This morning (July 20th), as I was praying, I was impressed to read Isaiah 17, 19, 21 and 23. I didn’t remember at that moment exactly what those chapters were about until I read them once again this morning. As I was reading and praying through this, I believe the Lord was saying that we are entering a time of the greatest fulfillment of these four passages.
What are these four chapters about and have they already been fulfilled? Isaiah 17 and 19 have yet to be completely fulfilled, while Isaiah 21 and 23 have seen fulfillment, but I believe will see greater fulfillment in the near future. These chapters are primarily regarding Damascus, Egypt, Babylon (Iraq) and Tyre (Sur/Sour), Lebanon, respectively.
I will very briefly summarize the good, the bad and the ugly implications of these four chapters. I would encourage you to read and pray through these chapters as well.
Damascus, Syria – Isaiah 17
As you probably know, Damascus has been at a center of a war. Damascus is in the southern portion of Syria, near the northern border of Israel. I believe we will soon see an escalation of this conflict, resulting in the complete destruction of Damascus.
“Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city
And will become a fallen ruin.” ~Isaiah 17:1 (NASB)
Damascus has seen conflict before, but has yet to cease from being a city. This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. This time will be a tumultuous time of upheaval , war and conflict. However, there are good things that will come out of this time.
“And the remnant of Aram;
They will be like the glory of the sons of Israel,”
Declares the Lord of hosts. ~Isaiah 17:3 (NASB)
The remnant may seem small as these conflicts move forward, yet they will still remain.
“Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree,
Two or three olives on the topmost bough,
Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,”
Declares the Lord, the God of Israel. ~Isaiah 17:6 (NASB)
As these times continue into deeper times of distress, many will begin to look to the Lord their Maker.
“In that day man will have regard for his Maker
And his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.”
~Isaiah 17:7 (NASB)
We must remember that our Lord God will have the final say in this matter and will tear down earthly kingdoms and set up His Kingdom here on this earth.
“Alas, the uproar of many peoples
Who roar like the roaring of the seas,
And the rumbling of nations
Who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters!
“The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters,
But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind,
Or like whirling dust before a gale.
“At evening time, behold, there is terror!
Before morning they are no more.
Such will be the portion of those who plunder us
And the lot of those who pillage us.”
~Isaiah 17:12-14 (NASB)
Egypt – Isaiah 19
Egypt has recently been through difficult times. They have been through upheaval in their government. President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprising. The Muslim Brotherhood representative Mohamed Morsi was elected in 2012. President Morsi was then overthrown by the Egyptian military in 2013. President Adbel Fattah el-Sisi, the former military general who led the coup, was elected President in 2014. Egypt has since been fighting against both ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Where is Egypt headed? Even though Egypt has been fighting against ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, they are still in a period of relative calm and stability. However, the scriptures tell us that there will be an increase in conflict in Egypt. Nonetheless, there will be a remnant of believers that will survive in Egypt…and Egypt will end up being a blessing to the Lord!
“So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians;
And they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor,
City against city and kingdom against kingdom.
“Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them;
And I will confound their strategy,
So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead
And to mediums and spiritists.
“Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master,
And a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord God of hosts.
The waters from the sea will dry up,
And the river will be parched and dry.
~Isaiah 19:2-5 (NASB)
In the midst of very difficult and trying times, the Lord with visit Egypt and draw out of her His beloved inheritance.
In that day the Egyptians will become like women, and they will tremble and be in dread because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He is going to wave over them. The land of Judah will become a terror to Egypt; everyone to whom it is mentioned will be in dread of it, because of the purpose of the Lord of hosts which He is purposing against them.
In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the Lord of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.
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 near its border. It will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. The Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the Lord, and He will respond to them and will heal them.
In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”
~Isaiah 19:16-24 (NASB)
Babylon (Iraq) and Persia (Iran) – Isaiah 21
Recently, Iraq (ancient Babylon) has been abandoned by the US, giving way to the influence of Iran (ancient Persia) in the government, and ISIS across its country. In 539 BC, Persia, under Cyrus the Great, and Media, under Darius the Mede, conquered Babylon. They subsequently released the Jewish people from captivity, allowing them to return to Jerusalem and reconstruct the Second Temple. In current times, we have seen Persia (Iran) regaining control of Babylon (Iraq). There will be further conflict in this region. We do know that once again Babylon will fall, as will ultimately the global Babylonian anti-Christ governmental, economic, religious ruling system. Jesus will return and rule on the earth!
Then the lookout called,
“O Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower,
And I am stationed every night at my guard post.
“Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.”
And one said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
And all the images of her gods are shattered on the ground.”
O my threshed people, and my afflicted of the threshing floor!
What I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
The God of Israel, I make known to you.
~Isaiah 21:8-10 (NASB)
Tyre (Sur/Sour), Lebanon – Isaiah 23
Modern day Sur (or Sour, which is the ancient city of Tyre), located in southern Lebanon near the northern Israeli border, has seen many conflicts. It was overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar in c. 600 BC and by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. It has seen conflict between Israel and Lebanon in the ‘70’s as well as in ’82, ’83 and ‘06. I believe we will see the even greater conflict in this city in the days and years to come.
“It will come about at the end of seventy years that the Lord will visit Tyre. Then she will go back to her harlot’s wages and will play the harlot with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Her gain and her harlot’s wages will be set apart to the Lord; it will not be stored up or hoarded, but her gain will become sufficient food and choice attire for those who dwell in the presence of the Lord.” ~Isaiah 23:17-18 (NASB)
When Cyrus defeated Tyre, the plunder provided for the rebuilding of the Temple of the Lord. We see this pattern when the Israelites left Egyptian captivity (the plunder was used to build the First Temple) and when they left Babylonian captivity (the plunder was used the build the Second Temple). I believe we will yet see the greatest transfer of wealth for the purposes of the Kingdom of God ever, as we are being “released” from the clutches of this world’s ungodly system.
“But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.” ~Haggai 2:4-9 (NASB)
Lord Jesus, we give our lives totally to You and for Your purposes. Please continue to reveal Your precious plans to us as time moves forward and help us to be led completely by Your Holy Spirit, Amen!!