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Monday, January 23 2017
The Sin Saviours
"Judah sought a powerful force, not to save them from their sin, but to save them so that they could continue to sin with impunity"
The prophet Isaiah (see also What Did The Messiah Read From Isaiah That Day?) witnessed the fall of the Kingdom of Israel (see The Capital Of The Lost Ten Tribes Of Israel and The Politics And Religion Of The Lost Ten Tribes; also The Lost Ten Tribes Would Love Today's "Free" World and The Return Of The Lost Ten Tribes Prophecies), while warning the Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah) not to repeat Israel's mistake.
Their rejection of the Word of God from Isaiah was typical of that to all of the LORD's prophets before and after him: "Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us" (verses 10-11 below; see also Why Were The Prophets Of Truth Hated?).
The Kingdom of Judah had become a land self-infested and filled with murder, sodomy and Sabbath breaking - a nation where God's Law was pirated into a self-worshipping and self-righteous fraud (see also Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?). The LORD was very patient with them, even continuing to bless them long after they made themselves unworthy of His blessings for obedience.
Amazingly, rather than repenting, and receiving the LORD's favor and blessing again, the people of Judah sought military assistance from still-powerful Egypt in an attempt to be stronger than the LORD's coming wrath upon them. Judah sought a powerful force, not to save them from their sin, but to save them so that they could continue to sin with impunity.
Judah sent ambassadors to Hanes and Zoan (Tanis) in Egypt to make a deal. It didn't help. The LORD delivered His wrath upon Judah, exactly as He said that He was going to if they refused to repent. Did the powerful armies of Egypt stop Him? No. They did no better than they did at the time of the Exodus long before then. The LORD laid waste to them too. The dried-up ruins (Zoan was once a part of lush Goshen in the Nile Delta) of Zoan / Tanis is shown below.
When happens when people declare themselves to be so self-righteous that they actually regard themselves more powerful than the LORD's sure wrath (see the Fact Finder question below)? The example of the people of Judah and Egypt in the time of Isaiah is timeless (see the Fact Finder question below). Notice however that in their destruction, the LORD left open the acceptance of their repentance - a hurdle that the wrath itself should have made easier.
"30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: 30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! 30:3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. 30:4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. 30:5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.
Fact Finder: What always happens to any nation when the LORD's Law is abandoned or perverted?
This Day In History, January 23
393: Roman Emperor Theodosius I proclaimed his eight year old son Honorius as co-emperor (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
971: In China, the military elephant corps of the Southern Han were defeated at Shao by long-range crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops (see also The Rockets' Red Glare).
1264: The Mise of Amiens, an agreement arranged by Louis IX of France between Henry III of England and his barons. It invalidated the Provisions of Oxford.
1265: The first Parliament of England convened.
1492: The Pentateuch (i.e. the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) was first printed.
1516: Spanish King Ferdinand II died. While he and his wife Queen Isabella are most famous for employing the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (who "discovered" the Caribbean islands; see a map of all of the voyages of Columbus at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy), Ferdinand, also known as "Ferdinand the Catholic," was the perpetrator of the infamous Spanish Inquisition in which tens of thousands of non-Catholic people were tortured and executed. Thousands were burned alive at the stake, while others were tortured with "waterboarding" in an attempt to brutalize them, by near-drowning, into forsaking the genuine method of baptism, by immersion (the exact same torture used by the CIA around the world today, despite, at the end of the Second World War, the U.S. having executed Japanese military officers for the "war crime" of torturing prisoners by the very same waterboarding).
1556: Over 800,000 people died in an earthquake in China. It remains the most deadly earthquake on record.
1570: James Stewart, the Earl of Moray, who was appointed Regent of Scotland on the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots, was assassinated.
1579: The Dutch Republic was formed with the signing of the Union of Utrecht.
1622: William Baffin died at age 38. The British explorer's calculation of longitude at sea by using observations of the moon's position was the first documented. Canada's Baffin Island is named after him.
1631: The Treaty of Barwalde between France and Sweden in which Louis XIII consented to pay Gustavus II Aldolphus a million livres per year to continue to fight the Habsburgs in the Thirty Years War (see also The Birth Of The Dollar).
1668: The military Alliance of The Hague, also known as the Triple Alliance, was signed by Britain, Sweden and Holland.
1719: The Principality of Liechtenstein was formed within The Holy Roman Empire by the amalgamation of Vaduz and Schellenberg.
1793: Prussia (a German kingdom in northern Europe located in what is today northern Germany and northern Poland) and Russia declared the second partition of Poland.
1806: William Pitt, the Younger, died at age 47. As Prime Minister, he led Britain during the Napoleonic Wars against France. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was named after his father, William Pitt, the Elder (neither father nor son were revolutionaries in the New England colonies that were built by English pioneers in the wilderness).
1812: The great New Madrid earthquake struck in Missouri. It registered 7.8 on the Richter Scale.
1831: The Lower Canada Assembly ("Upper" and "Lower" Canada were terms based on the flow of the Saint Lawrence River toward the Atlantic Ocean; "Upper Canada" was present-day southern Ontario, "Lower Canada" was southern Quebec) voted to extend legal rights to Jews.
1870: In Montana, U.S. cavalrymen murdered 173 Native Americans, mostly unarmed women and children, in what became known as the Marias Massacre (see also The First Chinese American War).
1900: In the second Boer War, the British attempted to break through the Boer lines to relieve Ladysmith but were thwarted at the Battle of Spion Kop.
1920: The Dutch refused to extradite German Kaiser Wilhelm II after he went into exile after the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1943: During the Second World War, Tripoli, Libya was captured by British and Canadian forces under Field Marshal Montgomery.
1950: George Orwell (actual name Eric Blair) died at age 46. The British novelist was the author of Animal Farm (that dealt with the hypocrisy of revolutionaries who end up becoming the very same sort of people that they rebelled against; see also When Do Liberals Become Conservatives? and Why Are Politicians Called Left Or Right?) and Nineteen Eighty Four (a futuristic warning about "Big Brother" government).
1968: North Korea captured the U.S. Navy ship Pueblo. The crew was released later that year, but the ship remains in North Korea to this day (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1973: Richard Nixon announced that an accord had been reached to end the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people whose single country had been partitioned in 1954, by the French at the end of the First Indochina War, into North and South Vietnam).
2006: Stephen Harper was elected Prime Minister of Canada.