We see the leaders of the children of Israel time and time again causing them to stray away from God and partake in the sins of the nations around them. So in Isaiah 9:15 God knowing the major source of his children’s sin says “Respected and honored leaders are the head. Prophets who teach lies are the tail.” This invoked God’s wrath in Isaiah 9:17 (GW) when He says : “That is why the Lord isn’t happy with their young men, nor will he show compassion for their orphans and widows. Every one of them is a godless evildoer, and every mouth speaks foolishness. Even after all this, his anger will not disappear, and he is still ready to use his power.”
They streched God’s patience and took advantage of God’s grace until their cup was full and God decided to punish them for all their sins like a father chastised his children.
What also made God angry about His children here is that not only were they attacking and fighting each other as we can see in Isaiah 9:21 (GW) “Manasseh is against Ephraim. Ephraim is against Manasseh. Together they attack Judah…….” They also “…. deprive the poor of justice. They take away the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and rob orphans.”
Isaiah 10:2 (GW)
So God uses Assyria in Isaiah 10:5 (GW) to punish Israel for its sins “….It is the rod of my anger. My fury is the staff in the Assyrians’ hands.”
What do we learn from all this? Why is it recorded in scripture? The simple answer is so that we as children of God learn from the children of Israel and not open ourselves up to God’s wrath by sinning against Him. The scriptures I have quoted above also confirms that God will hold responsible any leader in the church that causes children of God to sin by leading them astray!!
Regarding Israel, Assyria had a specific task given to them by God and it was to go “against the people to take their belongings, loot them, and trample on them like mud in the streets.”- Isaiah 10:6 (GW) but instead of following God’s plan, Assyria invoke God’s anger too because they had an ulterior motive to “…destroy and put an end to many nations.” – Isaiah 10:7 (GW) So God decided “When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish the king of Assyria for all his boasting and all his arrogance.” Isaiah 10:12 GW
God hates arrogance and will punish anyone who comes with an ulterior motive here forgetting that God is using them like the Assyrians here…so as a modern day example if a child of God had sinned against God and was being chastised by God through that child of God’s manager at work but the manager then decides to be heartless and had an ulterior motive when disciplining that child of God for something he/she did wrong in their job, God will also punish that manager for having an hidden agenda that is contrary to His plan
In the mist of God’s chastisement of Israel, there is still hope in Isaiah 10:24-25 (GW) “The Almighty Lord of Armies says: My people who live in Zion, don’t be afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with a rod or when they raise their staff against you as the Egyptians did. Very soon I will unleash my fury, and my anger will destroy them.”
Yet there is hope for Israel and there is hope for us His children today for His word says” Then a shoot will come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from its roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of advice and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord. He will gladly bear the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear. He will judge the poor justly. He will make fair decisions for the humble people on earth. He will strike the earth with a rod from his mouth. He will kill the wicked with the breath from his lips.” Isaiah 11:1-4 (GW) Glory!! Hallelujah!!
Why is there hope? Its because “At that time the Lord will use his power again to recover what remains of his people in Assyria, Upper and Lower Egypt, Sudan, Elam, Babylonia, Hamath, and the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations ⌞to gather around⌟. He will gather the outcasts of Israel and bring together the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” – Isaiah 11:11-12(GW)
Rejoicing returns to the camp of His children because of God’s mercy and now they can say “….I will praise you, O Lord. Although you had been angry with me, you turned your anger away from me, and you comforted me. Look! God is my Savior. I am confident and unafraid, because the Lord is my strength and my song. He is my Savior.”Isaiah 12:1-2 (GW)
We learn from these scripture as Children of God not to stray away from God, neither should we as leaders in the different capacities we find ourselves in His house, lead those who we are responsible for astray. For the Lord will chastise both leaders and the pew who stray away from Him but if they repent He is ever so merciful to forgive for Jesus has paid the price for our sins…Hallelujah!!