Isaiah 19 is striking in what it teaches about the effects of idolatry, occult practices, and divine judgment with a perverse spirit:
Isaiah 19:3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
Isaiah 19:14 The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.
This revelation provides us with several important points of instruction.
First, because of God’s judgment on the counsel of the idolatrous Egyptians (cf. Is. 19:1), they resort to idols and to various occult practices (Is. 19:3).
Second, God judges them by mingling a perverse spirit among them (Is. 19:14a). It is unclear whether this means that He employs an actual demon to judge them or that He judges them in some other unstated manner so that they become perverse in their spirits.
Because of their extensive seeking of occult practitioners and their occult practices, understanding “the perverse spirit” that God mingles in their midst as a demon is entirely legitimate. We, however, cannot be completely certain that the verse speaks of the work of an actual demon.
Third, God’s judgment on them through that perverse spirit causes the Egyptians to err in everything that they do (Is. 19:14b). He thus judges them that they become so debilitated and incapacitated that they are not able to do any work properly.
Fourth, the judgment with a perverse spirit causes them to become like a drunken man who staggers in his vomit (Is. 19:14c). Such a person is obviously incapable of doing any work properly and certainly cannot do anything that pleases God.
Clearly, this passage teaches us of the fearful realities of the judgment that God inflicts on some people who are idolatrous and participate in various occult practices. Undoubtedly, God intends that this revelation would serve as a stern warning to us not to have anything to do with idolatry and the occult.
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