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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 7; chapter 10: Judgment of Israel and Assyria, the Tribulation, and Armageddon.


Isaiah chapter 7-12 contains of series of prophecies given during the reign of Ahaz, an evil king. Ahaz faced a grave threat from an alliance of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Syria, and rather than appeal to Yavah for help, he sought support from the king of Assyria - only to find later on that this covetous ruler had ever only been interested in the complete conquest of all of Palestine.

In the midst of this dark time, Isaiah gives prophecies concerning the near future and the distant future. But first, the chapter begins with another indictment against the injustice of the people.

 

Idol worshipers are selfish, greedy, and therefore unjust, much like the false gods they claim to worship.

ISA 10:1-2

Woe to those who enact evil statutes,

And to those who constantly record unjust decisions,

So as to deprive the needy of justice,

And rob the poor of My people of their rights,

In order that widows may be their spoil,

And that they may plunder the orphans.

 

The enactors or ruling class should represent justice, protecting the rights of the people. Yet, in all nations and cultures there are a portion of the population who convince themselves that it’s good business practice to take advantage of others who cannot defend themselves. Maybe you’ve considered why it is this way in every society - the greedy, power-hungry, unjust people always seem to rise to the top. The elite class in our nation are no different. The common denominator is that wealth and power are corrupting. A person in years of need might be fair and kind, but only to change completely when he becomes rich. Certainly there are corrupt, greedy poor people as well, corrupted for another reason, which wealth certainly will not change.

“Place before the eyes of such men [ambitious and greedy] a post of honor, that shall at the same time be a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it.” [Ben Franklin, Constitutional Convention, 1787]

 

“My people”

Though corruption occurs in all societies, God emphasizes to Israel, as He does hundreds of times, they they are a people He elected, blessed with His law, and blessed with covenant promises proven by the miraculous ways in which they attained nationhood and the Promised Land. Of all the people of the earth, surely these people would be just and kind and generous to one another.

 

Reap what you sow

ISA 10:3-4

Now what will you do in the day of punishment,

And in the devastation which will come from afar?

To whom will you flee for help?

And where will you leave your wealth?

Nothing remains but to crouch among the captives

Or fall among the slain.

In spite of all this His anger does not turn away,

And His hand is still stretched out.

 

The ruling class did not defend the poor, now who will defend them when the devastation comes?

 

Assyria is the rod in God’s hand

ISA 10:5-6

Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger

And the staff in whose hands is My indignation,

I send it against a godless nation

And commission it against the people of My fury

To capture booty and to seize plunder,

And to trample them down like mud in the streets.

 

The king of Assyria, who will look at his success and think himself great, is Sennacherib. He will have a long and overwhelming winning streak, but only because he is a tool in the hand of God. As Isaiah continues to prophesy, Sennacherib and his generals will be convinced that it is their own arm that makes them strong. But when God is done punishing Israel, He will turn upon Assyria’s army and decimate them, for they are evil as well.

 

ISA 10:12

So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, "I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness."

 

God then mocks Assyria as only a tool. Imagine a mighty tree cut down by an axe. Did the axe do the work itself? 

 

ISA 10:15

Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it?

Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it?

That would be like a club wielding those who lift it,

Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.

 

We all must be careful of this, for the body of Christ are each individually clay in the Potter’s hand. He will mold of us what He wills, and that form will be lovely and honorable, but there might be a tendency for us “pots” to say, “Look what I did with myself.” To God alone be the glory. It is only for us to be humble, obey Him, and therefore be happy children. I love one of the definitions of the Greek word praus, often translated “meek” or “gentle” (MAT 5:5), which is “that temper of spirit in which we accept God’s dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting.” [Vine’s dictionary]

 

Assyria is a type of the invading armies in the Tribulation

This is often done in prophecy, that the same prophecy of the near future is also a depiction of the distant future.

 

First, the near future:

 

ISA 10:16

Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors;

And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame.

 

This happened a few years later as Sennacherib’s army, having destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel, surrounded Jerusalem in the south to whom they boldly mocked Yavah while promising to overrun the city, but the angel of the Lord struck them in one night.

 

2KI 19:35-36

Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out, and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home, and lived at Nineveh.

 

Secondly, the distant future:

 

Notice how God gives us the time when all the work on Mt. Zion is completed.

 

ISA 10:12

So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, "I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness."

 

There is more work to be done for Israel, namely the Tribulation period, before Zion is completed. During that time, armies will again surround Jerusalem and again they will be destroyed by the Lord, but not by an angel this time, rather by the returning Lord Jesus Christ. And in that day, the remnant, believing Israel, will return to Him and He will take her, His beloved nation, into His earthly kingdom.

 

ISA 10:20

Now it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

 

Victory is always so delicious and glorious when the Lord accomplishes it while His enemies are sure their going to finally defeat Him. I hope I remember that the next time I find myself in temptation.

 

Blessed is He

 

The remnant in the end of the Tribulation will beg for His return. They will say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” And so, God can tell them not to fear the Assyrians for He is coming for them. No matter how close the enemy may seem, if you see the “whites of their eyes,” hold on to hope. God seems to love a dramatic entrance.

 

ISA 10:24-25

Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, "O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did. "For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent, and My anger will be directed to their destruction."

 

Isaiah closes this prophecy by mapping out the route that the attackers will take, vv. 28-32. “City by city,” God says, “I have My eye on them. I know every step they take. Though they may take you by surprise, they could never take Me by surprise.” How God helps us to believe upon Him and rest.

 

PSA 56:8

Thou hast taken account of my wanderings;

Put my tears in Thy bottle;

Are they not in Thy book?

 

JOB 42:2

"I know that Thou canst do all things,

And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.”

 

To Him be all glory, 

Pastor Joe Sugrue

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