The Pen of the Prophet

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Isaiah was not your average card carrying prophet of the times.  His message flew towards the hearts of Israel like keen edged arrows.  They were sharpened with anointing and launched with zeal, yet, these words were often scorned and ridiculed but in time they would proven to be frightfully true.  Then it would be too late.

From his quill he worded divine phrases that originated far from his desk.

“Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and writers who keep writing oppression to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right; that widows may be their spoil and that they may make the fatherless their prey. “ 

Israel had left her moorings in YHWH.  What had begun as a weak tribe that cared for its members and took care of each other had become a metropolis of unfettered greed and secularism. She had slowly but very consistently wandered from the paths of His righteousness to the point that recovery was impossible. Legislators composed laws that would oppress the people and steal their lands through a form of “Eminent Domain.” The powerful preyed on the widow, a signal of the poor, and would abuse the worker with unjust wages.

The dearth of genuine pursuit of God resulted in an internal weakness that formed a kind of “imperial rot” among this once noble nation. The Power that once guided them through impossible difficulties would now turn against them and the only defense they had for that was DENIAL!  “YHWH would never turn on his people, we have the temple! We have the law. We are the chosen ones.” And so denial was well entrenched in the hallowed halls of politics and religion.

But the prophet is about to shatter their illusion. An army is coming from the north that will undo everything achieved over the past three hundred years. The history of their great leader David and the magnificence of Solomon’s empire will be swept away by a cruel and vicious people who will show no mercy but most surprisingly of all, they will be a people equipped and sent by YHWH himself.

“Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury!  Against a godless nation I send him and against the people of my wrath I command him…”

Here is what seems a strange thing indeed – God enforces Israel’s enemies to come up against her and to conqueror her and all with the strength provided her by YHWH.  Assyria will come and repay for what Israel herself is guilty of; she will take the spoil, seize the plunder and tread down the residue.

This ambition does not come from Assyria herself but rather YHWH births it.  He is behind the scenes prodding Assyria to come to Israel to render His judgment.

But in Assyria’s’ victory he is destined to become proud and arrogant, assuming falsely that he was the one who did this great feat.  He boasts that his own hand has gotten him the great victory and YHWH will punish the “Speech of the arrogant heart.”  .

The prophet foresees that when God has finished his will on Mount Zion having used Assyria to accomplish his will, he then will punish the arrogant heart and the boastful look of the king of Assyria.  He too will be judged.

Now give close attention to the following!

The United States in a similar way has been used to right injustice, tear down evil regimens, topple ruthless dictators, liberate the oppressed and in so doing build an accord with those rescued countries for profit and gain.

But it would seem that our victories have been annulled by our arrogance.  We have forsaken God, only calling on him when we want a divine endorsement for our conquest or to protect our cherished barns of riches, which one could call our economy. Our alliances with long-term allies are deteriorating, as they feel increasingly used by the Great Eagle.

God is not just forgotten in our country but rather he is wholeheartedly rejected.  We scorn him and make light of him.  We do not consider nor declare that it was He who used us to topple evil.

Now, we have become that evil!    Everything is imploding around us.  Government cannot govern. Our Chief Executive appears to play more than lead. The economy is driven by greed and not helping others.  Our enemies are attacking from all sides and our borders are no longer borders but rather open gates.

The moral fabric is in a state of rapid extinction as this once great nation proudly declares, “By the strength of my hands I have done it.”

But the ax has no right to boast against the one who uses it. This “imperial swagger” opens the way for a wasting sickness among his stout warriors and a consuming fire beneath the glory that was once shone by her citizens

Assyria had a divine role in the scene of Israel’s history  – but then the powerful one committed national suicide by boasting that it was from himself that the victory came.

America could learn from Assyria… but she will not.


10:1 Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
and the writers who keep writing oppression,
to turn aside the needy from justice
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be their spoil,
and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
What will you do on the day of punishment,
in the ruin that will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help,
and where will you leave your wealth?
Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners
or fall among the slain.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still.

Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger;
the staff in their hands is my fury!
Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
But he does not so intend,
and his heart does not so think;
but it is in his heart to destroy,
and to cut off nations not a few;
for he says:
“Are not my commanders all kings?
Is not Calno like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
as I have done to Samaria and her images?”

12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. 13 For he says:

“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
I remove the boundaries of peoples,
and plunder their treasures;
like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.
14 My hand has found like a nest
the wealth of the peoples;
and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,
so I have gathered all the earth;
and there was none that moved a wing
or opened the mouth or chirped.”

15 Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,
or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?
As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,
or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord God of hosts
will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
like the burning of fire.
17 The light of Israel will become a fire,
and his Holy One a flame,
and it will burn and devour
his thorns and briers in one day.
18 The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land
the Lord will destroy, both soul and body,
and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
that a child can write them down. (ESV)


10:1 Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
and the writers who keep writing oppression,
to turn aside the needy from justice
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be their spoil,
and that they may make the fatherless their prey! (ESV)


Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger;
the staff in their hands is my fury!
Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. (ESV)


12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. (ESV)