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Friday, July 10 2015

Isaiah 22: The Valley Of Vision

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me"

Perhaps the greatest irony, and the greatest benefit, of being in the lowest place, geographically, or in one's life circumstances, is that it leaves only one unobstructed direction of view - up. Being brought down from Satanic haughtiness is also the place where the arrogant can wake up.

The Kidron Valley The topography of Jerusalem (see also the complete series of studies for Jerusalem, beginning with A History Of Jerusalem: In The Beginning), and the treatment of the LORD's people in it over the centuries, have provided many recorded instances of a "valley of vision." King David certainly experienced it when he was forced to flee the city, across the Kidron Valley that separates the city from the Mount of Olives, during a coup by his own unfaithful, hoodlum son (see The Treason Of Absalom and The Fall Of The Rebel Prince).

"15:23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.

15:24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.

15:25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation: 15:26 But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.

15:27 The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 15:28 See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me. 15:29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there.

15:30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up." (2 Samuel 15:23-30 KJV)

Centuries later, the Messiah crossed the very same valley ("Cedron" is another rendering of "Kidron") and then up onto the Mount of Olives - also pursued by a traitor (see The Traitor In History And Prophecy) and a treasonous mob of whiners and misfits (see The Patriotism Prophecy and The Declaration Of Repentance).

"18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

18:2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 18:3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons." (John 18:1-3 KJV)

King David, and then the Messiah, both directly-experienced the famous 23rd Psalm - "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" and the vision "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

Jerusalem

"23:1 A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." (Psalm 23:1-6 KJV)

Isaiah was a prophet in Jerusalem prior to the time of Judah's fall to Babylon (see The Medes And Chaldees Prophecies). He nevertheless saw and recorded "The burden of the valley of vision" - the stark prophecy, and lesson, of how the stiff-necked must be brought low before they can truly look up (see the Fact Finder question below).

"22:1 The burden of the valley of vision.

What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? 22:2 Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. 22:3 All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far. 22:4 Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people.

22:5 For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains. 22:6 And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. 22:7 And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate. 22:8 And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest.

22:9 Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many: and ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 22:10 And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall. 22:11 Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago.

22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: 22:13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.

22:14 And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

22:15 Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts,

Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say, 22:16 What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?

22:17 Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee. 22:18 He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house. 22:19 And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down.

22:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: 22:21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 22:23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. 22:24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.

22:25 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it." (Isaiah 22:1-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does the Word of God say about "uplifting"?
See Truly Uplifting and The Most High; see also Praise or Flattery?


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This Day In History, July 10

48 BC: The Battle of Dyrrhachium in Macedonia. Julius Caesar barely escaped a catastrophic defeat to Pompey (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

Pompey 138: Roman Emperor Hadrian died (see A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba). He was succeeded by Antonius Pius.

988: Dublin, Ireland was founded.

1212: The most extensive of the early fires of London, England destroyed most of the city.

1460: During the Wars of the Roses, Richard of York defeated King Henry VI at the battle of Northampton.

1520: The Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes (also known as Hernando Cortez) was forced from Tenochtitlan, Mexico by Aztec leader Cuauhtemoc.

1553: Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England. Her father-in-law, Lord Northumberland persuaded Edward VI to name Lady Jane as his successor. Her reign lasted only 9 days before Queen Mary, Edward's older sister, successfully claimed the throne. Lady Jane was imprisoned for treason and then beheaded in February 1554.

1584: William I of Orange was assassinated at his home in Delft, Holland.

1609: The Catholic states in Germany set up a league under the leadership of Maximillian of Bavaria.

1778: Louis XVI of France declared war on England. While France is mistakenly regarded by some to have supported the rebellion of the New England colonies, France tolerated no such independence movements in its own colonies in Louisiana; France sought only to weaken the military ties between England and New England in order to take the territories over for itself when the opportunity presented itself. Napoleon's disastrous wars in Europe (England was fighting Napoleon's French Empire in Europe at the same time that it was fighting in the U.S. in the War of 1812-14) however prevented the French military from invading the new-independent New England colonies.

1821: The U.S. took Florida from Spain.

1925: The famous "Scopes Monkey Trial" began in Dayton, Tennessee, after high school biology teacher John T. Scopes, 24, was charged with teaching evolution to his students. Clarence Darrow worked for the defense and William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1940: During the Second World War, the "Battle of Britain" air war began when German bombers attacked the docks in south Wales (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1943: U.S., British, and Canadian forces invaded Sicily in "Operation Husky."

1953: The Israeli freighter Haifa took aboard its first consignment of iron in Bremen. As part of the reparations agreed to be paid to Israel for Nazi war crimes, along with hard currency payments, shipments of goods would continue without interruption for 12 years.

1960: 7 year old Roger Woodward became the first human to fall accidentally over Niagara Falls and survive.

1962: Telstar, the first television telecommunications satellite, was launched. It made possible the first relaying of TV programs across the Atlantic Ocean.

1985: The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk in the port at Auckland, New Zealand, by a bomb placed by French secret service agents; one crew member was killed.

1992: Manuel Noriega was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a Miami court for alleged drug dealing committed in Panama. According to international diplomatic and military law of sovereign nations, after he was captured and taken to Florida during the U.S. invasion of Panama, Noriega has claimed to be a prisoner of war (Noriega is a general in the Panama military), as well as being diplomatically immune from the civil laws of a foreign country.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank