There is one phrase which keeps coming up in the prophecy of Isaiah. It is more than a phrase, it is a statement of the character of God. In Isaiah, as well as in other parts of Scripture we hear of “the Holy One of Israel”. It is a good term, a great reference to the character of the Creator of all that is; both seen and unseen. As I read chapters 35 – 48 of Isaiah this morning I noticed the presence of God in the nations around the tiny nation of Israel. You really cannot help but notice that God is God of the world when it gets right down to it.
If God reigns, and he does, in Israel; then, He also is reigning throughout the whole world. He is, though, not often recognized as being the one who is reigning.
In chapters 36 – 39 we hear about Hezekiah, and his struggle against the pride, and arrogance of Assyria, and her king Sennacherib (36:1). No army had been successful against the Assyrian army, and the king wanted Hezekiah to know it. In his arrogance he blasphemed the God of Israel, seeing Him as nothing more than the idols of the fallen nations he had conquered. However, since God is defensive of His own glory, and Hezekiah had a heart for God, then God was not going to let this arrogant king get by with it.
We also see in the reading that God is not at all well pleased with Israel, and that they are going into captivity because of their rejection of God, His Word, and His ways. Babylon was God’s source of captivity and judgment upon Israel, however Babylon showed them no mercy, and in their arrogance they brought judgment of God upon themselves to destruction;
“I was wroth with My people, I have polluted Mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke. And thou saidst, ‘I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it.’ Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: but these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, ‘None seeth me.’ Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, ‘I am, and none else beside me.’ Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.” Isaiah 47:6-13 (KJV)
If you will notice this announcement of judgment is due to “thou didst shew them no mercy”. Because of this Babylon would fall to a king that God names in chapers 44 and 45;
“That saith of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, ‘Thy foundation shall be laid.” 44:28
“Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut…” 45:1
The LORD is THE SOVEREIGN HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL; however He is Sovereign of the whole world, yea, even of the Universe. A final word in the reading for today says this,
“There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22 (KJV)
The wicked are all those who refuse to submit to the Lordship and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ, and His finished work on Calvary’s cross.
-Tim A. Blankenship