“Radical Christianity is not going on a missions trip or a big conference. Radical Christianity is staying steady for decades.”

Mike Bickle

TODAY’S READING: Isaiah 13–17

Isaiah who lived during the height of the Neo-Assyrian empire prophesied against the Neo-Babylonians at the height of their power—200 years into the future. God foretold through His prophets the destiny of nations. The day of the Lord does indeed come on all the nations, and the time comes when all the world is punished for its evil (Isa. 13:9, 11). Our introduction to Lucifer and his fall comes in this missions context as Isaiah compares the pride of the Babylonian king to the pride of Lucifer.

The name “Lucifer” recorded in Isaiah 14:12 is the Latin translation of the Hebrew word helel. It means “shining one” and was the name used for the day star Venus. “The planet Venus was an important subject for ancient mythology. It is bright when it rises, but when the sun comes up, Venus becomes invisible like any other star.”[1] Isaiah mocked the Babylonian king for making the same foolish error as Lucifer: attempting to rival God, thinking he could shine brighter than the Son, attempting to displace Jehovah as the King of kings, the Sovereign over all nations. Babylon had weakened other nations, desired to sit on the mount of the congregation, and be like the Most High, and all these ambitions had international scope (14:12–13, 16). Demonic desire attempts to usurp Jehovah’s global authority and to steal His transnational glory. Any nation, authority, or person that desires to shine in the place of the light will only succeed for a brief moment. Then the Son of Righteousness shall rise and all the pretentions of men will vanish as fleeting as they are foolish. The Lord alone has a hand stretched out over all nations including Assyria, Philistia, the pride of Moab, Damascus, Syria or Israel, and every other frail power (14:25–26, 31, 15:1, 16:6, 17:1, 3). “What will they answer the messengers of the nation? That Lord [Jehovah] has founded Zion…” (14:32). “The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; but God will rebuke them, and they will flee far away” (17:13).

The rise and fall of nations and the fall of Lucifer from heaven are missionary warnings. No angel, king, or nation is to rule over other nations nor attempt to steal the shining glory of God among all peoples. The meta-narrative is that only Jehovah is worthy of praise from every language and people. Only Jehovah is to shine, to rule over all peoples. Any ideology, religion, system, or power that attempts mastery over the nations is in direct rebellion and usurpation of the King of glory. They may shine for a brief morning moment but will be cut down to the ground with its glory despised (16:14).

It is interesting that the Hebrew word for Venus (helel), which means shining, is so similar to the Arabic word for the crescent moon (hilal). Both Venus and the crescent moon (and all that moon symbolizes from the Ishmaelites onward) are pale lights, imitations of that which is the true light come into the world. Neither moon nor planet is a source of light or heat; at best they reflect and at worst attempt to steal. When the true light dawns, all pretenders immediately vanish. With hope, we look forward to the day when the true light rises in Eritrea. For too long pretenders have claimed authority over the Beja. May God arise and His enemies be scattered and may all those who hate and rebel against His loving rule flee away.

Lastly, whenever we attempt to shine over the nations we too are a Lucifer light. May we be ever careful to “give all the glory to Jesus and tell of His love…we’ll tell of His wonderful love”

[1] The Chronological Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 866.

Prayer Focus: Eritrea (10 UPGs)

Today’s Unreached People Group: Beja, Hedareb
Population: 190,000
Language: Bedawiyet
Primary Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.0%
Estimated Workers Needed: 4

[Source: Joshua Project]

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