ill put cedars in their place” [v.10].

Today’s readings.. Joshua 5&6, Isaiah 10, 2 Thessalonians 1&2

Today’s chapter in Isaiah reveals how God uses evil nations, in this case the Assyrians, as His axe, rod or saw to deal with other nations He had decided to punish – often that nation was His own  people Israel.  These nations think they are achieving their successes by their own strength – and so, in one sense they are, but God is in overall control. This has always been the case.   But those who are proud of their achievements are in turn dealt with by God and this was first the fate of the Assyrians and after that, Babylon’s.  God through Isaiah (Ch. 10) says, “Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it” [v.15]  God was the one who was doing the hewing, he had a spiritual reason in view. 

What specially attracts us to this chapter are the implications that history will repeat itself in the future! In v.20 we read, “In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.” [v.20,21] ”  When is that day?  

Israel today while much stronger in itself, still leans on another nation, that has been the USA.   Before its re-establishment as a nation, it was the U.K., whose troops liberated Jerusalem from the Moslems in 1917 and then issued ‘the Balfour Declaration’.  But England proved to be a weak leaning post and went back on their word, in their subsequent history; one is inclined to the view that God has judged them.  a few years ago the USA lessened its support for Israel, and seemed to suffer weakening influence amongst nations,  We  watch with interest there changing fortunes under a government supportive of Israel today, but even more than this, we must read God’s word as carefully as possible to try to correctly understand its prophecies.

One thing we noted, as quoted above, was that when Israel lean on the Lord, they do so “in truth,.”  The next verse (v.22) says, “For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return.  Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.”  It may be that the destruction that was decreed has already occurred when Hitler killed 5 million Jews, we cannot yet know for sure, but the Holocaust event so provoked the conscience of the world when the facts became known, that the newly formed UNITED NATIONS voted in 1947 in favour of the establishment of Israel.  But it was God who wrought miracles to see the nation victorious the following year; the U.N., as it still is, was powerless to enforce its decisions of 1947.  

We will read more of this in Isaiah’s next chapter with great interest, just as we read with great interest the passages today in the New Testament of the “man of sin” the lawless one “whom the Lord Jesus Christ will kill with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” [2 Thess.2 v.8]   We are living in momentous days, but they are becoming ever darker except for those whose minds are illuminated by the word of God.

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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