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Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 10

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-34

Chapter 10

Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! ( Isaiah 10:1-2 )

And this is the thing that upsets me most. I think about these computerized letters and all. If they go out to these poor little widows on Social Security and these little, you know, these people are sending in their money to these guys that are driving Cadillacs and living high. That just galls me. They're making a prey of the widows; they're robbing the fatherless. These people that can't afford it, and yet they don't have enough sense to read between the lines and they send in their pension money to these fellows. Oh, that is upsetting to me. They live in fancy mansions and... God's going to deal with them. Woe unto them! You bet your woe!

In II Peter, chapter 2, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you." How are you going to know them? "Who privately will bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through [this is how you recognize them, through] covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you" ( 2 Peter 2:1-3 ).

Any time a person by flattery or feigned words seeks to make merchandise of you, you know he's a false prophet. A true shepherd is interested in feeding the flock rather than fleecing the flock. Pray for me. God help me. I could... The Bible says suffer not thy mouth to cause thee to sin. And I have to be careful that I don't let my mouth get me into deeper trouble.

And what will you do in the day of visitation ( Isaiah 10:3 ),

That is the day when God visits in His judgment.

in desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still ( Isaiah 10:3-4 ).

Going deeper and deeper, and yet they continue in their ways and God's hand is still stretched out. So God is going to use Assyria now as a rod to punish the Northern Kingdom.

O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? ( Isaiah 10:5-9 )

In other words, I've destroyed these other capital cities. I've destroyed these other nations, and aren't one just like another? I'll just go through and wipe them all out.

Now here's an interesting thing. God says, "I'm going to use Assyria as the rod of my judgment to come down and to wipe out Samaria." And yet, though Assyria is used as God's rod of judgment, because Assyria destroys God's people, then God's going to wipe out Assyria. They didn't realize that they were being used of God in this and they began being lifted up in pride.

Now the interesting thing when you go back into Chronicles and you read of Hezekiah, when Sennacherib came against Jerusalem and he began to challenge the men who were sitting there on the wall, he said, "Don't let Hezekiah the king tell you that God is going to take care of things. That God will defend you. For where are the gods of the Syrians?" And he began to name all of these nations that they have conquered. "Their gods weren't able to help them and neither is your God able to help you. Don't listen to Hezekiah. He's telling you just, you know, 'Don't worry, God can take care.' Listen, the other gods weren't able to handle them and your God isn't able to handle you." And the very thing that Isaiah predicted is actually the very taunt that the Assyrian ambassador spoke against the people.

And so because God said, "Because they said I'm not able to defend, watch what I'm going to do." And in one night the angel of the Lord went through the camp of the Assyrians and wiped out 185,000 of the first line troops. Just broke the back of the Assyrian invasion. They woke up in the morning, the Israelis did, and looked out, and their enemy was just nothing but a bunch of corpses out there. A hundred and eighty-five thousand in one night. An angel of the Lord.

That is always interesting to me to realize what one angel can do in one night, because I remember the statement of Jesus when Peter drew his sword to defend the Lord. You know, so many times we're seeking to defend the Lord. "I'll defend You, Lord." The day the Lord needs my defense He's in big trouble. The day He...just like the day He needs my support to keep His program going. If He's not able to keep His own program going, I'll never keep it up. Jesus said to Peter, "Hey, put away your sword. Don't you realize, Peter, I could call ten thousand angels that would come to my defense right now? In fact, they're chomping at the bit. Don't you realize I could call 10,000 angels? Put your sword away, Peter. The cup that the Father has given Me to drink, shall I not drink it? I'm in control, Peter. Don't worry about. I'm on the throne; I'm in control, Peter. Put your sword away now. I'm in control. I could call 10,000. I could get out of this if I wanted," is what He is saying. "But the cup that the Father has given Me to drink, shall I not drink it?"

If one angel could wipe out 185,000 Assyrians in one night, surely the 10,000 angels could have delivered Him easily out of the hand of those Roman soldiers and the high priest and anybody else. But He drank the cup for you and for me. He submitted Himself unto the will of the Father and He paid the price that you might have redemption. That you might have the forgiveness of your sins. That you might be able to dwell with Him eternally in His kingdom.

Now, inasmuch as He has purchased that for you, isn't it rather ridiculous that a person not accept now the offer that He gives? Since He's paid the price for it. And all you have to do is accept it. It is rather foolish not to accept it.

So the Assyrians are going to be lifted up with pride because God is delivering Samaria into their hands. They're going to think that they've done it themselves.

As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria ( Isaiah 10:10 );

In other words, they're going to think that their gods are superior and that's why they are conquering these other lands, because their gods are superior. And that's exactly what Sennacherib said. Rabshakeh who was the spokesman for Sennacherib.

Wherefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and upon Jerusalem, I will punish [the Assyrians,] those with a stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks ( Isaiah 10:12 ).

"I'll put him down," and God did. Wiped them out, 185,000. And Rabshakeh went back and was assassinated in his temple, even as the prophet declared he would be.

For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, I have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped ( Isaiah 10:13-14 ).

So the Assyrian began to exalt himself. "I, I, I, I have done all of this," not realizing that he was just a tool that God had used. He was just an instrument that God had used. And inasmuch as he was just an instrument in the hand of God, God said,

Shall the axe boast itself against him that chops with it? ( Isaiah 10:15 )

The axe is only the instrument. The axe without a man's hand, without the man's arm is just lying there dormant. It can't do a thing. It's only when the axe is being used by a man that it can have any value in chopping.

shall the saw boast against the guy who is shaking it? ( Isaiah 10:15 )

In other words, the instrument should never seek to take glory in itself. The glory should go to the one who uses the instrument, for the instrument by itself can do nothing.

