10:13 For he says:
“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
And by my wisdom, for I am prudent;
Also I have removed the boundaries of the people,
And have robbed their treasuries;
So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man.
My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people,
And as one gathers eggs that areleft,
I have gathered all the earth;
And there was no one who moved his wing,
Nor opened his mouth with even a peep.”
Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it?
Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it?
As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up,
Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!
Therefore the Lord, the Lord of hosts,
Will send leanness among his fat ones;
And under his glory
He will kindle a burning
Like the burning of a fire.
So the Light of Israel will be for a fire,
And his Holy One for a flame;
It will burn and devour
His thorns and his briers in one day.
And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field,
Both soul and body;
And they will be as when a sick man wastes away.
Then the rest of the trees of his forest
Will be so few in number
That a child may write them.
And it shall come to pass in that day
That the remnant of Israel,
And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob,
Will never again depend on him who defeated them,
But will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob,
To the Mighty God.
For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea,
A remnant of them will return;
The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
For the Lord God of hosts
Will make a determined end
In the midst of all the land.
Two key points today. First of all if the messages from God through Isaiah to Judah were only meant for them we wouldn't have them. We only have in the pages of the Bible the history that is relevant for us. Notice in verse 14 a reference to "all the earth". How can a historical issue between Judah and Assyria involve "all the earth"? Just as the child born and given a prophetic name and significance applied both to the son of Isaiah and Jesus centuries later, so the warnings to Judah applied then and now. God did not tolerate their injustice and abuse of power in then and He won't now either. What was a rather small and local issue then will involve "all the earth" at the end and from God's judgment against evil and those who persist in it, a remnant will emerge who trusted Him and upheld His kingdom principles of love, mercy, equality, and justice right through the darkness and corruption.
The second point is that God is watching over us. He blocks and permits events with a wisdom we can only catch faint glimpses of. At times everything seems upside down and backwards. Evil is permitted to win and we wonder where He is yet in His wisdom and perfect knowledge of all things from beginning to end it will all make perfect sense in the end when we get to see what He saw all along.
Logically it makes no sense to have Judah fall to Assyria. Yes Judah was a mess but Assyria was no better and likely worse. However God had no plans to reward Assyria. He simply stepped back, removed His protection from Judah and let Assyria carry out what she would have done sooner had Good not restrained her. Then in turn Assyria reaped the harvest of her own evil. The play and counter play of history seems hard to figure out but we don't know all the what ifs. We know what did happen but not all the other alternatives had God prevented those events. This brings us to the crux of this point. God is not the ax or the saw. He is the Hand. We see what we see and we know what we know and we judge Him from our very limited perspective. When we experience victory we boast and feel proud. We think our victory proves we are worthy or deserving. Is it possible we are like Assyria and only "won" because of circumstances that had nothing to do with us or our strength, wisdom, or worthiness?
Humility is perhaps the greatest quality a human can possess and is in short supply. Let God be God. Trust Him rather than judge Him. Remember that the greatest victory Jesus achieved occurred while His enemies were imagining themselves victorious over Him. Often it is the darkest just before the dawn. If you have been trusting Him but the darkness is squeezing the life from your faith remember God is infinitely wise and infinitely good and the Story isn't over.