Isaiah 31-32

is31.jpgGreetings!  As God’s chosen people, Israel should not have sought help from other nations. 

Woe to Those Who Rely on Egypt

31     Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,

who rely on horses,

who trust in the multitude of their chariots

and in the great strength of their horsemen,

but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,

or seek help from the Lord.

2 Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;

he does not take back his words.

He will rise up against the house of the wicked,

against those who help evildoers.

3 But the Egyptians are men and not God;

their horses are flesh and not spirit.

When the Lord stretches out his hand,

he who helps will stumble,

he who is helped will fall;

both will perish together.

4 This is what the Lord says to me:

“As a lion growls,

a great lion over his prey—

and though a whole band of shepherds

is called together against him,

he is not frightened by their shouts

or disturbed by their clamor—

so the Lord Almighty will come down

to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.

5 Like birds hovering overhead,

the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem;

he will shield it and deliver it,

he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”

6 Return to him you have so greatly revolted against, O Israelites. 7 For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.

8 “Assyria will fall by a sword that is not of man;

a sword, not of mortals, will devour them.

They will flee before the sword

and their young men will be put to forced labor.

9 Their stronghold will fall because of terror;

at sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic,”

declares the Lord,

whose fire is in Zion,

whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

The Kingdom of Righteousness

32     See, a king will reign in righteousness

and rulers will rule with justice.

2 Each man will be like a shelter from the wind

and a refuge from the storm,

like streams of water in the desert

and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.

3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,

and the ears of those who hear will listen.

4 The mind of the rash will know and understand,

and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.

5 No longer will the fool be called noble

nor the scoundrel be highly respected.

6 For the fool speaks folly,

his mind is busy with evil:

He practices ungodliness

and spreads error concerning the Lord;

the hungry he leaves empty

and from the thirsty he withholds water.

Verses 5-6 describe the “evangelical atheists” who aggressively promote their God-mocking lies.

7 The scoundrel’s methods are wicked,

he makes up evil schemes

to destroy the poor with lies,

even when the plea of the needy is just.

8 But the noble man makes noble plans,

and by noble deeds he stands.

The Women of Jerusalem

9 You women who are so complacent,

rise up and listen to me;

you daughters who feel secure,

hear what I have to say!

10 In little more than a year

you who feel secure will tremble;

the grape harvest will fail,

and the harvest of fruit will not come.

11 Tremble, you complacent women;

shudder, you daughters who feel secure!

Strip off your clothes,

put sackcloth around your waists.

12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,

for the fruitful vines

13 and for the land of my people,

a land overgrown with thorns and briers—

yes, mourn for all houses of merriment

and for this city of revelry.

14 The fortress will be abandoned,

the noisy city deserted;

citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,

the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,

15 till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,

and the desert becomes a fertile field,

and the fertile field seems like a forest.

16 Justice will dwell in the desert

and righteousness live in the fertile field.

17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace;

the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence

forever.

18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,

in secure homes,

in undisturbed places of rest.

19 Though hail flattens the forest

and the city is leveled completely,

20 how blessed you will be,

sowing your seed by every stream,

and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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