Isaiah 10

* Woes against proud oppressors. (1-4) The Assyrian but an

instrument in the hand of God for the punishment of his people.

(5-19) The deliverance from him. (20-34)

1-4 These verses are to be joined with the foregoing chapter.

Woe to the superior powers that devise and decree unrighteous

decrees! And woe to the inferior officers that draw them up, and

enter them on record! But what will sinners do? Whither will

they flee?
5-19 See what a change sin made. The king of Assyria, in his

pride, thought to act by his own will. The tyrants of the world

are tools of Providence. God designs to correct his people for

their hypocrisy, and bring them nearer to him; but is that

Sennacherib's design? No; he designs to gratify his own

covetousness and ambition. The Assyrian boasts what great things

he has done to other nations, by his own policy and power. He

knows not that it is God who makes him what he is, and puts the

staff into his hand. He had done all this with ease; none moved

the wing, or cried as birds do when their nests are rifled.

Because he conquered Samaria, he thinks Jerusalem would fall of

course. It was lamentable that Jerusalem should have set up

graven images, and we cannot wonder that she was excelled in

them by the heathen. But is it not equally foolish for

Christians to emulate the people of the world in vanities,

instead of keeping to things which are their special honour? For

a tool to boast, or to strive against him that formed it, would

not be more out of the way, than for Sennacherib to vaunt

himself against Jehovah. When God brings his people into

trouble, it is to bring sin to their remembrance, and humble

them, and to awaken them to a sense of their duty; this must be

the fruit, even the taking away of sin. When these points are

gained by the affliction, it shall be removed in mercy. This

attempt upon Zion and Jerusalem should come to nothing. God will

be as a fire to consume the workers of iniquity, both soul and

body. The desolation should be as when a standard-bearer

fainteth, and those who follow are put to confusion. Who is able

to stand before this great and holy Lord God?
20-34 By our afflictions we may learn not to make creatures our

confidence. Those only can with comfort stay upon God, who

return to him in truth, not in pretence and profession only. God

will justly bring this wasting away on a provoking people, but

will graciously set bounds to it. It is against the mind and

will of God, that his people, whatever happens, should give way

to fear. God's anger against his people is but for a moment; and

when that is turned from us, we need not fear the fury of man.

The rod with which he corrected his people, shall not only be

laid aside, but thrown into the fire. To encourage God's people,

the prophet puts them in mind of what God had formerly done

against the enemies of his church. God's people shall be

delivered from the Assyrians. Some think it looks to the

deliverance of the Jews out of their captivity; and further yet,

to the redemption of believers from the tyranny of sin and

Satan. And this, "because of the anointing;" for his people

Israel's sake, the believers among them that had received the

unction of Divine grace. And for the sake of the Messiah, the

Anointed of God. Here is, ver. #28-34|, a prophetical

description of Sennacherib's march towards Jerusalem, when he

threatened to destroy that city. Then the Lord, in whom Hezekiah

trusted, cut down his army like the hewing of a forest. Let us

apply what is here written, to like matters in other ages of the

church of Christ. Because of the anointing of our great

Redeemer, the yoke of every antichrist must be broken from off

his church: and if our souls partake of the unction of the Holy

Spirit, complete and eternal deliverances will be secured to us.

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