TRUE AND FALSE HOPE

Isa. 18:1-23:18
As a Gentile, it’s interesting to read when the OT prophets spoke to nations other than Israel. God’s heart yearns for those who don’t know Him, and His care for people “who cannot tell their right hand from their left” (Jonah 4:11) comes into play far more than we would expect in the Old Testament.
So it is in today’s reading from Isaiah. God’s message to the people of Egypt warns them that their leaders are claiming to be wise, but are actually giving foolish advice and leading the country down a path that will end badly (Is. 19:11-15). But God cares enough about the people of Egypt to wake them up from their stupor of false hope and give them a true hope instead (Is. 19:16-25).
We see this prophecy partially fulfilled with the spread of Christianity throughout Egypt, starting with John Mark in Alexandria shortly after the events in Acts. Egypt has had an unbroken line of Christians (the Copts) — a “sign and witness to the Lord in the heart of Egypt” (19:20) — since that time. How amazing that our God would do this for a people like us, who were “without hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12)!
Today, spend some time thinking about and praying for your “most wanted list.” Who are the people who you would consider the toughest cases? Pray that God would work in their hearts like he did for the people of Egypt — to wake them up from their false hopes and give them the true hope of the gospel instead!

by Erik Brommers, Elder

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