Isaiah says to Ahaz, king of Judah, that the Assyrians will overthrow his enemies, Syria and Israel, and they will also attack Judah, but Judah will not be overthrown. However, Northern Israel will cease to exist as a nation after the Assyrian invasion upon their land. Isaiah states that nothing will stop the Lord’s plans – “Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.”
Isaiah calls Judah to trust the Lord since they are currently trusting in the Assyrians, who too will come up against them – “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear.” Isaiah implores Judah to wait on the Lord and His word and hope in Him, not man or wizards or mediums.
Although there is going to be an invasion on the land of Israel, the Lord gives hope – “He lightly esteemed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” The current wicked land of Northern Israel is where, later in the story, Jesus will do most of his earthly ministry work, thus shining a light on the once dark land.
Isaiah speaks of Jesus, the coming Messiah – “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Jesus is coming once to die for the sins of the world, and He will come again one day to rule the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19).
Isaiah explains why judgment is coming upon Northern Israel – “For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the Lord of hosts. Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel, palm branch and bulrush in one day. The elder and honorable, he is the head; the prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed. Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men, nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly.”
The Lord will use Assyria to bring judgment against His unrepentant people, but this will lead to the Assyrians becoming arrogant. Then the Lord will bring judgment against the proud Assyrians – “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks. For he says: ‘By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent.’”
Despite the coming invasion, the Lord promises that He will preserve a remnant – “And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, will never again depend on him who defeated them, but will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God.”
The Lord is in control of everything — His people and their enemies. He uses their enemies to bring judgment upon His rebellious people, but nothing is going to stop the Lord’s plan of sending the Messiah through the bloodline of Jacob’s son Judah as prophesied (Genesis 49:10). Isaiah speaks of the coming Messiah through the lineage of Jesse, King David’s dad who is a descendant of Judah – “There shall come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist…and in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”
God is sending His Son, who will be the ultimate Judge of all in righteousness (Matthew 25:31-46, Acts 17:30-31), and who will save anyone who puts their faith, hope and trust in Him. But first, the Lord is sending in the prophet Hosea. That’s up tomorrow, so keep reading. (Isaiah 8:1-11:16)