraid and fear because of the waving of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which He waves over it. 17 And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts which He has determined against it.
18 Egypt, Assyria, and Israel Blessed

In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear by the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.
19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. 21 Then the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. 22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the LORD, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria — a blessing in the midst of the land, 25 whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."

Isaiah 20

20:1 The Sign Against Egypt and Ethiopia

In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it, 2 at the same time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet." And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
3 Then the LORD said, "Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, 4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. 5 Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory. 6 And the inhabitant of this territory will say in that day, 'Surely such is our expectation, wherever we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and how shall we escape?'"

Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 77

Psalms 77

77:1 The Consoling Memory of God's Redemptive Works

To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.
I cried out to God with my voice — To God with my voice;And He gave ear to me. 2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;My soul refused to be comforted. 3 I remembered God, and was troubled;I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.Selah
4 You hold my eyelids open;I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I have considered the days of old,The years of ancient times. 6 I call to remembrance my song in the night;I meditate within my heart,And my spirit makes diligent search.
7 Will the Lord cast off forever?And will He be favorable no more? 8 Has His mercy ceased forever?Has His promise failed forevermore? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?Selah
10 And I said, "This is my anguish;But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High." 11 I will remember the works of the LORD;Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will also meditate on all Your work,And talk of Your deeds. 13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;Who is so great a God as our God? 14 You are the God who does wonders;You have declared Your strength among the peoples. 15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,The sons of Jacob and Joseph.Selah
16 The waters saw You, O God;The waters saw You, they were afraid;The depths also trembled. 17 The clouds poured out water;The skies sent out a sound;Your arrows also flashed about. 18 The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;The lightnings lit up the world;The earth trembled and shook. 19 Your way was in the sea,Your path in the great waters,And Your footsteps were not known. 20 You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Bible Background


Part 1 of 6

According to Vine's An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, "prophecy, prophesy, prophesying" comes from a Greek word that signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God. Vine goes on to say: "Though much of O.T. prophecy was purely predictive, see Micah 5:2, e.g., and cp John 11:51, prophecy is not necessarily, nor even primarily, fore-telling. It is the declaration of that which cannot be known by natural means, Matt. 26:68, it is the forth-telling of the will of God, whether with reference to the past, the present, or the future, see Gen. 20:7: Deut. 18:18; Reve. 10:11; 11:3...."

I Corinthians 14 records the purposes of prophecy:


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