Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 10

Today is a day of overwhelming burdens. I must admit that I am not feeling very inspired this day because of a number of things on my mind and a number of burdens I am facing at my present job. It is at a time like this that I am reminded where my strength lies. I was thinking of this last night on my way to play basketball. I felt I was at another crossroads where my burdens were going to overwhelm me. Instead of succumbing to these troubles though, I tried to focus on where my strength lies.

Ultimately, that is what chapter 10 of Isaiah is saying. It is a hard chapter to go through because it deals so much with the doom and gloom of judging the Assyrians. Much of Isaiahs deal with that because, at the time, the Assyrians were such a repressive force against Israel and Judah. So what can we take out of this? As the prophet Isaiah points out numerous times throughout this book, the judgment is pending because Israel had lost its way. Israel had forgotten where its strength lied, therefore, they must suffer the consequences.

20 In that day the remnant of Israel,
       the survivors of the house of Jacob,
       will no longer rely on him
       who struck them down
       but will truly rely on the LORD,
       the Holy One of Israel.

         21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob
            will return to the Mighty God.

         22 Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea,
           only a remnant will return.
        Destruction has been decreed,
        overwhelming and righteous.

         23 The Lord, the LORD Almighty, will carry out
       the destruction decreed upon the whole land.

 24 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the LORD Almighty, says:
       "O my people who live in Zion,
       do not be afraid of the Assyrians,
       who beat you with a rod
       and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did.

 25 Very soon my anger against you will end
       and my wrath will be directed to their destruction."

As mentioned before, Israel was not relying on God for its strength. Instead, they were relying on the allies around them to be a fighting force against larger foes. As a result, they had become complacent and dependent on sources other than God for their strength. It is here that God promises them that the day will come when the survivors of Israel will have no choice but to rely on the Lord. This can be an allusion to a time when they would cast off their Assyrian oppressors, or it can refer to the end times when God will personally intervenefor Israel.

How does this relate to today? Well, much like with Israel, there are moments where God gives us little choice but to rely on Him. It is in those moments when we have no idea what to do that we must rely on Him. I have been in those moments before, and personally feel like I am in one right now. It is a bit of a helpless feeling, knowing I am at the end of my own strength. Fortunately there is an awesome and powerful God there to take these burdens away and deal with them in his own time. This is what we have been promised, and that promise evidences itself right here.


  1. Why does God only mention a remnant of Israel.
  2. Why does God use these moments of helplessness to demonstrate His strength?
  3. How do you feel oppressed like the Assyrians oppressed Israel?

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