Thoughts on Isaiah 1-40, Day 23, Lent 2013

I read the first ten chapters of Isaiah this morning, but I had to listen to the next thirty, in the mega-Lenten-reading-plan. I have two good excuses for my minimal eyeball on the page time: the Daylight Saving Time loss of sleep and the nine month old 40lb puppy that considers itself a lapdog contrary to physics. She is nine months old and just arrived at our local Humane Society. As I wrote a month ago, our dog of the previous seven years, Honey, was run over by a reckless driver and killed. My son was injured as well, but his biggest injury is the hole in his heart left by Honey. We've been looking for a replacement pup since. This weekend, we found Korra, a new transfer from South Carolina. She is very cuddly and well behaved. She is a gift from God to my son, my daughters, my wife and me.

Enough about me, onto Isaiah.

The first chapter starts out great. God declares he is sick and tired of their religious observances, because their religion is only skin deep. They do not care for the homeless and the defenseless and God is ripping mad. Later on there are future predictions by Isaiah, in the name of God, condemning his nation as well as it's neighbors to destruction. There are cool prophecies of a branch of Jesse, a descendant of David who will rule perfectly and will bring peace that will extend to the animal kingdom. But there are other prophecies, also unfulfilled, that may never be fulfilled. Isaiah 19 is one such chapter. Egypt is supposed to fear Israel, worship the Lord Almighty, and be united with Assyria by a road through Israel, and all three will worship God together.

No wonder King Hezekiah thought he could run out and interfere with Egypt's invasion force headed toward Babylon. Egypt did not fear him and he was killed. While I was raised learning that there are no failed prophecies, I wasn't taught on these random unfulfilled prophecies. Could this still happen? I don't think modern Egyptians and Syrians will convert to Judaism. Both countries are majority Muslim now, and have been for centuries. Before the onslaught of Islam, and after the Jews were kicked out of Israel by the Romans, perhaps there were large number of Christians north to south. Nothing in my cursory glance at study bibles and commentaries turns up to support that hypothesis either. So I don't know what to do with those sorts of prophecies. Ezekiel has some doozies like this as well.

Tomorrow, I will be reading the last twenty chapters which are focused on the suffering servant, fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Those chapters are fun to read. I hope Korra doesn't distract me too much tomorrow morning.
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