Tuesday, June 18, 2013

the path to world peace

In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance."

Isaiah 19:24-35

This is an amazing picture of what God will do to bring about peace in the Middle East. And it will come by judgment, salvation, and conversion. There is a judgment on Egypt that is the focus of all of Isaiah 19. Egypt is the historic enemy and oppressor of Israel, and it is still not in a harmonious relationship with modern Israel. It represents all that God saved His people from in their past: slavery, hatred, oppression and mistreatment.

But through the process of severe judgment by God upon the land, the agricultural production, the military might, and the Egyptian people themselves, God promises that they will repent and turn to Him. And in this prophecy Egypt as a whole worships the God of Israel. They repent and come to The Lord. And is so doing, they come to peace with Israel.

But that's not all. Assyria also turns to God through similar circumstances. In modern day terms, this is like Jordan, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey all embracing Israel as a precious ally. The picture in Isaiah 19 is of all the Middle East uniting in the worship of Yahweh exclusively. God brings peace to the Middle East. It is what God says will happen. It is His vision for the world.

God loves Egyptians and Syrians. He loves Iraqis and Iranians. He loves Jews. God loves the world. He blesses Egypt as His people. He considers Iran to be His work. He holds Israel as His inheritance. You cannot say that the prophets reject world mission. Isaiah makes it integral to God's work among humanity. And Israel plays a central role in reaching the world. God is the only way to world peace.

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