Worship Beyond Borders (Isaiah 19:21–23) - Radical

Worship Beyond Borders (Isaiah 19:21–23)

And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them, and the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them, and that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria. And the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
– Isaiah 19:21–23

What a passage. What a picture. Did you hear that? This is God describing how he’s going to draw the Egyptians to worship him, how God’s going to listen to the Egyptians’ pleas for mercy and bring healing to them in ways that lead to him receiving glory, and them knowing him as the Lord, as the covenant, keeping steadfast, loving God. And not just the Egyptians.

Isaiah 19:21–23 points us to the culmination of the story of redemption.

Then verse 23 gives this picture of Egyptians and Assyrians together worshiping God. The nations coming together to experience healing from God and mercy from God in ways that they know God and bring glory to God.

This is where all of history is headed. Just picture it in light of nations today. Just picture Israelis and Palestinians both drawn to worship God, to find healing in God, to find mercy in God, in ways that they know God. Russians and Ukrainians both drawn to enjoy God, to worship God together for his healing and his mercy. North Koreans and South Koreans. You could just keep going on geographically around the world. Picture it. That’s not just in terms of geopolitical entities called nations.

Isaiah 19:21–23 reminds us that all nations will one day worship Jesus together.

Picture it in terms of every tribe, people, and language. That’s the picture of Revelation 5 and Revelation 7, that one day they’re all going to worship together for the healing and the mercy that is found in Jesus. That’s where all of history is headed. And so that’s why we pray like we pray on this podcast, that’s why we live, to make Jesus known in our neighborhoods and among all the nations. This is what our lives are here for. This is where all of history is headed.

So if we want our lives to count in history, we’re living for this, we’re praying for this, we’re giving to see this happening. We’re longing to see it happen, starting right where we live, leading people to Jesus, to healing and mercy that are found in Jesus right around us, so that the nations around us, the people groups around us, the people we work with, go to school with, the people we live next to, that they might know the Lord. So in light of Isaiah 19:21–23, let’s just pray…

Prayer for the Hard-to-Reach People Groups

God help us, to lead others in our neighborhoods and in all the nations to experience your healing and your mercy and to enjoy and exalt you in worship. Help us today to follow you, Jesus, and make you known in our neighborhoods right where we live and in all the nations. We pray for all these nations we just mentioned, God.

We pray for salvation, healing, mercy, and your worship to spread among Israelis and among Palestinians, among South Koreans and among North Koreans, among Russians and among Ukrainians, among Yemeni men and women and children and Saudi men and women and children, among Syrian men and women and children and Egyptian men and women and children. God, you’ve been doing this for centuries, drawing the nations to yourself. We pray, do it today. Draw the nations to yourself to find mercy and healing in you.

We pray for that. Help us to live for that. Help us to give toward that end. Use our lives today to lead people around us to the healing and the mercy that are found in you. That they might know you. God, help us to make our lives count to live for where all of history is headed… To play our parts and seeing your grand global purpose accomplished through each of our lives. We pray all this according to your word in Isaiah 19:21–23… In the name of Jesus, who alone has the power to unite the nations. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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