THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
XIV: Offsetting Our Fear Of Ungodly, Difficult Foes With The Hope Of Immanuel
A. Christians at times face difficult, ungodly foes who can cause them a lot of fear and its associated stress.
B. Judah's king and people faced such foes in the Aram-Israel alliance, and Isaiah 8:1-10 is a timeless message on offsetting one's fear of ungodly, difficult opponents with hope in Immanuel, the Lord Jesus Christ (as follows):
II. Offsetting Our Fear Of Ungodly, Difficult Foes With The Hope Of Immanuel, Isaiah 8:1-10.
A. Though God's prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 7:4-17 had already predicted the fall of the Aram-Israel alliance that Judah so feared (Isaiah 7:2), God had Isaiah predict it again in Isaiah 8:1-4, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1050.
B. This repeat prediction was given to counter the faithless example of Judah's Ahaz with the upright example of God's prophet on how to offset one's fear of ungodly, difficult foes such as the Aram-Israel alliance:
1. First, God had Isaiah take a large tablet and write on it so all Judah could read the word, "Maher-shalal-hashbaz," or "speeds booty, hastens spoil," which in our speech means "quick pickings, easy prey," Isaiah 8:1 NIV; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isaiah 8:1. Isaiah would obtain reliable witnesses to the writing, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to attest to Isaiah's writing, Isaiah 8:2 ESV. Isaiah then caused his wife, the prophetess, to conceive and bare a son, and God told him to name him Maher-shalal-hashbaz, what was on the tablet, and Isaiah was to tell Judah that before his son could cry, "My Father" and "My Mother," the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria, the feared Aram-Israel alliance, would be taken away before invading Assyria. Its soldiers would use the phrase, "quick pickings, easy prey" when defeating this Aram-Israel alliance, Isaiah 8:3-4; Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T.
2. This prophecy recalled the previous, Isaiah 7:4-17 prophecy involving the conception and birth of the Messiah, Immanuel (especially Isaiah 7:14) that God had given to faithless king Ahaz, but now the prophet Isaiah would exemplify to fearful Judah how to trust in God relative to its fulfillment, Isaiah 8:5-10:
a. Isaiah's prophecy indicated that within two years, Assyria was to plunder both Damascus of Syria and Samaria of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and we know from history this occurred in 732 B. C., meaning Isaiah made his prophecy about Maher-shalal-hashbaz in 734 B. C., Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T.
b. However, God would also judge Judah for her refusal to worship the Lord, Who is pictured as the gentle waters of the Jerusalem pool of Siloam (Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Isa. 8:6; Isaiah 8:5-6a), and her instead faithlessly turning to trust in Assyria to rejoice in his defeat of her foes, the Aram-Israel alliance, Isa. 8:6b.
c. That judgment would involve God's bringing the Assyrians in contrast to the nurturing waters of Jerusalem's Siloam pool as the flood waters of the Euphrates that flowed through Assyria, Isaiah 8:7; Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, v. I, p. 305! That flooding river, the Assyrians, would sweep into Judah, flooding its land and reaching to the neck, and its outspread wings as a giant eagle would fill the breadth of Immanuel's land, the name "Immanuel" meaning "God is with us," Isaiah 8:8! (Matt. 1:23)
d. Yet, noting that Judah was Immanuel's land, the land of the Messiah Child Isaiah had predicted to come in Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah addressed Messiah Himself, appealing for His help to handle Assyria, saying, "its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel!" (Isaiah 8:8 ESV) Isaiah's implied appeal essentially was, "It's filling Your land, O Immanuel, so what will You do about it?!"
e. Isaiah trusted Immanuel would protect His invaded land! Thus, likely alluding to the Preincarnate Christ's future appearance as the Angel of the Lord to slay 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in delivering Jerusalem (Isaiah 36-37), Isaiah in faith called on all of Judah's future enemies, Assyria included, to be broken and shattered in seeking to wage war against the Messiah Who would defend His land, Isaiah 8:9.
f. Indeed, Isaiah prophetically told the nations that if they all took counsel together, it would not succeed, for "God is with us," the translation of the Hebrew Name for the Messiah in "Immanuel," Isaiah 8:10!
Lesson: Where Judah's king Ahaz exampled a lack of faith in God to handle the feared Aram-Israel alliance, God had Isaiah properly example it in the birth of a second son, Isaiah's son Maher-shalal-hashbaz, and having Isaiah trust in Immanuel, Messiah Himself, for the destruction of all of Judah's future foes, including invading Assyria!
Application: (1) May we take the godly saints of old like Isaiah as examples of living by faith relative to feared, ungodly foes. (2) May we trust in "Immanuel," Christ Himself, as our Helper with such foes!