Study Notes Isaiah Chapter 10
New International Version
10 Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, 2 to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. 3 What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? 4 Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.
The disadvantage in society holds a special place in the heart of Almighty God. It was God’s command that the fatherless, the widow, and the orphan were to be taken care of. But whenever those in the ruling class begin to enact laws and decisions that rob the helpless of society of their rights and justice, the Lord must move and those who are in positions of power will be firmly dealt with.
Often the problem for those in leadership when their hearts are given over to wickedness and sin is they believe they are untouchable. They believe they are unaccountable for their actions. Even if they are confronted with the word of God, they see it as a trivial thing and don’t believe that anyone can stop what they are doing. In their own minds they become their own god and have to answer to no one.
Everything that has taken place here has gotten the attention of God. The ruling class has deprived the needy of justice, robbed the poor of God’s people of their rights, widows have become their spoil, and they have even plundered orphans. When we look at our current circumstances in America, we can see how the wickedness of our leaders is destroying the lives of its citizens. When this happens the justice of God must deal rightly with the wickedness of man.
God asks the question what will you do in the day of punishment. A time of God’s punishment was coming through the nation of Assyria. Assyria would be used to bring correction to Northern Israel. This reminds us that God is firmly in control of the nations of the earth and often times when we see things playing out on a global scale that we don’t fully understand that we must turn our eyes and hearts to Jesus.
God has sent them word after word and each time it was rejected. When God finally pours out judgment there is no place to hide or take refuge. The time of God’s mercy has come to an end. When God pours out judgement it simply means He has exhausted every mean possible to get the attention of His people.
In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out. God would pour out the full measure of His judgement upon Northern Israel. He would exile them from the land. His patience and mercy have come to an end. Even though we know God is slow to anger and abounding in love, there is a point in which the patience of God ends, and justice must be poured out. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. It is better to heed the gentle voice and conviction of the Holy Spirit instead of continually rejecting the word of the Lord and having our hearts hardened.
New International Version
5 “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath! 6 I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7 But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations. 8 ‘Are not my commanders all kings?’ he says. 9 ‘Has not Kalno fared like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad, and Samaria like Damascus? 10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols, kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria— 11 shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?’”
The Lord now moves His attention to the nation of Assyria. God uses Assyria as the rod of His anger. God used Assyria to bring correction to the nation of Northern Israel. But God’s purposes were correction and discipline, while Assyria was bent on destruction and conquest.
This is a true contrast between the mind of God and the mind of man. Every nation and individual on the earth is under the control of Almighty God. There is nothing that happens on the earth that God doesn’t allow. Assyria in its pride believed that its greatness as a nation was solely dependent on itself. We have leaders today who have been placed in positions of authority who fail to understand they only hold those positions because God allows them. God gives them freewill to make choices and often it is their pride and arrogance that often destroys them.
The purposes of God for Assyria against Northern Israel were to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. But instead in their wickedness and pride they desired to bring forth ultimate destruction and conquest. The Lord states that Assyria’s own purpose in its own heart was to destroy and to cut off many nations. They fail to understand that their ability to do anything is made possible to them by the Living God. But they were a nation steeped in the worship of false gods and idols. They were heavily influenced by Satan and when a people give themselves over to wickedness what grows in their heart is arrogance and pride.
The Assyrian king states are not my princes all kings. It is a reflection of his pride and arrogance. We are told in the bible that pride goes before the fall. It was pride that caused Lucifer to fall and believe that he could be greater than God. It is pride that causes every leader throughout history to ultimately be destroyed and removed by the Living God.
The king of Assyria believes that Jerusalem and Samaria are nothing because the nations he has conquered before them had greater images and idols. Sadly, Israel was to be a nation without idols. Israel allowed idolatry to infect it like a cancer. But what Assyria failed to understand is that when it came against Israel it was no dealing with the Living God.
Sometimes when we examine these things it is hard for us to understand why God uses wicked nations to deal with wickedness. The ways and thoughts of God are higher and greater than our ways and thoughts. God calls us to trust Him and trust His purposes. When God used a foreign nation to bring correction, there was a purpose behind it. But if that nation went beyond the purposes of Almighty God, the Lord in His righteousness and justice will turn and deal with that nation. It again reveals that God is fully in control and it is God who will ultimately have the final word.
