Several prophecies in Isaiah attracted our attention today. Damascus the capital of Syria, is the oldest most continuously inhabited city in the world and there is no evidence that it was ever destroyed like other cities. But Isaiah writes, “An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins” (17:1). The fulfilment of this prophecy is likely to coincide with the climax of the ages, which may not be that far distant.

Some of the chapters of Isaiah should be broken into small sections (The division into chapters was only made when the Bible was first printed.) As you read you can see where the different revelations change. Often we have the phrase, “In that day” to indicate some distinct events to occur at a particular time. Verse 9 starts with “in that day” and from there to the end of the chapter “a day” or time is described when the enemies of Israel are judged. We read, “this is the portion of those who loot us, and the lot of those who plunder us” (verse 14) and while it had an application in the past, it surely it refers to a final event when Damascus becomes “a heap of ruins”.

Verse 3 is about a time in the future when “the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the LORD of hosts”. Syria is linked with Assyria and chapter 19 ends with an intriguing picture (in verse 23) of a highway to be built “in that day” – the final verses telling us, “In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance’”.

This is the time of the resurrection when the faithful of all nations will be there, for surely over the millennia there have been many in Egypt and Assyria (including Babylon) who have known and served the true God. Let us commit our lives to God so that we will also be there.