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Quiet Time in Isaiah 17-18

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Isaiah 17 (HCSB)

An Oracle against Damascus

1 An oracle against Damascus:

Look, Damascus is no longer a city. It has become a ruined heap. 2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be places for flocks. They will lie down without fear. 3 The fortress disappears from Ephraim, and a kingdom from Damascus. The remnant of Aram will be like the splendor of the Israelites. This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.

Judgment against Israel

4 On that day the splendor of Jacob will fade, and his healthy body will become emaciated. 5 It will be as if a reaper had gathered standing grain—his arm harvesting the heads of grain—and as if one had gleaned heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. 6 Only gleanings will be left in Israel, as if an olive tree had been beaten—two or three berries at the very top of the tree, four or five on its fruitful branches. This is the declaration of the Lord, the God of Israel.

7 On that day people will look to their Maker and will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. 8 They will not look to the altars they made with their hands or to the Asherahs and incense altars they made with their fingers.

9 On that day their strong cities will be like the abandoned woods and mountaintops that were abandoned because of the Israelites; there will be desolation. 10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and you have failed to remember the rock of your strength; therefore you will plant beautiful plants and set out cuttings from exotic vines. 11 On the day that you plant,

you will help them to grow, and in the morning you will help your seed to sprout, but the harvest will vanish on the day of disease and incurable pain.

Judgment against the Nations

12 Ah! The roar of many peoples—they roar like the roaring of the seas. The raging of the nations—they rage like the raging of mighty waters. 13 The nations rage like the raging of many waters. He rebukes them, and they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills and like tumbleweeds before a gale. 14 In the evening—sudden terror! Before morning—it is gone! This is the fate of those who plunder us and the lot of those who ravage us.

Isaiah 18 (HCSB)

The Lord’s Message to Cush

1 Ah! The land of buzzing insect wings beyond the rivers of Cush 2 sends couriers by sea, in reed vessels on the waters.

Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared far and near, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers. 3 All you inhabitants of the world and you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet sounds, listen!

4 For, the Lord said to me:

I will quietly look out from My place, like shimmering heat in sunshine, like a rain cloud in harvest heat. 5 For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over and the blossom becomes a ripening grape, He will cut off the shoots with a pruning knife, and tear away and remove the branches. 6 They will all be left for the birds of prey on the hills and for the wild animals of the land. The birds will spend the summer on them, and all the animals, the winter on them.

7 At that time a gift will be brought to Yahweh of Hosts from a people tall and smooth-skinned, a people feared far and near, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers—to Mount Zion, the place of the name of Yahweh of Hosts.


SIN (verse 17:10): I fail so often at my consistency in this walk in faith with You, Jesus. Please forgive me for far too often not having You as my focus and my center in all that I do and think; all that I am. Help me to be more consistent in my faith walk, always glorifying You as my salvation and my strength.

PROMISE (verses 17:7-8): You make us an interesting promise here, Father. Through the judgment of Israel, You promise us that the end result will be the people bringing their focus back to You instead of the false idols they've been worshiping as altars and with incense. Through all the turmoil, wrath, and judgment, the people will still find and seek You in the end!

ATTITUDE (verse 17:8): I am so easily influenced by the world and the flesh, Lord, that I often begin to worship false idols through altars of my own. This leads me away from the path You have chosen for me far too often. Please help me to change my attitude of false worship, so that You are always my focus and my light. Help me to never put anything above You or distract me from You, again, Father.

COMMAND (verse 18:3): Although not completely clear to me right now the true meaning behind this verse, it is still quite obvious that it is a command. You are commanding us to pay attention to the day that You will lift Your banner and sound Your trumpets so that we may see and listen. Help me to understand this command more in-depth one day as I walk in this journey with You, Lord.

EXAMPLE (verses 17:7-8): Back to these two verses because they have so much in them and serve as a great example. As a people they were lost, worshiping false idols, and not keeping their focus on You. They still came back to You in the hardest of times when it could have been so easy for them to just continue giving into sin, the flesh, and the world. Help me to not only turn to You in the hard times, Father, but also to maintain a consistent focus on You, so that I do not worship false idols like Israel chose to do.

*DAILY NOTE: I struggle so much with coveting and "worshiping" the things of this world, Father. In here You clearly tell us this is wrong because it creates those "things" as false idols above You, even if that isn't our intention. Please remind me daily that nothing should come ahead of You in my worship, praise, or focus. As long as I keep You as my focus above everything, then I will be doing things pleasing to You, Father, and that's my ultimate goal in this faith walk.

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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