I sometimes go back and look at my thoughts from previous years, which tend to be so similar to my current thoughts. But, then, that should not surprise; after all, I am looking at the same biblical texts. But it is also so good to see those texts over and over, again. That’s one of the values, I think, of reading the Bible through each year: those texts become almost like old friends.
These are the chapters in Isaiah in which he turns his attention from Judah and Jerusalem to the nations. Much of what he declares is judgment: of Babylon (how arrogant and pompous was she!), of Assyria (how cruel!), of Philistia (who has so oppressed God’s people!), of Moab (so confident in her affluence!), of Damascus (who plunders and loots), and of Cush/Egypt (so mighty and prosperous!).
But, then, this passage! “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 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” (19:23,24). So amazing! Egypt and Assyria, mortal enemies of Israel and the recipients of horrific judgment from God, will be called by God, along with Israel, “My people.” Again, God’s graciousness and its wideness is on display. Those who have been conscious enemies of God and his people God will make them friends! Oh, my!