Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after Exaudi Sunday

Posted on May 23, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 19:19-25 (NKJV)
19:19 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 at its border. 20 And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. 21 Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. 22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, 25 whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”
To the people of Israel, Isaiah’s prophecy about Egypt and Assyria had to come as quite a shock. These countries were mortal enemies of Israel, with whom Israel had many battles over many years, and at times Israel was even held in bondage by them. Now, to hear these words, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance,” must have been disturbing, to say the least. After all, Israel was God’s chosen nation and people. How is it that these archenemies would one day be counted as blessed by God?
As a nation, what Israel had all too often forgotten was that they, because of sin, were just as much God’s enemy as the nations of Egypt and Assyria were their enemies. They were God’s people because of the promise He made to Abraham, “I will make you a great nation.” Though Abraham and Sarah were advanced in years, they were blessed with a son, Isaac. And through subsequent generations the number of Abraham’s descendants would multiply.
But that wasn’t God’s only promise to Abraham. God also told Abraham, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” The people of Israel shouldn’t have been surprised by God’s gracious attitude toward Egypt and Assyria, for the promise made to Abraham had already been recorded for them. In addition, God had shown His grace to Israel countless times.
As God’s people, we shouldn’t be surprised at how generous God is with His grace. We need only look at the Cross of Christ to see it.
Prayer: Almighty, everlasting God, make us to have always a devout will toward Thee, and to serve Thy Majesty with a pure heart; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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