ISAIAH 19:23-25: “When that day comes, a highway will run from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will come to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. When that day comes, Israel will be one-third ⌊of God’s people⌋, along with Egypt and Assyria. They will be a blessing on the earth. The LORD of Armies will bless them, saying, “My people Egypt, the work of my hands Assyria, and my possession Israel are blessed.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Will there ever be peace in the Middle East? Since I was young I have watched as President after President has attempted to establish peace talks in the Middle East. We have witnessed the continual attacks of this region against one tiny nation – the nation of Israel. With the heightened tensions of terrorism spreading across the globe, with guerrilla warfare that knows no boundaries and abides by no rules, how can there ever be peace?
There has been no army, nation, or diplomatic summit that has been able to establish a lasting peace. With that being the case, one may ask – “Is it wrong or futile for this effort to continue?” Absolutely not! Jesus spoke these words on the Sermon on the Mount.
- “Blessed are those who make peace. They will be called God’s children.” (Matthew 5:9 GW)
To strive for peace is working directly within the desire of God’s heart. However, when all the attempts for peace continually fail it is easy to grow discouraged and lose heart. How can peace come to a region that is aflame with hatred and strife?
Isaiah speaks prophetically of the coming reign of Messiah. When Jesus Christ returns to set up His physical Kingdom here on earth, then, and only then – will there be peace! It will be a miraculous peace. It will break down the walls in the region and establish a highway of peace. It will turn the hearts of the Jew, the Egyptian, and the Assyrian (modern day Syria, Iraq, and Turkey) toward Messiah, and together they will worship in Jerusalem! Listen to what the Lord will say at this time,
- “They will be a blessing on the earth. The LORD of Armies will bless them, saying, “My people Egypt, the work of my hands Assyria, and my possession Israel are blessed.”
To think of this in today’s current atmosphere of hatred and strife seems impossible. Yet, we can rest assure that what the Lord has spoken – He will fulfill! What a marvelous day that will be! A day of peace, a day of restoration, a day of unity and worship. The only one who will be able to accomplish this is our Lord Jesus Christ!
So, how does this affect our lives personally? Do we simply fold our hands and wait Jesus to return? Do we give up all attempts of establishing peace as we await the promise of the coming Kingdom? This is the age old tension that confronts our entire Christian life. There have been many who have donned white robes, climbed to the mountain, and waited for Jesus to return. This is not what Jesus called us to do. He called us to be faithful in extending His Kingdom and His Peace here on earth – until the day He returns! We are to be engaged in the Father’s business until we hear the sounding of the last trump. This includes working for peace wherever we can, and spreading the Gospel to whoever we can!
The promise of His ultimate restoration of all things gives us the strength and the confidence to know that we are working in concert with the heart of the Father. We look for, and earnestly desire the coming age, but we are faithful and diligent in the present!
Lord, grant me the grace to be so found at the last trump. May I be engaged in Your work of peace, and may I be proclaiming Your message of salvation – until You return!
In Jesus Name!