Archive for February, 2011

Isaiah 19:5-8 The Nile Goes Dry

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , on February 27, 2011 by paulthepoke

The waters from the sea will dry up, and the river will be parched and dry. The canals will emit a stench, the streams of Egypt will thin out and dry up; the reeds and rushes will rot away. The bulrushes by the Nile, by the edge of the Nile and all the sown fields by the Nile will become dry, be driven away, and be no more. And the fishermen will lament, and all those who cast a line into the Nile will mourn, and those who spread nets on the waters will pine away.

This prophecy was written approximately 2,800 years ago. I could not find any record where the Nile River has dried up since this was written. This prophecy is quite a statement. The Nile River will go dry. The notion of a dry Nile is also noted in Zechariah 10:11b …And He will strike the waves in the sea, so that all the depths of the Nile will dry up…

In case one really does not believe that the river could actually dry up, the grammar of verse 12 restates the fact that the river dries up three times for emphasis!

The tribulation period also speaks of a dried Euphrates River in Revelation 16:12. This time period has two of the largest rivers on the planet going dry.

Verse 6: The Hebrew word translated canal is nahar, it means rivers. When it dries out, it is going to stink. I have smelled a pond that has dried out and that is awful. I can’t imagine what the longest river in the world and its tributaries are going to smell like when it dries out. Think of all the vegetation, dead fish, and other animals…nice smell. Simply put, all the rivers, streams, and the Nile are going dry.

How is the going to happen? There is the obvious answer of drought. Outside of the Nile River, Egypt is not a hospitable place. It is desert and nothing grows there. It would take drought in central Africa in the highlands of Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile, to accomplish this.

A second answer is the Aswan Dam in southern Egypt. The waters of the dam could be withheld.  Ironically, the primary purpose of the dam is to manage flooding of the Nile River. As a trend, the levels of the Nile River are receding in recent times. This is due to countries up river in central Africa who are using more of the water as a resource. As of December 2006, the following statement was issued by NASA based on satellite imagery. “Several African basins, such as the Congo, Zambezi and Nile, show significant drying over the past five years.”  February 2010 headline from newspaper in Sudan read, Nile River Volume Decreases, The Problem To Local Communities.

The fact that the Nile is going to go dry is stated over and over and over in these verses. I believe God says the Nile is going to dry up.

Isaiah 19:3-4 Brutal Egyptian Leader

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , on February 22, 2011 by paulthepoke

“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.

Verse 3: Look at the two verbs in the initial part of the verse. The Egyptian spirit is to be emptied and demoralized. The translation of “confound” does not tell the whole story. The idea communicated is intentional, intensive, and repeated action of swallowing their strategy. One could get the idea that the Egyptians will have many ideas and solutions to try to stop the civil war.  These ideas (political, economic, religious, etc.) will be repeatedly shot down by God. The Egyptian solutions to the civil war will not succeed because God directly acts. Eventually frustration sets in and the country turns to the occult, seeking the dead and intermediaries with the dead.

Verse 4: Egyptian leaders have not a good record of human rights whether it is their citizens or not. Observe the treatment of the Jewish people in Exodus, slave labor. Pharaoh eventually tried to run the Jews down and kill them but drowned in the Red Sea.

Hosni Mubarak’s record of civil rights was less than impressive. He was an oppressive leader toward his people. Political prisoners report horrors of torture and killings they witnessed.  The people had enough and he is no longer in power. To quote the 80’s rock band Cinderella, “You don’t know what you got, till it is gone.” There is a ruler who is coming and will be appointed, according to the Bible, by God. This guy will not be nice. Recent history of the Middle East tells us a more radical and fundamental leader is likely. Every time “free” elections are held, a terrorist group leader is elected overwhelmingly. What we do not know is 1) when will this leader be appointed or 2) if this current day event is the scenario in which he comes to power.

God will intentionally give (piel stem verb form in Hebrew) the Egyptian people this leader. In the verse, there are two adjectives that describe this leader. You can bet this leader will impose and use force on the population.

Qasheh: (translated cruel)This word can be defined as hard, cruel, severe, obstinate, difficult, fierce, intense, vehement, stubborn, stiff-necked, rigorous (of battle).

`Az: (translated mighty) This word can be defined as strong, mighty, fierce.

These first four verses of Isaiah 19 make one point over and over and over. God is controlling the action. It is observed in the language and grammar. This is a direct quote from God.

“Declares the Lord GOD of hosts.”

Isaiah 19:1-2 Egyptian Angst

Posted in Isaiah on February 16, 2011 by paulthepoke

19:1-2 The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. “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.

I want to be perfectly clear with Isaiah 19. I am not saying that the current day events in Egypt are this passage and prophecy. In light of current events (February 2011), is this a passage that peaks my interest and merits investigation and observation, yes.

