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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All Nations

Then the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day ... In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."
Isaiah 19:21,24-25 (NKJV)

"Also the sons of the foreigner
Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him,
And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants ...
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer...
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."
Isaiah 56:6-7 (NKJV)

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. ~ Revelation 7:9 (NKJV)

On Israel's southwest, fickle Egypt at various times either attacked or aided Israel. Egypt made treaty with Solomon but sheltered his enemies, and provided uneasy refuge in dire times to everyone from Abraham to Jesus.

On Israel's northeast, vicious Assyria displayed unrivaled barbarism. The prophet Jonah fled his call to tell Ninevah "repent," preferring the Assyrians' destruction. A generation later (c.722BC), Assyria destroyed northern Israel's kingdom. After another hundred years of Assyrian oppression, King Josiah (of Judah) died attempting to block alliance between Assyria and Egypt.

Unlike America's melting pot, Isaiah's segregated audience likely thought it absurd that God could ever declare Egypt and Assyria, "blessed ... My people ... one of three with Israel." But in Christ all are made new. Even now, all nations are being united by His blood, to one day stand together before His throne.

Prince of Peace, our world longs for You to bring us Your perfect peace. Please unite our hearts to one another. Please help us to put aside rivalry and jealousy, prejudice and arrogant attitudes of supremacy. Lord of the Harvest, please send laborers to the fields white for harvest.

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