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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Isaiah 10

     A warning is given to those who make unjust laws and those who administer the law unfairly and dishonestly. Those who oppress others will themselves be oppressed. Living in a land where justice exists and is the foundation of society is insufficient. It's necessary for every individual to treat others with justice and fairness, and to treat the poor and the weak in the same manner as the rich and powerful. There should b one Law for everyone, meted out in the same way.
     You, and you alone, are responsible for the way that you treat others. It's of no use attempting to hide behind others and pass off the responsibility for your actions to them. God will hold you responsible for the way that you deal with the poor.
     God used Assyria as part of his plan to judge His people, although Assyria did not know it. Throughout history we can find examples of a similar nature where God has used situations to deal with nations and people who choose to reject Him. No matter what some people might claim, God is in control of the world which He created, and that applies just as much today as it ever did.
     Assyria's judgement came about in 701 BC when 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were slain by an angel of the Lord, and later, when the nation was conquered by Babylon, never to rise up again as a world power. Their major error of judgement was to believe that they had accomplished everything by themselves, and this mad them proud and haughty. When we fail to recognise God's hand in our lives then our perspective become distorted by our achievements. We must learn to see God working out His plan through us, and to understand that what we achieve is accomplished only by God being in control.

1 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
   to those who issue oppressive decrees,
2 to deprive the poor of their rights
   and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
   and robbing the fatherless.
3 What will you do on the day of reckoning,
   when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
   Where will you leave your riches?
4 Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
   or fall among the slain.
   Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
   his hand is still upraised.
God’s Judgment on Assyria
5 “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, 
   in whose hand is the club of my wrath! 
6 I send him against a godless nation, 
   I dispatch him against a people who anger me, 
to seize loot and snatch plunder, 
   and to trample them down like mud in the streets. 
7 But this is not what he intends, 
   this is not what he has in mind; 
his purpose is to destroy, 
   to put an end to many nations. 
8 ‘Are not my commanders all kings?’ he says. 
9 ‘Has not Kalno fared like Carchemish? 
Is not Hamath like Arpad, 
   and Samaria like Damascus? 
10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols, 
   kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria— 
11 shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images 
   as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?’”
12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he says:
   “‘By the strength of my hand I have done this,
   and by my wisdom, because I have understanding.
I removed the boundaries of nations,
   I plundered their treasures;
   like a mighty one I subdued their kings.
14 As one reaches into a nest,
   so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations;
as people gather abandoned eggs,
   so I gathered all the countries;
not one flapped a wing,
   or opened its mouth to chirp.’”
15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it,
   or the saw boast against the one who uses it?
As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up,
   or a club brandish the one who is not wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord, the LORD Almighty,
   will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors;
under his pomp a fire will be kindled
   like a blazing flame.
17 The Light of Israel will become a fire,
   their Holy One a flame;
in a single day it will burn and consume
   his thorns and his briers.
18 The splendor of his forests and fertile fields
   it will completely destroy,
   as when a sick person wastes away.
19 And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few
   that a child could write them down.
The Remnant of Israel
20 In that day the remnant of Israel, 
   the survivors 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,[b] a remnant of Jacob 
   will return to the Mighty God. 
22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel, 
   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:
   “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.”
26 The LORD Almighty will lash them with a whip,
   as when he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb;
and he will raise his staff over the waters,
   as he did in Egypt.
27 In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders,
   their yoke from your neck;
the yoke will be broken
   because you have grown so fat.[c]
28 They enter Aiath;
   they pass through Migron;
   they store supplies at Mikmash.
29 They go over the pass, and say,
   “We will camp overnight at Geba.”
Ramah trembles;
   Gibeah of Saul flees.
30 Cry out, Daughter Gallim!
   Listen, Laishah!
   Poor Anathoth!
31 Madmenah is in flight;
   the people of Gebim take cover.
32 This day they will halt at Nob;
   they will shake their fist
at the mount of Daughter Zion,
   at the hill of Jerusalem.
33 See, the Lord, the LORD Almighty,
   will lop off the boughs with great power.
The lofty trees will be felled,
   the tall ones will be brought low.
34 He will cut down the forest thickets with an axe;
   Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One.

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