Want to find a political solution to poverty and distress? Isaiah chapter 20 says it is very unlikely. The spreading bad conditions pictured are the result of looking to politics for the cure to all ills.
Luther, Martin, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, translated by Herbert J.A. Bowman) Luther’s Works, Vol. 16, Lectures on Isaiah Chapters 1-39. St. Louis: Concordia, 1969. Logos Electronic Edition.
“Isaiah Chapter 20” pp. 168-169.
Isaiah chapter 20 describes calamity spreading not only through Egypt but also to Ethiopia (Cush). Luther notes again that the reason for destruction is a trust in our political alliances or anything else other than God. “The fear of God and faith in God, as all histories teach, have no room in us, unless reliance on ourselves and our flesh will first have been east (sic) out. But the Gospel is at war with all the exalted things of the world, which are an abomination in the sight of God” (LW 16, 168). In verse two Isaiah’s undressing is a sign added to the word of God. The predicted nakedness of Egypt is a sign of deprivation and humiliation. Egypt and Ethiopia together have looked to Assyria as their salvation. This hope will disappoint, in contrast to hope in God, which will never disappoint (LW 16, 169).
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