Isaiah 10

Isaiah 10 Devotional
by Pastor Mark Hudson

            Chapter 10 is a continuation of Isaiah 9.  The phrase in v. 4b is repeated in 9:12, 17, and 21.  What we are witnessing is evil permeating the entire society.  Verse 1 refers to religious leaders who are legislating wicked laws and who prey on the vulnerable.  How we treat the poor, the widows, the fatherless is important to God and He watches if you have any compassion for those at all.  That compassion matters to God.  You never, ever want to make money on the backs of the vulnerable.

            God promises, yes, He promises punishment that is coming.  And there will be no place to hide from God and wealth means absolutely nothing on that day v. 3.  There is no hiding from God.  What a terrible day that was when the Assyrians came and what a terrible day it will be when unbelievers die and realize the moment they shut their eyes in death they awake to a God they thought never existed.  And He is a holy God who will execute His just wrath.  Some of these people are family members, friends, and neighbors.  Christians have long been taught to ponder these truths.  Do not be lulled into thinking you should not think about the final judgment.

            Assyria is coming and cannot be stopped. Assyria, unknowingly, is a tool in God’s hand, called “the rod of my anger, the staff in their hands is my fury!” v. 5.  Assyria would never agree with verse 6, “. . . I send him (Assyria) . . . I command him.”   God knows exactly what the Assyrians think for in v. 8, 10, and 11. Isaiah writes, “for he says: Are not my commanders all kings?  . . . As my hand (Assyria that is) has reached to the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria, shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Samaria and her images?”   Assyria thought little Israel would be easy to overcome compared to other nations they conquered. 

As God hates the pride of his own people, He also abhors the pride of the ungodly.  “. . . (H)e will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. . .” v. 12.  God is using Assyria but using them to punish His people.  Yet the Assyrians did not understand they were doing God’s bidding.  Assyria thought they were in complete control.  So they will be judged since they are merely the ax, saw, rod, or staff in God’s hand v. 15.

If you were Judah you might be tempted to despair.  God is judging us and punishing Assyria so what can I do if this is all decreed and decided by God?  Verses 20 and following provide hope in the midst of a bleak message.  There is always hope in God’s message of coming judgment.  One word reveals His hope: remnant.  There will always be believers who not only endure the judgment of God but come out better for it.  While many, including Ahaz, are leaning or trusting in Assyria, there are those who “will lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth”  v. 20. 

God reminds that His people that for a time Assyria will render judgment to His own people.   Then God will (“in a very little while” v. 25) judge Assyria.  “In that day, his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat” v. 27.   There is hope after this period of punishment from God. 

God’s judgment is a constant theme in the Bible. We are saved by God from God for God.  God saves us from His wrath so we can live for Him.  But His wrath is awful and awesome.  If we had better spiritual eyes, we could see His judgment present now in ways we don’t always notice.  God’s judgment can be giving people more money or success.  His judgment may be in providing laws or leaders we plead for.  But the most terrifying is the final judgment.  Only Christ, promised in chapter 7, 9, 11, 53 et al will be able to deliver us from God’s wrath since He received the full measure of God the Father’s wrath on His body that was intended for us.  And the worst, the very worst part of the cross, was not the physical suffering as great as it was, but the wrath of God and God’s turning away from His Son.

Father, help us to to be wise in these days of Your blessing and Your judgment.  Help us to be awake so we are alive by Your Spirit to avoid the evils of these days.  Help us to shun and run away from temptation and fear You by obedience to Your commands.  We pray for those we love but do not know You.  Somehow use us to remind them of Your just wrath.  May we clearly communicate the overwhelming grace of God in the cross.  In the name of the One who is coming.  Maranatha.  Amen.