New Living Translation
12 After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him—for he is proud and arrogant.
The Lord would use the Assyrians to bring correction to His covenant people. When God sends forth His word time and again through His chosen prophets, and His word is ignored and rejected, the only course of correction from a God who truly loves His people is correction.
But once correction was fully done the Lord would turn His attention in dealing with Assyria. Assyria in its pride believed its ability to conquer was found in itself and its military might. But it was God who enabled Assyria to do what it was able to do. Because they desired to totally destroy and wipe out Israel, the Lord would humble them as a nation and would ultimately remove them.
We have leaders on the earth today who believe they are the source of their own power and they are the reason things are being brought to pass. A person enters into leadership because God allows them to enter into leadership. The choices and decisions they make on a daily basis will determine the outcome of their leadership. Sometimes people begin as wonderful leaders, but allow sin, pride, and wickedness to take hold and the end of result of their leadership is devastating. Two good examples of this are Saul and Solomon.
New Living Translation
13 He boasts,
“By my own powerful arm I have done this. With my own shrewd wisdom I planned it. I have broken down the defenses of nations and carried off their treasures. I have knocked down their kings like a bull. 14 I have robbed their nests of riches and gathered up kingdoms as a farmer gathers eggs. No one can even flap a wing against me or utter a peep of protest.”
Pride and arrogance are a destructive thing in the life of an individual. It is the very thing that brought Lucifer down. When a person begins to deal in wickedness and deceit, their heart becomes filled with pride and arrogance. They begin to believe in their own power and influence.
Here the King of Assyria makes some pretty strong boast concerning his power and influence. He says: by his own powerful arm he has done this, like a bull he has knocked down the kings of nations, he has reached into a nest of the riches of the world and has been uncontested, he has broken down the defenses of the nations.
The problem for many leaders is they believe they are the center of their own universe and the universe of those they are ruling. They believe in time they should be worshipped like a god and this arrogance in time will destroy them. The king of Assyria believed that he was accomplishing everything by his own power, but he failed to understand that God allowed him to rule. He failed to understand that it is God who raises up kings and tears them down.
In America our own leaders today believe they have placed themselves in positions of power and influence by their own deceit. Our last election was filled with deception and wickedness. God in time will pull the veil and cover off this entire thing and many will be found to have their hand in the cookie jar. People are only allowed to sit in power because God allows them to. But the decisions they make on a daily basis determine the very course of their future.
President Biden and Governor Coumo both believe themselves to be their own gods. They believe they are untouchable and whatever they say will not be able to be rivaled. Through their wickedness they every day invite the hand of God to move personally against them and in time I believe both of them will be removed from office.
A leader can only continue in wickedness so long. We have current leaders who through their policies are desiring the destruction of Israel. They desire to turn their back on Israel and remove from Israel the funding Israel needs for its defense system. But what many of them fail to understand and what the world fails to understand is Israel doesn’t need America. America needs to support Israel, but Israel doesn’t need America. Israel is the apple of God’s eye and the arch angel Michael himself is the defender of Israel.
It is important to remember in this hour that God’s ways and higher and different than our own. There has been a cancer that has infect the American government for some time and through this last election God is exposing all of it. How do you expose wicked people who have a wicked agenda. Give them power and enable them to believe they will finally be able to do what they have always wanted to do. I believe in the coming days the mighty hand of God is going to move in this nation and is going to uproot the cancer in this nation by removing leaders and putting in their place those who will lead America according to the purposes and plans of God’s kingdom.
New Living Translation
15 But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it? Is the saw greater than the person who saws? Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it? Can a wooden cane walk by itself? 16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will send a plague among Assyria’s proud troops, and a flaming fire will consume its glory. 17 The Lord, the Light of Israel, will be a fire; the Holy One will be a flame. He will devour the thorns and briers with fire, burning up the enemy in a single night. 18 The Lord will consume Assyria’s glory like a fire consumes a forest in a fruitful land; it will waste away like sick people in a plague. 19 Of all that glorious forest, only a few trees will survive— so few that a child could count them!
The ax, saw, wooden cane, and rod are all instruments that must be yielded by a person. Isaiah is asking a question as the mouthpiece of God in essence comparing Assyria His instrument to these items. It is God who is behind the scenes accomplishing His purposes and allowing Assyria to be used as an instrument of correction. But Assyria in its pride believes that it is the source of its own power and influence.
