Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Decreed Darkness - Isaiah 10

“For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord GOD of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, ‘O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did. For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent, and My anger will be directed to their destruction.’” (10:23-25)

The Israel of God is in dark times here in chapter 10. They are being disciplined by the rod of reproof. The Assyrians are being used by God to deal with the sin of God’s people. What great comfort there is to know that even the most wicked and boastful of rulers, like Senacherib, are instruments in the hands of a sovereign God. He will use them for His own glory and for the good of His church. Senacherib and his army are being used as the rod of God’s anger to bring about repentance and reform.

Notice that this dark and frowning providence that has fallen upon Israel is “one that is decreed.” God brought it about in His omniscient wisdom. Notice also that “in a very little while” God’s indignation will be spent. Henry says:“It is determined, not only that there shall be a consumption, but it is cut out; it is particularly appointed how far it shall extend and how long it shall continue. God will bring this consumption upon a provoking people, but He will wisely and graciously set bounds to it.”

I can’t help but think of 1 Peter and the reminder that “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1:6-7). Whatever struggles Christ’s church and Christ’s people are facing they are but for a little while – and they are necessary.

It is encouraging that in the midst of the dark times of Isaiah 10 that God reminds His people “do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you.” God knows how fearful we naturally are and He speaks to us in that fear. God is speaking comfort to His sincere people here. Stubborn sinners should fear God’s rod but His faithful sheep should not!

Thankful for the Sovereign Shepherd,


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