Isaiah 21 and 22 give us several prophecies. The last one is fantastic.
Isaiah 21 begins with a terrifying prophecy about the coastal desert. More specifically, Elam and Media are being called upon to advance and lay siege against Babylon. The Lord told Isaiah to post a watchman in the watchtower so he can report what he sees. In verse 6, the Lord wanted Isaiah to post himself as the watchman and later in verse 8, the Lord told him to set someone else there.
When the watchman saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, he reported that Babylon had fallen. He emphasized this by repeating the phrase twice. He also said all of the carved images of her gods lie shattered on the ground. Since the phrase “is fallen!” is repeated, it begs us to ask the question as to whether or not this implies multiple fulfillments.
Originally, the kingdom of Babylon was given to the Medes and the Persians during Daniel’s time. Strangely enough, a few years ago, journalists around the world told us of the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. At that time, people around the world could see the statues and images of Saddam Hussein being pulled down and destroyed. As incredible as that seemed, there is yet another time in the future when the mysterious harlot known as Babylon will fall.
During Daniel’s time, God’s people were exiled in Babylon until Cyrus eventually allowed them to return to their homeland before Medo-Persia was conquered by Alexander the Great. In Revelation 18, an angel declares the fall of Babylon the Great and a voice from heaven commands God’s people to come out of her so they don’t share in her sins and receive her plagues. Surely, this must be done prior to the take over and rule of the false prophet.
The burden of Dumah (Idumea or Edom) begins in verse 11. Most English translations begin, “He calls to me out of Seir…” This is a little hard to understand until we realize that it can also be translated, “He calls to me because of Seir…” The question asked of the watchman is “what of the night?” The Hebrew word, layil can be translated as night but it can also figuratively refer to adversity. It seems the people of Seir were causing misery to God’s people. The book of Obadiah describes the coming judgment on Edom. In the future, the prophecy of Obadiah will be fulfilled; what Edom has done to others will be done to them and Israel will be delivered.
Obviously, the misery caused by Edom was meant to be a method to discipline God’s people. It was supposed to cause the Lord’s people to repent and return to Him so that joy and salvation could come in the morning to those who do so.
There is also a prophecy concerning Kedar in Arabia. In this prophecy, the Dedanites will dwell in the forest in Arabia instead of the desert. According to Ezekiel, the Dedanites were one of the peoples that Judah traded with. Apparently, war will make it unsafe to dwell in the desert. During that time, the inhabitants of Tema should bring water and bread to those who flee from the sword of war. By the end of a year, Isaiah prophesied that the glory of Kedar would end.
Following this burden is the prophecy of the Valley of Vision. This is a vision of the invasion of Jerusalem. This took place because of a grave sin; they failed to look to the Lord who caused the breaches to take place. Instead of repenting, the people decided to eat, drink, and be merry because the next day they knew they were going to die. Please pray that the people of Israel do not ever make the same mistake again.
In this prophecy, a man named Shebna was to be removed from being in charge of the king’s house and be replaced by Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. This is an awesome prophecy. Look at what the Bible says in Isaiah 22:17-25:
“Indeed, the Lord will throw you away violently, O mighty man, And will surely seize you. 18 He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball Into a large country; There you shall die, and there your glorious chariots Shall be the shame of your master’s house. 19 So I will drive you out of your office, And from your position he will pull you down. 20 ‘Then it shall be in that day, That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; 21 I will clothe him with your robe And strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem And to the house of Judah. 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. 24 ‘They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers. 25 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘the peg that is fastened in the secure place will be removed and be cut down and fall, and the burden that was on it will be cut off; for the Lord has spoken.'”
The reason I like this prophecy so much is because it is a picture of what the Lord will do in the future. The Lord will make sure the false prophet is removed from the place where he will exalt himself. Within a short amount of time, Satan will be seized and thrown into the Abyss. Jesus, the suffering servant who has the key of David will open and shut the house (Revelation 3:7). On the Day of the Lord, He will be clothed in a robe of righteousness; a belt of justice will be around his waist; and a sash of faithfulness will be around his hips. When He comes, He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth (Isaiah 11:4-5). His kingdom and His throne will be secure forever because He will rule in righteousness (Prov. 16:12; 29:14).
As we wait for that day to come, we are only mere vessels of clay. Let us continually bring glory to the Lord now and forever!