The Lord of Hosts

Isaiah 10:16-19. “Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat one leanness: and under his glory He shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire..And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy Ones for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day: And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.”

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The King of Assyria’s boasting will come to an end once God has accomplished His purpose. That end will not be pleasant.

Isaiah uses two titles to refer to God in verse 16. The first is simply the Lord (Ha-Adon), and is used b Isaiah always in connection with the power exerted judicially and penally. The second title,  Adonai Sabaoth, “the Lord of Hosts”,  is used here only, and indicates His absolute sovereignty over everything and everyone, including Assyria.

God is not to be trivialized. He is the Creator and Owner of all things. Those who look on Him with a dismissive attitude will be dealt with harshly.

The fat (powerful, wealthy) men of Assyria would become thin with poverty and hunger. In verse 17, God is “The Light of Israel” and “His Holy one.” He would be a consuming fire, making a bonfire of the mighty ones as if they were nothing more than briers and thorns. The armed forces, “the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field,” would be consumed “from the soul even to the flesh,”  completely demolished.  Verse 19 describes the scattered remnants of the army that march against Jerusalem, so few that a boy could easily count them.  The angel of the Lord killed 185,000 of the Assyrian army in one night, and few were left (Is.37:36-38; 2 Kings 19:35).

 

Be Careful, King of Assyria!

Isaiah 10:15. “Shall the ax boast itself against Him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify  itself against Him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.”

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Contrary to his overweening pride and arrogance,  the King of Assyria was nothing more than a tool in God’s hand to deal with a disobedient and idolatrous Israel. A tool doesn’t turn on its user. It has no power at all unless someone holds it, directs it, and accomplishes work with it.  It is, in fact, no good at all unless it is directed by the hand of the workman.

We need to take the lesson here. Sometimes, especially if we have a particular talent or ability, it is easy to think how valuable we are to God, to the church, to other people. In actuality, God has given us whatever talents we may have, and He can take them away. If God is not directing our service, then we are no good at all

 There is a song I love called Unless the Lord is Lifted Up. Its message is clear: There is nothing that really matters unless God is glorified in it.

More Pride

Isaiah 10:14. “And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.”

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The arrogance of this man is amazing.  He brags on himself in the most laudatory terms, likening himself to gathering up the riches of the conquered people like a  person would gather eggs from a nest left unprotected by the hen.  No one was able to stand against him. He had conquered the whole earth.

Others have made similar claims all down through history, and they have all faded  into the dim gray halls of human memory.  Most of them will spend all eternity in hell because they trusted in their own power more and ignored Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts.

Boasting

Isaiah 10:13. “For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasuries, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:”

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The King of Assyria continues to boast of his strength and wisdom in destroying the people of Israel and Judah.  He considers himself to be a valiant man, and in his own eyes and the eyes of his own people, he was seen as exactly that.

I have considered  posting all the verses that boast of this man’s own success all in one day, but I think it’s important that we ponder over what he has to say about himself, never once mentioning that he is nothing more than a tool in the hands of Jehovah.

We need to consider our own pride and confidence in ourselves. We really do.

Home Improvement

Over the last couple of years, we’ve remodeled the kitchen. All the big work is done, but Terry is still pecking away at smaller tasks.  One he did last week was to install a towel bar under the sink so I don’t have to put my hand towel and dishtowel over the handle on my oven. It looks nicer, and I’m no longer constantly having to pick the towels up off the floor!

Last year, in the early fall, we went to a wheat harvest farm show with  my daughter and her family.  Terry noticed a stall in the shopping area where a woman was creating beautiful art pieces using different varieties of wheat. We were both particularly attracted to one piece, and we decided it would be perfect on the wall in my new kitchen.

Terry created the frame, did the matting, covered it with acrylic “glass” and got it hung yesterday.  It looks wonderful.  Here it is:

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So beautiful and unusual.  I’m delighted with it!

God is not Mocked

Isaiah 10:12. “Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.”

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The king of Assyria, the nation of Assyria, did not have a heart for God. They wanted to conquer every nation, not for God’s glory but for their own.  God used them, and allowed them to be His instrument of justice on an hypocritical, idolatrous Israel; they, however, had no knowledge of Jehovah, God of Israel. They just did what they always had done. They warred on surrounding nations and swallowed them up. Assyria was famous for its really incredible cruelty, not for its holiness, justice or mercy.

The king had an arrogant heart and a haughty appearance. He would pay dearly.

It’s too bad that there are similar men, similar nations today who have no heart for God. They are arrogant and haughty, thinking they have all the power. They, too, will pay dearly. God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, that’s what he will reap (Galatians 6:7).

 

Pride Brings Judgment

Isaiah 10: 7-11. “Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so: but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath  as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?”

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The Assyrian nation that God permitted to bring His judgment upon Ephraim and Judah is going to be in for its own judgment. They are proud, haughty, and just as godless and full of idolatry as Israel. They overstep themselves in their pride at all they have conquered. The king of Assyria was full of pride, intending to create a universal empire. So it has been throughout all of history, as nations rise and fall. A mere man, any man, is nothing more than a tool like an axe or a rod in God’s hand, used to bring judgment on whoever God wills, but then receiving judgment because of pride.

Calno, Carchemish, Hamath, Arpad. Why are these places significant? They were all cities that had fallen to the power of the Assyrian king and his army. He is saying here that no one can stand against him; not Samaria, and not Jerusalem with all their idols.

Not all of these events took place one after the other, but in a period of about 20 years. Assyria was a cruel taskmaster, going far beyond what God had ordained. They would pay dearly for their pride.