Isaiah 10-

1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;

God is warning those that pass evil laws that they are in trouble.

The Bible shows that legitimate government has two functions: protect the borders and punish the evil. Anything more than this is a stretch outside their jurisdiction (this isn’t as clear cut as it sounds, though. For example, our interstate system was not created for our convenience or for the benefit of businesses, but to make it fast and easy to move military troops in time of emergency. So is the maintenance of the interstate system part of the government’s legitimate job? It could be argued that it is.)

When the government steps outside these functions it is stealing jurisdiction from the family, the local community, and the church.

There are two natural laws for government of humans;

1. Do all you agree to do.

2. Do not infringe on the person or property of others.

These are the laws a just government must punish people for breaking. If it doesn’t come under these, it shouldn’t be a law. It is nothing more than bullying.

2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!

Today, we selfishly say we don’t do this. But the fact is that most regulations and “consumer protection laws” that are passed are to protect big business from competition. The poor are reduced to no option but government handouts because they simply can’t afford to meet these regulations. They are trapped and kept poor in order to benefit the rich.

3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? To whom will ye flee for help? And where will ye leave your glory?

Where will the government officials go when the Assyrian army attacks?

4 Without Me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

God is mad and without His protection they are doomed.

5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is Mine indignation.

Assyria’s power to destroy is given by God and is the weapon He is using to punish with.

6 I will send him (the king of Assyria) against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.

Though the king of Assyria is the tool God is using to accomplish His will, he thinks he really is all that powerful. He intends to destroy all other nations.

8 For he saith, “Are not my princes altogether kings?

9 “Is not Calno as Carchemish? Is not Hamath as Arpad? Is not Samaria as Damascus?

A list of cities that have been destroyed.

10 “As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;

Jerusalem’s God is puny compared to theirs.

11 “Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?”

The Assyrian king thinks he will be able to conquer anyone he sets his mind to because of how successful he has already been.

12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.

The time will come when God will punish Assyria for their attitude. Yes, He told them to conquer, but they took too much joy in the job and went too far, all without acknowledging God and His power.

And it’s not like they didn’t know better. This is nearly 100 years after Jonah preached in the capital city and the whole bunch of them repented and turned to God.

13 For he saith, “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:

“I keep winning because I am so smart and strong. God? What God?”

14 “And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathers eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.”

15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that hews therewith? Or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shakes it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

The Assyrian king is nothing more than a tool.

16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his (the king of Assyria’s) fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.

17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;

God will destroy Assyria.

18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.

19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.

There will be so few trees left, even a small child will be able to count them.

20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

When this is all said and done, the descendants of Jacob that are left will truly return to God.

21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.

22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, “O my people that dwells in Zion (Jerusalem), be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.

25 “For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.”

Assyria will punish Judah and threaten Jerusalem, but they will not destroy them.

26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him (the king of Assyria) according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb (the miraculous victory God gave Gideon): and as His rod was upon the sea, so shall He lift it up after the manner of Egypt (under Moses when Israel fled from slavery).

27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his (the king of Assyria’s) burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages:

This is the path the Assyrians took to conquer; Aiath, Migron, Michmash,…

29 They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled.

Gibeah was King Saul’s hometown.

30 Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth.

31 Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.

32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

The Assyrian army followed this path right up to the gates of Jerusalem. They laid siege to the city, but God caused there to be trouble back home. The king had to leave and take care of his home territory, during which time he was murdered. The Assyrian army then had to fight for their life as Babylon began to rise in power.

33 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. 

34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.