A Middle East Prophecy

Read: Isaiah 19:19-25

When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. (v. 20)

Chapters 13-27 include several oracles addressed to the nations surrounding Judah, all of whom were threatened by the dominant power of Assyria. Isaiah often warns Judah not to make an alliance with any of these nations against Assyria. Judah is to trust and obey God alone.

We limit our reading to this remarkable passage. Earlier in the chapter, Isaiah announces God’s judgment on Egypt. Then in an amazing reversal, Isaiah joyfully predicts God’s saving grace and a radical transformation as Egypt cries to the Lord who sends a savior and rescues them (v. 21). God takes the initiative; Egypt responds.

An amazing prophecy follows. There will be a highway, symbolic of peace and friendship, from Egypt in the south to Assyria in the north, passing directly through Israel. Egypt, Assyria and Israel will worship together and be a blessing to the entire world! Given the current political situation in this region, it is hard to imagine, but there was a fulfillment of this prophecy as the church expanded in its early period into Egypt, with Alexandria as an influential center of Christian thought and leadership and a thriving church developed in Assyria. There are still active churches in all of these countries now. Let us pray for those believers today. —Gordon Van Wylen

As you pray, ask God to make you an instrument of peace and healing in the world.

About the Author

Gordon Van Wylen

Gordon Van Wylen served as the Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Michigan, and was the President Emeritus of Hope College. Dr. Van Wylen died in 2020.