December 23, 2018: Day 22 – Isaiah 18

This chapter is a bit deceptive because it falls under the previous chapter heading of an oracle concerning Damascus, and yet it seems like it begins an oracle concerning Ethiopia, or as the Scripture calls it, Cush.  It speaks about the rivers beyond Ethiopia and about the messengers who come from up the Nile.  That would definitely not be Damascus which was pretty far North, but rather Ethiopia which was on the other side of Egypt.  

It is interesting how the people of Ethiopia are described, a people who were tall and smooth.  They were also a people who were feared near and far.  Do you notice how in this day and age we describe people many times by the color of their skin.  We don’t read that here in Scripture, even though we know that the people of Ethiopia would have been of darker skin than the people of Israel, or even Isaiah himself, who would have written this passage.  Isaiah himself would have been of darker skin than those of us who are reading this passage.  Yet for some reason we have Isaiah pegged as a white person from European descent speaking to white people of European descent.  That is not at all what it was like.

Isaiah is speaking to the Israelites who were of Middle Eastern descent and so were much darker than we were.  Or as in the words of Isaiah, they would have been much smoother than we would ever hope to be.  You should notice a transition in vs.7 that he states that at one time they will all come to worship the Lord.  They will all come to Mount Zion, even those who are tall and smooth, yes, even those who are feared among all the nations.  What a wonderful image of all people coming to worship the Lord.

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