The People of Cush

Lee DeYoung

READ : Isaiah 18

At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth . . . whose land the rivers divide. (v. 7 ESV)

Isaiah 18 is a divine declaration about a “land of whirring wings that is beyond the rivers of Cush.” Whirring wings may be a reference to locusts found in parts of Cush, which in Bible times encompassed the region that is now southern Egypt, northern Ethiopia, and Sudan. The Cushites were a tall, fearsome people “whose land the rivers divide.”

In early 2007, it was my privilege to lead a month of biblical training for a class of 47 East African pastors and evangelists who had been gathered at Lokichoggio near the Sudan-Kenya border. Most of them had been flown in by chartered missionary aircraft from various villages and towns throughout southern Sudan. As we flew from place to place collecting many of the trainees, we crisscrossed various tributaries of the Nile. Isaiah 18 seemed vividly applicable to the tall and strong people whose land the rivers divide.

Isaiah predicted that these people would someday become faithful disciples who would bring tribute to the Lord of hosts. By God’s grace, that is happening today.


Lord, thank you for the faithful people of Cush. Despite many troubles, their fruitful labors confirm the prophecy of your servant Isaiah. In Jesus’ saving name. Amen.