Isaiah 18

The Word Made Fresh

1Oh, land of beating wings beyond the rivers of Cush,
2sending messengers down the Nile
in papyrus boats on the waters.
Go, you speedy news bringers, to a people tall and smooth,
To a people feared near and far,
a nation strong with conquests,
whose lands are divided by the rivers.

3All of you people who live on the earth,
when a flag is raised on the mountains you will see it.
And when a trumpet is sounded you will hear it.
4This is what the LORD told me:
I will watch quietly from my home
like invisible heat from the sunshine;
like a hazy cloud of dew in the heat of the harvest.
5Before the harvest is gathered, when the blossom has gone
and the flower turns into a grape beginning to ripen,
the LORD will prune the shoots
and chop off the spreading branches.
6All of it will be left to birds of prey from the mountains
and to the animals that roam there.
    The birds will spend their summers there,
     and all the wild animals will stay there for the winter.

7Then a people tall and smooth-skinned from a fearful population both near and far, will bring gifts to the LORD. They will be a strong and conquering nation whose territory is divided by the rivers. They will come to Mt. Zion, the place of the name of the LORD Almighty.


1-2: Cush, now called Ethiopia, was never as powerful as Egypt but at times was powerful enough to threaten the lands at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.

3-6: The oracle is obscurely worded, but the gist of it is that the armies of Ethiopia, spreading like wiregrass over the land, will be cut off and their ambitions thwarted.

7: The prophet foresees a time when the Ethiopians will worship the LORD on Mt. Zion along with all the nations.


The Bible tells us that the day will come when all the earth will worship the LORD. But how will that happen unless God’s people are faithful and determined to present the LORD to those who have yet to believe?