Verse 1: The first observation is that the LORD directly intervenes. God is the one causing these events to happen. The Hebrew word for oracle is massa’. Simply stated, it means a burden or load. This same word, massa’, was also the name of Ishmael’s son (Genesis 25:14). His name means burden. Ishmael’s mother Hagar is Egyptian (Genesis 16:1). The LORD is coming quickly on a swift cloud. The Hebrew word for cloud is `ab. What is not stated in the translation is the type of cloud. It is a dark, thick cloud. The introduction states this is going to be swift, quick, and ominous. It reminds me of a supercell thunderstorm you can see rolling in on the plains.

Observation and time line as of February, 16, 2011: It took less than three weeks for the overthrow of the president of Egypt. After the military took control, the constitution was suspended and martial law was initiated in less than two days. A week later, the citizens are still protesting in the streets. There will be many twists and turns before the alleged “free” elections in September 2011. But ask yourself the question, was this swift? Are the ramifications significant? How will these events impact the region and the globe?

Verse 2: Again, the LORD is the agent of cause. The idea is to intensively, purposely weave together the Egyptians against each other repeatedly. The Egyptians will fight and war against each other, in other words, civil war. Notice how the fighting starts in the family, expands to the neighborhood, and eventually to cities within Egypt.

We have seen the current events expand from brothers to neighborhoods on television. There have been neighborhoods who defended themselves from others with guns and machetes. According to Scripture, the next step would be for civil unrest spreading from Cairo to other cities. The leader has been removed and yet there is still civil unrest…

From the viewpoint of man, this uprising was caused due to low wages, high food prices, and a spirit of freedom. Egyptians were tired of their current leadership and oppressed. The revolt was lead by the youth of Egypt.

God is all powerful and in control of history according to Scripture. God is absolutely sovereign. Scripture says these events in Isaiah 19 are the direct hand of God. Isaiah 19:4,… declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

With these two contrasting views, man versus God, something has to give. Somebody is going to be right and somebody is going to be wrong.

Please don’t take my word. Read this for yourself and investigate. Make up your mind and decide yourself. The implications are staggering. Granted, there are no time markers in the passage. We do not know how long it will take for these events to occur from beginning to end. The end of this chapter has a Savior and Champion (Isaiah 19:20) being sent to deliver the people. That Savior will be physically here on earth. Again, I am not saying these current events are the beginning of Isaiah 19. But what if this is it?

Jesus Is Coming Again

Posted in Gospel on February 11, 2011 by paulthepoke

Acts 1:11b– This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.

Scripture:  Luke 4:16-32

As of February 2011, we have never seen Christ ascend or descend from heaven. We have no referent for what that would look like. Historically, the apostles had a first hand view of the ascension. The best object lesson regarding the return of Christ is His ascension.  Acts 1:9-11 tells us that the apostles watched as he ascended up out of their sight. Specifically, two men dressed in white tell us that this Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into Heaven. Jesus’ second coming is often associated with clouds throughout Scripture. Revelation 1:7a, “Behold He is coming with the clouds…” Daniel 7:13, Luke 21:27, Matthew 24:30; “And they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Revelation 19:11 and following verses detail His second coming.

The story being studied is from Luke 4:16-32. The climax is Jesus fulfilling a prophecy from Isaiah 61:1-2a. But something interesting happens. Jesus closes the scroll halfway through verse 2.   As we read our Bible, he stops at a comma and does not finish the verse. When we read the second part of the verse in Isaiah it states, And the day of vengeance of our God. Jesus did not come in vengeance during His first coming. He came as a suffering servant. The details that follow in the remainder of Isaiah 61 are in reference to His second coming. These details provide a glimpse into the future kingdom for Israel.

Those who mourn have a brighter future with Christ in charge. Comfort, gladness, and praise are to be provided. They will be granted a garland. These are in opposition to the suffering Israel has endured. Culturally, their ancient ruins will be rebuilt. From generations past, cities will be repaired. Economically, there will be a paradigm shift. Strangers will now shepherd flocks. Foreigners will farm and tend the land. Israel will eat the wealth of the nations. Israel will boast in the riches of others and receive a double portion. Legally, justice will rule the day. Spiritually, the people will be called priests of the Lord. They will be as ministers of God.  Personally, everlasting joy is theirs. Their offspring will be recognized throughout the world because they are the offspring whom the Lord has blessed. God makes a promise to keep His Word and establishes an everlasting covenant. He will faithfully give them their recompense.

Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series, has counted that there are 318 references to Christ’s second coming in the New Testament alone. God’s Word says He is coming again, over and over. As Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:19a, “And so we have the prophetic word made more sure…” This written Word we have is more sure than Peter’s observation of the transfiguration.

He is coming again!

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