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Isaiah 18:3-7 1
3 All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it. 4 This is what the LORD says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” 5 For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape; he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches. 6 They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey and to the wild animals; the birds will feed on them all summer, the wild animals all winter. 7 At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Almighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers—the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the LORD Almighty.

clip_image059Background 2

The 66 chapters of Isaiah consist primarily of prophecies of the judgments awaiting nations that are persecuting Judah. These nations include Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Syria, Israel (the northern kingdom), Ethiopia, Egypt, Arabia, and Phoenicia. The prophecies concerning them can be summarized as saying that God is the God of the whole earth, and that nations which think of themselves as secure in their own power and might will be conquered by other nations, at God’s command.

Isaiah lived during the late eighth and early seventh centuries BC, which was a difficult period in the history of Jerusalem. He was part of the upper class but urged care of the downtrodden. At the end, he was loyal to King Hezekiah, but disagreed with the King’s attempts to forge alliances with Egypt and Babylon in response to the Assyrian threat.

Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of four kings — Uzziah (Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. According to tradition, he was martyred during the reign of Manasseh, who came to the throne in 687 BCE. That he is described as having ready access to the kings would suggest an aristocratic origin.

This chapter contains a very obscure prophecy; possibly designed to give the Jews, and perhaps the Egyptians an indication of God’s authority and that He holds them in his favor. Therefore, God will guide and counsel them in the destruction of their common enemy, Sennacherib.

Biblical Truths and Theology 3

Verse 3. In this verse, the standard and the trumpet are meant to be the meteors, the thunder, the lightning, the storm, earthquake, and tempest, by which Sennacherib’s army shall be destroyed, or by which at least the destruction of it shall be accompanied.

Verse 4. T remaining part of this chapter is, that God would comfort and support his own people, though threatened with immediate destruction by the Assyrians; that Sennacherib’s great designs and mighty efforts against them should be frustrated; and that his vast expectations should be rendered abortive, when he thought them mature, and just ready to be crowned with success; that the chief part of his army should be made a prey for the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, (for this is the meaning of the allegory continued through the fifth and sixth verses;) and that Egypt, being delivered from his oppression, and avenged by the hand of God of the wrongs which she had suffered, should return thanks for the wonderful deliverance, both of herself and of the Jews, from this most powerful adversary.

Verse 5. The flower “The blossom”] in Hebrew meaning her blossom; that is, the blossom of the vine which is of the common gender.

Verse 7. The Egyptians were in alliance with the kingdom of Judah, and were fellow-sufferers with the Jews under the invasion of their common enemy Sennacherib; and so were very nearly interested in the great and miraculous deliverance of that kingdom, by the destruction of the Assyrian army. Upon which wonderful event it is said, 2 Chronicles 32:23, that “many brought gifts unto Jehovah to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was magnified of all nations from henceforth.

Items for Discussion

  • When dealing with prophecy or prophetic Scripture, what are some of the things that you do to make sure you grasp the meaning that God intended?
  • How can we tell if a person, in this case, Isaiah, is prophetic?
  • In the world today, who or what would you subscribe to be God’s trumpet?
  • When you consider that Egypt was really an enemy of the Jews, what caused them to praise the God of the Jews?
  • Considering that common enemies and oppression can draw even past enemies together, how could God use the very nature of war to bring peace?
  • If we consider that one of the “trumpets” God uses is “us,” what is the role of the Christian according to this Old Testament Scripture?

 

I Corinthians 14:6-8 (underlines added for emphasis by Lostpine  )
6 Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7    Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?

Background

1 Corinthians is a letter, or a merging of several letters, from Paul of Tarsus and Sosthenes to the Christians of Corinth, Greece. It is one of the core groups of Pauline epistles whose authenticity has never seriously been questioned. In fact, due to its early date (mid to late 50s) which predates all but the earliest dates for the Gospels, this text is often used to bolster the authenticity of the Gospels in terms of the historical proof of Jesus and the development of the early Christian beliefs. As many historians would generally agree, it is unlikely that legends or myths about individuals to develop over as short of a period as two decades, while many eyewitnesses would still be alive. Furthermore, ascribing Paul’s conversion to Christianity to any earlier date additionally reduces the possibility for any significant legend development before Paul accepted the doctrine. Therefore, the brief comments Paul makes about Jesus’ actual life and ministry carry notable historical weight.

It was written from Ephesus (16:8) about the time of the Passover in the third year of the apostle’s sojourn there (Acts 19:10; 20:31), and when he had formed the purpose to visit Macedonia and then return to Corinth (probably AD 57). The news which had reached him from Corinth, however, frustrated his plan.

Biblical Truths 4

Verse 6. This sentiment illustrated from the Old Testament.

Verse 7. The real use of the power of speaking foreign languages was to be a sign to unbelievers-evidence that the religion was from God, and not to be used among those who were already Christians,

Verse 8. The effect of their all speaking with tongues would be to produce confusion and disorder, and disgust among observers, and the conviction that they were deranged; but the effect of order, and of speaking intelligibly, would be to convince and convert them.

Items for Discussion

  • Look at the words/phrases that are underlined. How would you transcribe them into a modern day paraphrase of God’s plan?
  • What is the Christian tune?
  • What is the Christian’s responsibility in learning the “tune?”
  • Where in the modern day Christian Church is the tune not clear? Why?
  • Where is it clear?

Discussion Challenge

  • How do we make sure our trumpet’s call is loud and clear?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Clarke’s Commentaries
  4. Barnes’ Notes
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