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Isaiah 31

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 31

They never gave God a thought—what they want is horses and cavalry, with an alliance with Egypt they felt secure. But all the while they had broken ranks with God—violated the covenant and trusted a foreign power to protect them.  A wake of prophets had pleaded for Israel to trust God for divine intervention but to no avail.  It was under the faithful leadership of Hezekiah that they see Assyria fall—not by horses and chariots but by the sword of the LORD.

EXPOSITION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 31

1Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!

They didn’t give God a glance—not so much as a prayer—their mind set is strength through horses and chariots and cavalry.  Multiplying horses for chariots of war and cavalry, would increase the splendour of a monarch, and form a ground of confidence distinct from a proper confidence in God.  Egypt abounded in horses; and the desire of multiplying these would induce the prince to encourage a trade with that kingdom.  It was the command of God that they should no more return thither, but be totally detached from them.  Besides, they might be tempted to extend their dominion by means of cavalry, and so get scattered among the surrounding idolatrous nations.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Deu 17:16  But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.  Read:  Isa 36:6; Isa 57:9; Eze 17:15; 2Ch 16:7; Jer 17:5

  2Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity.

God can call down a catastrophe at any moment in time.  He can rise up against these evildoers.  God has warned his people against such evil doings and he will not call back his words.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ILLUMINATE THE TEXT:

Jer 10:12  He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.  Read:  Jos 23:15; Amo 3:6; Jer 44:29; Psa 68:1-2   

  3Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.

The key to this verse is that when the LORD shall stretch out his hand  They had entered a covenant with God and he had sworn their protection, now they are depending on Egypt instead of the LORD.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT INDORSE THE TEXT:

Isa 30:1-3  Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:  That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!  Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.  Read:  Act 12:22-23; 2Th 2:4-8; Jer 15:6; Jer 37:7-10

 4For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.

God is represented as a lion roaring after its prey and no matter how much shouting and rhetoric the enemies have he is not in the least frightened—he can defend what is his.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT LEND EVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Num 24:8  God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.  Read: Jer 50:44; Hos 11:10-11; Rev 5:5; 2Ch 20:15; Zec 12:8           

5As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.

As a mother bird hovers over her young and defends them from assaults so shall God defend and protect Jerusalem, rescue it, spare it and save it.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

Exo 19:4  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.  Read:  Deu 32:11-13; Psa 91:4; Psa 37:40

6Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.

God is calling on them to repent and honor the covenant that they had entered into. They needed to return to him with the heart—with fasting—weeping and mourning.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

Joe 2:12-13  Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.  Read:  Isa 55:7 ; Jer 3:10; Act 26:20; Isa 1:4

  7For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.

They had plunged deep into idolatry and offended their God. Isaiah sees into the future when they will spurn the very gods that they are clinging to.  Jeroboam invented a political religion, and instituted feasts in his own times, different from those appointed by Jehovah; gave the people certain objects of adoration, and pretended to think that it would be both inconvenient and oppressive to them to go up to Jerusalem to worship.  These calves were doubtless of the same kind as the calf which was set up by Aaron; and it is remarkable, that in pointing them out to the people he should use the same words that Aaron used on that occasion, when they must have heard what terrible judgments fell upon their forefathers for this idolatry.  Solomon’s idolatry, however, had prepared the people for Jeroboam’s abominations.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY

OF THE TEXT:

Deu 7:25  The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.  Read:  Isa 2:20; Isa 30:22; 1Ki 12:28-30

  8Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.

Assyria fell but it was not of mans sword—at night —an angel of the horde smote the army that was encamped outside Jerusalem and killed 185,000 and Sennacherib fled back to Assyria where his two sons assassinated him.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF OF THE TEXT:

Isa 14:25  That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.  Read:  Isa 37:35; 2Ki 19:34-37

  9And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.

In sheer terror he flees back to Assyrian and his princes all panic—his commander’s desert and flee. The raging fire of God had erupted from the furnace of God’s fury.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ATTEST TO THE TEXT:

Mal 4:1  For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. Read:  Isa 11:10-11; Isa 18:3; Isa 29:6; Eze 22:18-22

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