Apr. 21, 2020

Shiloh or Euphrates?

“Inasmuch as these people have rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah, And rejoice in Rezin and the son of Remaliah; Now therefore, behold, the Lord is about to bring on them the strong and abundant waters of the Euphrates, Even the king of Assyria and all his glory; And it will rise up over all its channels and go over all its banks. Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.” Isaiah 8:6-8.

According to a number of Bible commentaries, the waters of Shiloh represent the Davidic Monarchy, in their most immediate application of these verses. Prophetic writings often have layers of meaning - from their immediate application, to their greatest fulfillment in the Messiah, and also a general pattern of how God relates to His people. By extension they represent the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. 

The waters of Shiloh are compared with the flooding waters of the Euphrates, which refer to political or spiritual alliances made with other powers unauthorized by God that should never have been formed. Those alliances will then become like swelling, overflowing waters, carrying havoc and ruin wherever they flow, and they are spoken of as the wasting sweep of the Assyrian king whose capital stood on the banks of the Euphrates. Pictures are painted with words that define these happenings.

In light of the current situation this is well worth pondering very prayerfully.

All of these also find their applications which address general principles of how a soul relates to the gentle kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ - as the waters of Shiloh. These gently flowing waters depict in type how our Lord rules those who receive Him - He cares for us with His love and His servanthood (and that is the “mind of Christ” we are to allow to dwell within us).

How often is this rejected, however, in favor of surrounding ourselves and our lives with alliances we think will benefit us - worldly things, worldly thinking or doing, persons, political movements, false religions, or things about which we feel passionately? At some point these things that turn us on turn on us and become tyrants in our lives!

If we do not receive and live from the gentle waters along which the Good Shepherd would love to lead us, then the other choices which deceptively offer help, become oppressors. This is the basic take away from these verses. There may also be the choices of sinful pleasures, or even “innocent” things we are “passionate” about, vices, addictions, and the like. Many things have the power, if we choose them, to wash over us and sweep us away like a mighty river - because we reject the gentle waters of Shiloh! This rejection always amounts to faithlessness and idolatry.

The choice of Christ or the other “helpers” determines freedom or servitude. It is something of an irony we need to understand: To serve Christ is to find freedom in Him; or we can continue to choose other alliances which ultimately lead to servitude - often of spirit, soul, and body! Individually, nationally, or internationally.

The “current” situation seems to reflect the choices much of the world has made, especially the USA, whether it is the gentle current of Shiloh, or the flood of the Euphrates. We complain of being captives in our own homes, but is the real source of this flood of oppression a refusal of Christ and His gentle easy way, where we are asked to simply surrender ourselves to Him and to be receptive to the power of His Grace, where we should have been led by His Holy Spirit, and learned of Him, thus finding rest for our souls?

What has befallen the USA and much of the world has come about by many unholy alliances - on personal and political levels. Sadly this also is the case on the part of churches, pastors, and patriarchs who have allied themselves in their thinking and doing with worldly ways and potentates rather than putting on the mind of Christ! This should disturb us as a “mark of the beast” more than receiving some sort of computer chip into our body! For us it not the thinking of our head and the doing of our hand already an alignment with the Beast?!

So now the flood overflows its banks as we refuse the gentle waters of Shiloh. It overtakes many and sweeps away life and liberty. Christ’s offer of servanthood has been rejected. The tyranny of “serpenthood” has been allowed to supplant Him and the Kingdom of God.

The results are obvious. The flood of tyranny grows and overflows. At this point the only way out is probably to go through, to live under the result of these choices. We may, like the ancient Jews to whom this was written, need to learn the hard way that our choices have consequences and that Grace is not cheap.

But then the freedom to choose is actually the god at whose altar many worship , is it not?