It is God who would bring judgement upon Assyria because of its wickedness. In a single night speaks of the speed by which God would move when judgement finally came and we know from scripture that on a single night when Assyria came against the southern kingdom, under the leadership of Hezekiah that on a single night God’s angel went through and wiped out over 180,000 Syrian troops.
Sometimes we may look at the wicked and see them prosper and wonder God where are you. But God’s grace and mercy is far greater than we understand and He has a specific day and hour to deal with wickedness and sin. God’s word will always proceed His correction and His judgement. People are responsible for their own actions. Those who reject the word of God bring correction and if need be, God’s judgement upon their lives. The course of a person’s life is determined how they respond to the truth of God’s word. He is God and His word is true.
When God’s judgement fully had its way, Assyria who seemed like a mighty forest filled with trees, would be reduced to a few trees that even a child could count. But even in the midst of a word concerning God’s judgment there is always a promise of a remnant. God’s desire is for people to always repent and turn from their wickedness. God’s mercy is available to all people and the way it is received is by humbling oneself before the Living God. He is God and we are not, but we must yield and surrender to receive His grace and mercy.
New Living Translation
20 In that day the remnant left in Israel, the survivors in the house of Jacob, will no longer depend on allies who seek to destroy them. But they will faithfully trust the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A remnant will return; yes, the remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. 22 But though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant of them will return. The Lord has rightly decided to destroy his people. 23 Yes, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, has already decided to destroy the entire land.
In the midst of many words of judgement that Isaiah speaks, he turns his attention to the truth of a remnant. Throughout God’s word there is a principle of a remnant. During the time of Noah, he and his family were a remnant. During the time of the Babylonian captivity, there was a remnant that God removed from the land.
Those who are part of the remnant are marked by a sincere love for God. Even in many churches today in America there are many who may call themselves Christians and even attend church. But the question is how many truly love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. What determines if we truly love God is if we are living for Him on a daily basis.
If we are truly living for God that means every decision and the entire course of our life is built upon pursuing Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Every decision is made in light of the truth that we are children of God and this world is not our home. Simply giving ourselves a title means very little. But what truly matters is if our hearts are given over to God.
The prophets of old often cried out to the people that they honored God with their lips but their hearts were far from Him. What God truly wants is our heart. When God has our heart, then our lives will be used to bring honor and glory to Him. His blessing will permeate every area of our lives. When He truly has our hearts, we will walk in obedience.
The Lord says that a remnant will return. This remnant will not rely upon mere human allies, but their trust and reliance will be in the Lord alone. They will seek God with all of their hearts and will no longer seek after the false gods and idols of this world. It required time spent in Babylon for a remnant to come forth. Often it is the difficult things that we face that truly refine us and remove from our lives the things that would hinder our walk with God.
The Lord says that though the people be as the sand of the seashore that only a small remnant would return. Jesus said that broad is the road that leads to destruction and many will walk on it, but narrow is the road that leads to life and few will find it. Humanity for the most part would rather do things their way. We have a very difficult time surrendering our hearts and lives to God. But there are a small number who truly love God and desire to deny themselves and truly pick up their cross.
But in the midst of this promise of a remnant the Lord would bring judgement on the land. The Lord sent many prophets to the people to warn them of things to come and to urge them to turn their hearts fully to God. Sadly, the voice and words of the prophet were often rejected and because of the people’s determined rebellion against God and His ways, the Lord would eventually bring the Babylonians into the land who would send the remnant into exile.
Those who were part of the remnant were those who heeded the word of the Lord and responded accordingly. This is why the preaching of God’s word is so important. The power is not found in the preacher, nor the response of the people found in the ability of a preacher to influence a crowd. It is all a work of the Holy Spirit. As the word of God goes forth and the Spirit of God knocks on hearts, those who respond to the word of God shall be saved. Healing and restoration is only truly found when we respond rightly to the word of God.
New Living Translation
24 So this is what the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, says: “O my people in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they oppress you with rod and club as the Egyptians did long ago. 25 In a little while my anger against you will end, and then my anger will rise up to destroy them.” 26 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will lash them with his whip, as he did when Gideon triumphed over the Midianites at the rock of Oreb, or when the Lord’s staff was raised to drown the Egyptian army in the sea.
27 In that day the Lord will end the bondage of his people. He will break the yoke of slavery and lift it from their shoulders.
Our journey with God is a walk of faith. God has given us His word as a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path. Without God this life is dark, confusion, and without purpose. But with God we come to understand why we are here, we come to see the purpose in the trials we face, and it is often in the very hard and difficult things that the greatest growth takes place.
