We like to take care of ourselves. This is part and parcel of nearly every three year old I have ever met. “I do it my self!” What does the prophet Isaiah see happening when God’s people try to take care of themselves?
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 18” pp. 158-159.
Luther identifies the land Isaiah discusses in chapter 18 as Arabia or the northern part of Egypt (LW 16, 158). The people involved in shipping, ships with wings of sails, those who would plunder people by sea, will be subject to war and disaster. Not only will there be harm to the crops, but the wild animals will be eating the produce. This will finally turn the foreign peoples (v. 7) to give gifts to God and His people. Being chastened, the people will become obedient to God (LW 16, 159). Luther ties this concept to the birth of the Church in Acts 2 and the various situations in which people from various nations are brought to faith in Christ.
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