A Remnant Will Return
Lord, I am so grateful that You have no unfinished projects. You will complete what You have begun.
Read ISAIAH 10:20–27
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, 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“God puts Christ’s enemies as a footstool beneath his feet, for their salvation as well as their destruction” (Origen, 185–254). We need to remember this thought in regard to God’s judgment.
Assyria, the ferocious world power of Isaiah’s time, may be God’s axe but it will not be exempt from God’s judgment (5–19). Although terrifyingly close (28–32) and apparently invincible, this terrifying forest will be cut down (18,19,33,34)—a striking background to the stump and shoot of Jesse in tomorrow’s reading. Some of the troublesome things that puzzle us about the world are the result of God restraining his omnipotence and allowing people to be what they are and to do what they choose; but the basso ostinato (a repeated musical bass line) of Isaiah’s teaching is that the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, is the Lord God Almighty. Lord, I reaffirm my trust today, in whatever circumstances I find myself, that You are great and You are good.
Today’s reading falls into two sections: the first is addressed to Israel, Jacob, the northern kingdom (20–23); the second to Zion, Judah (24–27). It is likely that both of these paragraphs are promising in their tone. The TNIV misleads in verses 22 and 23, which should be read as a promise: amid God’s punishments in the whole world (including Assyria), a remnant of Israel will return (Shearjashub); God has not forgotten his promise that Abraham’s descendants will be like the sand on the seashore (Gen. 22:17). Lord Jesus, mighty God, teach us to rely on You through thick and thin, to return like a boomerang to his commitment (Isa. 9:6).
The second paragraph reminds Judah of its history: beaten down though they currently are, Assyria will soon feel the Lord’s lash and there will be a mighty deliverance—comparable to that in the time of Gideon and, especially, to the Exodus from Egypt when God lifted them up and carried them away from slavery and through the sea to safety (Judg. 7; Exod. 19:4; Isa. 63:9).
What “army” seems to be breathing down your neck right now? Have you ever seen God cut down an “Assyrian army” that has threatened to overwhelm you?
Lord, I roll my burdens on to You and take Your yoke upon my shoulders, for Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light and You are beside me always.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.