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the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 14

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-32

Chapter 14

For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob ( Isaiah 14:1 ).

Again, now he moves out to the end of the Kingdom Age where Israel is restored and exalted among the world.

The people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over the oppressors. And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou was made to serve. That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers ( Isaiah 14:2-5 ).

Now you remember that in Revelation, the angel in the fourteenth chapter flies through the midst of the heaven saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city" ( Revelation 14:8 ), and so forth, and declares the fall of this Babylonian system. "The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers."

He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us ( Isaiah 14:6-8 ).

The trees have an opportunity to grow.

Now we are getting into the area of the beast, the man of sin, the son of perdition, the one who is anointed with Satan's power as he makes reference to

Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Your pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee ( Isaiah 14:9-11 ).

This man that the whole world marvels at, his reception in hell will be an interesting thing. As the kings rise up and say, "Hey, you... "

Now the prophecy lapses from the beast to the power behind the beast, or the antichrist to Satan who gave him the power.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High ( Isaiah 14:12-14 ).

These five "I wills" of Satan. This was the beginning of sin in the universe. This was the beginning of the rebellion against God's government and God's kingdom, and they came with Satan's willing against the will of God.

In Ezekiel we are told concerning Satan that he at one time was an anointed cherub. Cherubim, the B-I-M, or the I-M, is actually a plural suffix in the Hebrew language. So a cherub would be singular. But there are cherubim; there are many of these angelic beings. Satan was one of these exalted angelic beings. Interesting it would seem that the cherubim are there to guard the holiness of God. And perhaps he was the chief over the cherubim. It would seem to indicate that as Ezekiel addresses him in the form of the king of Tyre, "the anointed cherub that covers. Thou has been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, beryl, onyx, sapphire, carbuncle," and so forth. "Thou wast perfect in beauty, perfect in wisdom, perfect in all of your ways until the day that iniquity was found in thee" ( Ezekiel 28:13-15 ). And then he speaks of his fall.

Now Isaiah tells us exactly what the iniquity was. It was his declaring, "I will," in opposition to God's will. And anytime you declare your will in opposition to God's will, that's sin. That's rebellion. Rebellion against God. Sin is the failure to do the will of God, to surrender, to submit to the will of God. "I will ascend into heaven. I will sit also. I will exact my throne above the stars of God." Stars of God being the angels of God. "I'm going to exalt above them. I will sit also on the mount of the congregation on the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights. I will be like the Most High." Interesting. The climactic "I will" of Satan: "I will be like God."

Shakespeare in the one play has someone addressing Cromwell, "Oh, Cromwell, flee ambition. For by this sin the angels fell." I will be like God.

It is interesting when Satan came into the garden to tempt Eve, what was the hook? "God doesn't want you to eat that fruit, for He knows that the day that you eat that fruit, you will be like God. You want to be like God? Eat this fruit." And that was the hook. It was the thing that tripped him up, and so it's the very thing then that he used to trip Eve up--to be like God. "God doesn't want you to eat it. He's afraid you're going to be like Him."

So any of these religions today that make you like God, that put you in a God category, "When you die, you and your wife can be as gods. You go to your own little planet," be careful. That was the hook that got Satan. That was the hook that he used for Eve. These that make a god out of you. "Recognize the god in you." The self-realizations. What is the self-realization concept? "I am God," that's what I need to realize. Isn't that wonderful? Tragic! But so many people are being drawn by this desire to be God. And so the god in me blesses the god in you, the self-realization of who I am. So Satan's fall: "I will be like the Most High."

Now the interesting thing is that God is making us again in His image. When God first created man, He created man in His image and after His likeness. But man through disobedience, in his desire to be like God, fell from that image of God. And "by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; so that death passed unto all men, for all sinned" ( Romans 5:12 ). So if I want to know what God intended when He created man, I can't look around the world and find it. Because in the world that doesn't exist, because I see fallen man. I see man that is filled with greed. I see man that is filled with hatred, with avarice. I see a man who is controlled by his own desires and lust. That isn't the way God intended man to live. That isn't what God intended for man.

We see man in his fallen state. But God reached down to touch man in his fallen state, and the purpose of God in working in your life tonight is to restore unto you that which was lost through the fall. God wants to restore you back into His image. And so Paul said, "We, with open face beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed from glory to glory into the same image" ( 2 Corinthians 3:18 ). That doesn't mean I'm God. It doesn't mean I'm going to be God. I'm always going to be me. But I will be conformed again by the Spirit of God into the image of Jesus Christ, where love will once again dominate instead of greed or selfishness, and made again into the image of Jesus Christ. That's the purpose of God's work in our lives tonight.

So Satan fell. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning?" You said you're going to exalt yourself. You're going to be like God.

Yet you will be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms ( Isaiah 14:15-16 );

Man, when you see Satan down there, you'll say, "Wow, is that the guy that gave me such a bad time? The man that created all of the problems for this universe? The one that started the whole rebellion against God. Is that? Wow, look at him." What a sight that's going to be.

That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities; that opened not the house of his prisoners? [All the kingdoms of the earth, or] all the kings of the nations, even all of them that lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass that is trodden under foot ( Isaiah 14:17-19 ).

The kings are buried in tombs, sepulchers and so forth. But you're going to be cast out of the grave. You're going to be like the coat of a man who has fallen in battle that's just cast aside to be trodden down under the feet.

Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and the remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD ( Isaiah 14:20-22 ).

How many of you have met a Babylonian lately? They don't exist. God cut them off. The name, the son, the nephew, they are no more family, Babylonians.

I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand ( Isaiah 14:23-24 ):

That is one powerful verse. God said. He's sworn. This is, men take an oath to confirm what they have said as being really true. Well, God who has never spoken anything but truth, when God swears to something, man, how true can you get? How firm can it be? How well can a thing be established? When God has sworn, "Surely as I have thought, it shall come to pass." God's Word shall surely be fulfilled.

When the Lord told Daniel to write these things, He said, "For the prophecy is certain" ( Daniel 2:45 ). It's going to be fulfilled. God declares, "Surely as I have thought, so it's going to be. And as I have purposed, so shall it stand." The purposes of God are set. They cannot be changed. The plan of God will be fulfilled.

That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who can disannul it? his hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? ( Isaiah 14:25-27 )

The tremendous, awesome sovereignty of God.

In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden ( Isaiah 14:28 ).

So now we're moving on into a new area. It is not distinguished by a chapter change, but it is distinguished by the fact that he introduces this new section by, "In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden."

Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent ( Isaiah 14:29 ).

Now he's just spoken of the destruction of Assyria, but don't rejoice because Assyria is broken by Babylon, because now God is going to bring the Babylonians against you.

And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times. What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it ( Isaiah 14:30-32 ).

So God is going to found Zion, the ultimate bottom line. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 14". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-14.html. 2014.
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