Here the Lord speaks about the removal of the yoke of the Assyrians. God has spoken about Assyrian as His instrument of correction. But because the Assyrians would go to far and would try to completely wipe out the nation of Israel, the Lord would move against them with judgement and in His justice and His anger.
The Lord tells them not to fear the anger of the Assyrians because the Lord says in a little while His anger would be removed from Israel and His attention would be turned toward the Assyrians to deal with them. The Lord would deal with the Assyrians in His anger. He would rightly pour out His judgment upon them.
Often when God speaks of things to come, He points to His faithfulness in the past. In this passage He points to how He dealt with the Egyptians when the Israelites were in bondage and also how God, under the leadership of Gideon, defeated the Midianites and brought Israel a great victory. God shows time and time again in His word His faithfulness in the lives of His people. He has always been faithful when He has spoken a promise to fulfill that which He has spoken. It is accomplished by His might and His power.
The Lord’s promise is to end the slavery and the bondage inflicted by the Assyrians. That the yoke would be broken by the anointing and power of the Lord. Israel only faced defeat when they walked in disobedience. When they failed to live according to God and His word, defeat and hardship would come. But the purpose of it was to bring the hearts of the people to a place of true repentance. To turn from the wickedness that was indeed destroying them and to turn their hearts fully to the Lord.
This is no different for you and me. If we begin to involve ourselves with things that would destroy the plans and purposes of God in our lives, the Lord will bring discipline. He brings discipline because of His love for us. The purpose of His discipline and correction is to correct the course of our lives to lead us to turn from that which is destroying us and instead to turn our hearts fully to pursuing God and His ways.
New Living Translation
28 Look, the Assyrians are now at Aiath. They are passing through Migron and are storing their equipment at Micmash. 29 They are crossing the pass and are camping at Geba. Fear strikes the town of Ramah. All the people of Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, are running for their lives. 30 Scream in terror, you people of Gallim! Shout out a warning to Laishah. Oh, poor Anathoth! 31 There go the people of Madmenah, all fleeing. The citizens of Gebim are trying to hide. 32 The enemy stops at Nob for the rest of that day. He shakes his fist at beautiful Mount Zion, the mountain of Jerusalem.
It would seem like Assyria was advancing that none could stand in the way of their advanced. It seemed like they were an unstoppable force. But the thing that Assyria didn’t considered was the Living God. It is God who would deal with Assyria and even though Assyria was God’s instrument of correction, the Lord would rightly deal with their cruelty and their desire to completely wipe out Israel and the people of God.
There are moments in our lives when it seems we are surrounded by the enemy and the enemy is advancing against us. In these moments we must trust in the Lord and know that God has a plan and purpose in all that we are facing. It is God who would sustain Israel through this time, and it is the Lord who would set aside a remnant for Himself. If God didn’t set aside a remnant, Israel would not have survived as a nation. But by His grace and mercy the Lord would deal with the Assyrians in His way and His will.
New Living Translation
33 But look! The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will chop down the mighty tree of Assyria with great power! He will cut down the proud. That lofty tree will be brought down. 34 He will cut down the forest trees with an ax. Lebanon will fall to the Mighty One.
Assyria in its pride and arrogance believed its ability to conquer resided in itself. It gave no thought or account to the God of Heaven, who is the God of all creation. It is God alone who is sovereign, and it is God who is fully in control of the nations of the earth. Here Isaiah uses the term the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. It speaks of God as captain of the host of angelic armies. When anyone lifts their hand against Israel, they invite the Living God to move against them.
God would cut Assyria down like a mighty tree. If Assyria is seen as a mighty tree in this vision by Isaiah the parts of the tree that are high and lofty would be those individuals in a position of authority and power that God would thoroughly deal with. God would cut them down with a mighty axe and He would fully humble them. Assyria believed that in itself it had the power to conquer the world.
It shows us even in the world today there are nations and leaders who believe they are in control of their own destiny. They have a desire to conquer the world and rule the world. This is born out of the selfish sinful nature within them. To follow Jesus Christ is to be willing to die to self and the desires of our selfish nature. Those who truly place their hope and trust in Jesus Christ will no longer desire the world or the things of the world. They will desire God and His kingdom. Those who are driven to rule the world will ultimately be destroyed by these desires because only one can truly sit upon the throne and that is God Almighty.