Isaiah 18 Commentary
Cush is traditionally thought to be lands around present-day Sudan. Upper Nile. A message against a people tall and smooth-skinned, to a people, feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers. Deep into the African continent.
Of course, Cush’s language is ‘strange speech’ because the LORD had confused the languages when He scattered mankind at Shinar, Babel.
Cush is nowhere near Isaiah’s Jerusalem but the prophet has a message for the entire world. This chapter hasn’t exactly mentioned Cush’s sin. We shall see more details later.
But the chapter ends on a note of hope.
“At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers.
Could this be the time spoken of by the psalmist? “Envoys will come from Egypt; Cush will submit herself to God. Psalms 68 verse 31.
Again we suspect this is the time when the Son sits on David’s throne; a time when the greatness of His government will see no end.
Some of Isaiah’s images are easy to understand. Back in Isaiah’s day, a conquered nation was required to pay a tribute to the ruling king. Has the LORD Jesus Christ conquered you? Is He ruling in your life? The prophet is transmitting two key words: submission and obedience – all made possible because of the ‘son born to us’.
It is a blessing to read this book when the Christ rules; when the Son sits on David’s throne. And all peoples, including tall and smooth-skinned people, can submit to the Son’s eternal government.
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