Isaiah is continuing on his prophetic journey through the nations surrounding Israel. Now Damascus is the focus. What once was great will be no more because of the hand of God.
Damascus was the capitol of the nation of Syria; the nation in league with Israel against Judah. God says that they won’t be a problem anymore because HE will deal with them. This would be faith building news IF Judah were relying on God at the time. With King Ahaz, it’s simply good news against his enemy. If Syria was in trouble, Israel wouldn’t be much of a threat and his alliance with Assyria would prevail.
King Ahaz was trusting in his and his ally’s might; not God’s. That’s a small part of what got him in trouble with the Lord. But he was never on sound footing with God. This is a story for another time though. Today we are looking at Syria’s trouble during this time. In particular, Syria’s golden city.
Syria was a proud nation. Israel used to be one of her targets. Now she was in league with Israel. And they both were going to suffer during this alliance. It wouldn’t simply be them being defeated in battle by Assyria but the hand of God judging them both.
When I was initially reading this passage and came to the end of verse three, I thought Damascus was going to be restored to glory. “The remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the Lord of hosts” (verse 3b). I saw hope for the destroyed Damascus; until I hit verse four. “And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low” (verse 4a). In other words, BOTH groups were going to be in SERIOUS trouble. Both would endure famine and captivity. Both would see only a remnant remain in their once proud places. NEITHER trusted in God and He let them see what reliance on themselves and other gods would get them.
Instead of being a beacon to other nations, Israel had joined in on their sins. But this turning away would not last forever with Israel. One day they would return to God and He would restore them. For the time being, they would both have empty cities and find all their hard work come to nothing.
God says that those who remain will have time to plant and tend their crops. Those crops may even look good in the early stages, but they would yield little to nothing in the end. ONLY when Israel turns back to God will they see restoration.
I was wondering what the Holy Spirit would have me take from this lesson today. In my spirit I received this answer. Don’t count on the old measure to carry me through. Return and get a refreshing every day. When Israel broke with Judah, she still considered herself blessed by God because of her history. She did nothing to maintain that relationship. In fact, she did everything she could to push it into the background, only bring it out when it suited her purpose. God will NOT take a ‘back burner’ to the rest of your life. He wants to be right in the thick of it with you. This is the place where He works best! Keep coming to Him. Keep studying His word. Breathe in His fragrance each morning. He LONGS for time with us EVERY DAY! And He won’t wait quietly forever. He will get your attention, whatever it takes, to bring You back to Him. Those whom He has sealed with His Holy Spirit through salvation bought by His Son Jesus, He WILL not turn loose of. He will get your attention and bring you back to His side. A fresh relationship with Him again with all the dirt thrown off that has collected for a time.
Father God, THANK YOU that You WILL do whatever is needed to get my attention. I’m MORE than grateful that those methods have not been ANYTHING like what You used with Israel; yet. I PRAY they NEVER will be. More than that, I PRAY such measures will NOT be necessary to get my attention back on You.
Fill me up every morning with You presence, mercy, love, and Spirit. I’m a leaky pot that has a tendency to need refreshing. I pray that the ‘leaking’ I do does some good too. Let me ‘water the flowers along the way’ as we walk together.