Where's my travel guide?
I’m about a third of the way into this leg of my journey through the book of Isaiah, and I’m NOT too proud to admit that I need a travel guide. Normally, I like to read the Scriptures without any outside influence. After prayer and meditation, I embark upon my daily Bible journey asking God for His infinite wisdom. Then, after reading through a passage or an entire book, I may review study material from a resource that I trust.
Most of the time, I feel pretty comfortable with the revelations that I receive when I rely on the Holy Spirit to lead me. And, sometimes I’m actually amazed. But so far, in this book of Isaiah, I’m feeling a little unsure of my steps. The reason I’m sharing my uncertainty is because there might be others out there who are struggling to understand, as well. Take a look at my notes below, and you’ll see what I mean.
So, I’m going to take a moment to pray for clarity. Then, I’m going to ask God to direct me to resources that are trustworthy and inspired by Him that can help me decipher this beautifully written, yet complex book. I hope to share those resources here very soon, but if you have any thoughts on the subject, please don’t hesitate to comment. We’re in this together!
(The underlined verses are links to the actual passages of Scripture.)
Chapter 18 - Wait so is this a blessing or a curse on Cush? Let me read another version… Ohhh ok so I switched from ESV to the Message and the first verse says, “Doom to the land of flies and mosquitos.” I was wondering what whirring wings meant! And smooth skin is referred to as handsome in the Message version, but unshaven or even peeled in other versions. Either way, Cush is cursed here. 19:1-15 - By this point, I’m thinking all these prophecies regarding these empires must have come to pass because they all did eventually fall. None of them stand today as a great nation or world power. They’re all in dire straits compared to their heydays. And it’s apparently because of what they did to Israel. But I don’t remember reading that Cush did anything to Israel. Did they? If not, then why were they doomed, too? Whether Israel deserves it or not, God doesn’t like anyone coming against His chosen people. He set nations against them for their wrongdoing, then judged the nations for their actions afterwards. How does that apply in modern times, post-Resurrection? 19:16-25 - Okay wait. Egypt and Assyria will be blessed after their judgment? Could this be because Egypt switched from a polytheistic nation before Moses to a monotheistic nation after Moses? Was this switch driven by those five cities mentioned in verse 18? And, did Assyrians flock to Egypt after their destruction, looking for refuge in one of those cities? I need historical context here. 20:2-3 - Naked? So, Isaiah took off his pants and shoes and walked around in public for three years? How was this okay to the people? He’d get arrested in modern times. 20:4 - Is this chapter out of chronological order? I just read that Egypt and Assyria came together in worship of the Lord, and were blessed. Now I’m reading that Assyria took Egyptians and Cushites captive. Maybe I need a study guide after all. Chapter 22 - Yep! I need help deciphering these poetically prophetic proclamations.
*Join my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
(In case you were wondering, this blog is a labor of love for me.❤️ The links contained in my posts are NOT affiliate links. I include them in order to share with you the actual pages and apps I use during the course of my own personal journey. Money muddies the waters, and I like my water clear. Amen? 😉)