Now what a lesson that is for us tonight who seek to be instruments in the hand of God. "Shall the axe boast against him that hews with it or the saw against him who is shaking it?" All I can be is an instrument in the hand of God. Anything that comes forth of any value out of my life I cannot take credit for it. I am only an instrument, and if God's hand isn't upon me, if God isn't using me, then whatever I do is absolutely worthless and useless. Without God's hand I'm just lying dormant. I can't do a thing. Of and in myself I can do nothing. And therefore it would be totally wrong and foolish for me to try to take credit for anything that God has wrought, because at best I am only an instrument in the hand of God. And the glory and the credit to whatever has been accomplished should always go to God, never to the instrument. The instrument is never to boast or glory itself or in itself. It is only an instrument and nothing more.

Your life is just an instrument in the hand of God. And if God uses you, praise the Lord, that's great. But don't take glory for it. Don't think, "Oh, look at me, God used me. Well, the reason why He used me is because I was so sharp." You know, some way we want to get credit in there for ourselves. Not so. Just be an instrument. Let God use you. And then give glory to God for whatever comes of it, because to God be the glory, great things He has done.

as if the rod could shake itself ( Isaiah 10:15 )

Can't. Assyria's My rod but it can't shake itself.

against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; and shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them ( Isaiah 10:15-19 ).

In other words, He's going to wipe them out and a child will be able to count the remnant that remains. And a child could count the soldiers that came back from the Assyrian invasion of Judah after God fulfilled His word and wiped them out. Because of their pride, because they began to glory in themselves, rather than the fact that God was using them.

Now Isaiah looks forward to a yet future day, very soon to be fulfilled. When God preserves His remnant in the Great Tribulation, as God takes the remnant and preserves them down at the rock city of Petra during the time of the Great Tribulation. We will get more of this when we get to chapter 16 and chapter 26. But now Isaiah looks forward to the Great Tribulation.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth ( Isaiah 10:20 ).

You see, they have been deceived by the antichrist, who when he comes into power, he makes a covenant with the nation Israel whereby he helps them to rebuild their temple. And because he helps them to build their temple, they're going to acclaim him as their Messiah. An interesting thing today, if you go to Israel and you ask them about the Messiah, of course, they disclaim Jesus Christ as being the Messiah. You talk to the Orthodox Jew, they'll tell you they're expecting the Messiah any time. In fact, there's a little prophet going up and down the streets of Jerusalem telling them that their Messiah is coming in 1981, '82. And the people are generally looking for the Messiah because the nation is in very serious shape. In fact, forty percent of the people in Israel in a recent poll said that they would prefer a dictator to their present form of government. Because the government has been inept in handling the crisis of the inflation and so forth, and people are really discouraged with their present form of government. Forty percent said they would like to see a dictatorship.

Now to these people, you talk to the Orthodox Jew and you say, "How are you going to recognize your Messiah when He comes?" And they will tell you, "He will help us build our temple." That's what the Orthodox Jew is looking for. A man to come and help them build their temple. Now that is what the antichrist is going to do. Jesus said, "I came to you in my Father's name, you did not receive Me. Another is going to come in his own name and him you're going to receive" ( John 5:43 ). And they're going to hail this man. They're going to acclaim him, "This is the Messiah." They said, "We're not looking for a divine Son of God. We're looking for a man like Moses. He's going to be just a man like Moses is a man, but he'll help us build our temple." I've had them tell me that over and over again.

Now the Bible tells us that's exactly what's going to happen. The prince of the people shall come, will make a covenant with the nation Israel, but in the midst of the seven-year period, after three-and-a-half years he'll break the covenant as he comes to the rebuilt temple, stands it and declares that he himself is God. So here we read about that.

The remnant that escaped. Jesus said when that happens, when you see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, as was spoken by Daniel the prophet, then flee to the wilderness. Don't even stop in your house to get your coat. Get out of here. So the remnant that flees from Jerusalem will no more again trust in the antichrist, but here will be the national conversion and they will turn to the Lord and begin to trust in Him. They will stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel in truth. And they're going to turn, tremendous revival.

The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet only a remnant of them shall return: and the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness ( Isaiah 10:21-22 ).

God will destroy through the judgment the world, but just a remnant will make it through.

For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land ( Isaiah 10:23 ).

The Great Tribulation period.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing ( Isaiah 10:24-27 ).

That yoke that the antichrist puts upon them and all will be destroyed.

Now we are approaching the battle of Armageddon.

He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his [tanks, chariots or] carriages ( Isaiah 10:28 ):

Up into the area of Megiddo.

They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one ( Isaiah 10:29-34 ).

So the prediction of this coming, gathering together of the nations for the battle of Armageddon as they are gathering their tanks and all together in the area for the huge battle.

Now it is interesting that following in order, the eleventh chapter where we begin next week deals with the return of Jesus Christ in glory. "And there shall come forth the rod out of the stem of Jesse" ( Isaiah 11:1 ). And chapter 11 gets into the glorious Kingdom Age which we are seeing now. Of course, this chapter 10 as its beginning to frame around us the great day of the wrath of God. But to be followed by the glorious Kingdom Age.

So as you get into chapter 11, we get into a whole new dimension now as we move beyond this great slaughter and desolation to the glorious day of the Lord and the establishment of His kingdom. What a day that shall be! So next week we will continue chapters 11-15 in the prophecy of Isaiah.

Shall we stand.

May the Lord be with you and may your life be an instrument in God's hand this week. May you have that unusual joy of realizing God's hand is upon my life. He has used me. May God help you to share His love with those that are still sitting in darkness. And may you experience the anointing of God's Spirit upon your life in a new and a very special way as He empowers you to do His work. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 10". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-10.html. 2014.
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