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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 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.
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.
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."
"23:1 A Psalm of David.
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.
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).
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.