Isaiah 15-20: Chapter Summaries

Since I’m traveling this week, there are no notes or audio files for our study of Isaiah, but I hope you’ll find the chapter summaries from the last six weeks helpful. Next week: Isaiah 21.

Chapter 15: The Waters are Full of Blood

God raised up nations like Moab to be the instruments of His judgment against His people (see Isa. 5:26-30; 7:18-20). These nations have gone beyond God’s boundaries in punishing Israel. Therefore, God will bring them down.

Everyone can see the natural course of godless nations by observing key events in the history of Moab: 1) Moab’s rise; 2) Moab’s rebellion; 3) God’s retribution.

Chapter 16: An Object of Contempt

Arriving in Edom, the Moabite refugees should turn to God through their neighbor Israel, but in pride they refuse to do so. As a result, the fruitfulness of their land will cease.

Everyone can see the futility of godless nations by observing Moab’s reactions to the Assyrian invasion: 1) Moab’s plea for Judah’s protection; 2) Moab’s pride in rejecting Judah’s God.

Chapter 17: Partners in Crime

J. Vernon McGee writes: “Because of the confederacy between Syria and Israel (often for the purpose of coming against Judah), Israel is linked with the judgments pronounced on Syria. Partners in crime means partners in judgment” (Isaiah Volume 1, p.137).

Everyone should learn to trust God because of His mighty deeds among the nations: 1) He plunders the wicked; 2) He protects His own; 3) He punishes for a purpose.

Chapter 18: Left for the Birds of Prey

The land of Cush is told not to move frantically by boat or other means to secure alliances against Assyria, for the Lord will deal directly with the Assyrians and leave their corpses to the birds of prey.

Everyone can understand the Lord’s message to Cush by answering four questions: 1) Who are these people? 2) What have they done? 3) How will God respond? 4) What is their ultimate destiny?

Chapter 19: Egypt’s Heart will Melt

D.A. Carson summarizes: “This oracle is a strong expression of the truth that God smites in order to heal (see v 22). The initial breakdown is followed by a renewal which goes beyond anything promised to a Gentile nation in the O.T. Perhaps Egypt is shown here in its two aspects: first, as the worldly power to which Israel was always looking (cf. 20:5) and secondly, as part of God’s world, for which he cares, with a place in his kingdom in which present ranks and races will be quite superseded” (New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, S. Is 18:1).

Everyone can see God’s redemptive work in humanity by observing two ways He deals with Egypt: 1) He hits them where they hurt; 2) He heals them when they hear.

Chapter 20: Naked and Barefoot

The Lord commands Isaiah to walk naked and barefoot among the Jews for three years as a warning not make the same mistake Ashdod made in trusting the Egyptians for protection against the invading Assyrians. If they do, they will be defeated and marched naked and barefoot into captivity.

Everyone should understand Isaiah’s “sign act” because of the truths it conveys: 1) What man determines, God destroys; 2) what God determines, man cannot defeat.

Copyright 2009 by Rob Phillips

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