Striking and Healing
Reading Isaiah 14-19 and it is a list of Oracles written to six different regions or countries. Assyria 14:24-27, Philistia 14:28-32, Moab 15:1-16:11, Damascus 17:1-17:14, Cush 18:1-7, Egypt 19:1-15
Then starting with Isaiah 19:16 Egypt, Assyria and Isreal receive a blessing. Now does that mean the the previous words said in the oracle go away? Is God speaking out of both sides of his mouth?
It is important to note that adoration of 'worship and sacrifice' (19:21) will not take away the 'bare places' and 'will be no more' (19:7) words that exist. The "adoration" (v.21) comes from a choice made by the Egyptians as well as the "struggles" (v.7) come by their choice as well. He is God and chooses his plans for us and we are to worship Him in adoration from an internal decision to follow Christ irregardless.
His anger and wrath exists. His loves does too. His mercy and grace are endless and His forgiveness is free.
"When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and He will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them." Isaiah 19:20b-22
So to sum up here:
The Egyptians turned to Him and they 'cry to the Lord' v.20 and He promises a savior to them because He heard their cry. Then He makes himself known to them! Them! Egyptians!
What does that mean to have God make himself known? Opening thier minds to the Creator of the Universe? Does His forgiveness seem real to them in a new way? Do they have this amazing time of seeing Him abide in their lives with the presence of His Spirit as they worship and sacrifice?
Let's assume for conversation sake that they understand Him more by having their minds opened to who He is and they feel the truth of His presence and love. Then they worship, sacrifice, vow and follow through with that vow. So what does God do?
'Strike Egypt' v.22 REALLY?? He strikes them. Now I don't know what exactly this looks like, but it doesn't sound good.
Then he gives a way of dealing with the Egyptians which is striking and healing. He strikes them and then He heals them. Now it says striking and healing as though this is happening over and over, not like it was a one-time thing. He loves them so much to correct them and then He loves them so much to heal them. I wonder if that is the method of greatest following Him is that we understand He will be the one that will strike us, but He will also heal us. Would you have anyone else do either? Can anyone else do either?
The last thing said in Isaiah 19 is that He listens to them over and over and continues to heal them. God's wrath is as real a his healing! We need to love both and know that they are both under His control and His power only. When He strikes us and when He heals us it comes from a place of love and great relationship.