Isaiah 19 paints a picture of judgement against Egypt. If you remember from the previous chapters, Assyria is closing in on Israel, and they are worried. They want to seek help from Egypt, but God warns them that Egypt won’t be able to save them because they’ll be facing their own judgement!
Isaiah 19:1-15 “Judgement of Egypt”
Isaiah 19:16-25 “Blessings and Unity”
So first, we have this judgement against Egypt. God is dealing with their sin and their idolatry. The first verse says
“the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence.”
I think that God is trying to get a point across. The idols that Egypt worships are just blocks of wood or stone. They have no power to save at all. God wants Egypt to see their error. In verse 4, He promises
“I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them”
This happened in 671 BC, when Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, invaded and took over Egypt. Another part of their judgement will be a curse against the Nile. Verse 5 tells us,
“And the waters of the sea will be dried up, and the rivers will be dry and parched,”
The Egyptians depended on the Nile. Their fields needed it’s water for crops. Their fisherman needed it’s fish. All of Egypt’s economy depended on the fruitfulness of this river. God is removing their ability to help themselves. He goes on and says that they will look for wisdom from their counselors, but the counsel that they receive won’t help them at all.
The problem with their counselors is that they are in the world. They don’t know God, so they can’t offer Godly counsel.
How many of us have been in situations like this? We have no ability to save ourselves, and we’re stuck. We’ve looked for help from everyone, and nobody has been able to do anything.
God has removed all of Egypt’s options. The only option left is for them to turn to Him.
In the second half of this chapter, we’re looking at the Millennial Kingdom again. Israel will be recognized as a powerful nation, and Egypt will fear the Lord!
Often times in the Bible, Egypt is a picture of the world. After the Israelites left Egypt and fled into the wilderness, they wanted to go back to Egypt, because it had been more comfortable there. But they were warned not to turn back, just like as Christians, we can’t go back to where we came from.
But this passage says that Egypt (picture of the world) will worship God!
“It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a Savior and defender, and deliver them.”
God will deliver the world through a Savior! We now know that Savior to be Jesus. When there was no other way, when our options were exhausted, God Himself came as a man. He took our place on the cross so we could have His place in God’s family.