The next 2 chapters of Isaiah, 8 and 9, foretell what happened in 2 Kings 17-19. I admit, I struggled with which chapters I should cover first, the prophecy or the historical account. I opted to go with the prophecy since it is so powerful and it talks to us today. The historical accounts just prove that God keeps his promises and when He says repent or else, He means it. Over and over again, God gave Israel and Judah plenty of time and opportunity to repent and turn from the worship of worthless idols and pagan gods. Needless to say, they didn’t. Unfortunately, people still do this today. I pray that these prophecies and accounts will open your eyes to God’s power and the realization that He is still in control. Let’s dig in…
Isaiah 8 – The Coming Assyrian Invasion
Then the Lord said to me, “Make a large signboard and clearly write this name on it: Maher-shalal-hash-baz.” (Which means“Swift to plunder and quick to carry away.”) 2 I asked Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, both known as honest men, to witness my doing this.
3 Then I slept with my wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Call him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. 4 For before this child is old enough to say ‘Papa’ or ‘Mama,’ the king of Assyria will carry away both the abundance of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”
5 Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, 6 “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloah, but they have rejected it. They are rejoicing over what will happen to King Rezin and King Pekah. 7 Therefore, the Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood from the Euphrates River—the king of Assyria and all his glory. This flood will overflow all its channels 8 and sweep into Judah until it is chin deep. It will spread its wings, submerging your land from one end to the other, O Immanuel.
9 “Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified.
Listen, all you distant lands.
Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed!
Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed!
10 Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless.
Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed.
For God is with us!” (Immanuel!)
I can’t imagine what went through Isaiah’s mind when God told him to name his child “Swift to plunder and quick to carry away.” What can you do but obey?!
Here, God is telling Isaiah that before his son can talk, Assyria will invade both Damascus, Syria AND Samaria in Israel, the northern kingdom.
Then God tells him that He has cared for Judah, but they have rejected Him. King Ahaz of Judah is happy that his enemies from Damascus and Samaria will be conquered, however, he didn’t realize that his cushy kingdom would be invaded, also.
Then God says something interesting, “O Immanuel” — God with Us — that’s a direct reference to Jesus. We’ll see in 2 Kings 19, that God sends His mighty “Angel of God” to whoop the Assyrians as they surround Jerusalem. Verse 9 and 10 here foretell this.
Now, fast forward to Matthew chapter 1 when Joseph has a dream in which an angel tells him that Mary, his betrothed, was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The angel quotes Isaiah 7:14. Then he says, “…and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Obviously, Joseph would have known the passage in Isaiah 7, but what the angel said must have brought to mind the passage in Isaiah 8 that mentions Immanuel.
The conquering angel from Isaiah 8 and 2 Kings 19 is the baby that Mary is carrying? What a thought! Incredible as it is, it’s TRUE!
Let’s go on…
A Call to Trust the Lord
11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,
12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do,
and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble.
14 He will keep you safe.
But to Israel and Judah
he will be a stone that makes people stumble,
a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem
he will be a trap and a snare.
15 Many will stumble and fall,
never to rise again.
They will be snared and captured.”
16 Preserve the teaching of God;
entrust his instructions to those who follow me.
17 I will wait for the Lord,
who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob.
I will put my hope in him.
18 I and the children the Lord has given me serve as signs and warnings to Israel from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies who dwells in his Temple on Mount Zion.
19 Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead?
20 Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. 21 They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven 22 and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.Isaiah 8 NLT
When I read verse 14, “…he will be a stone that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall.”, that stopped me. Hold on! I did a search in the Bible app for “Cornerstone”. It’s first reference is in Psalm 118:22…
The stone that the builders rejectedPsalm 118:22 NLT
has now become the cornerstone.
4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.
5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say,
“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,
chosen for great honor,
and anyone who trusts in him
will never be disgraced.” [Isaiah 28:16]
7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.”
“He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the rock that makes them fall.”[Psalm 118:22]
They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.
9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.1 Peter 2:4-9 NLT
What is Evil?
Evil is the absence of God, just like darkness is the absence of light. If you are not living in the light of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, then you are living in the evil darkness of this world.
It’s YOUR choice! Darkness or LIGHT?!
What are you waiting for?! Let the LIGHT OF THE WORLD into YOUR HEART right now! HE will change your life!