“Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, nor does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy, and cut off not a few nations” (Isaiah 10:5-7).
In Isaiah’s time, the nation of Assyria was threatening the southern kingdom of Judah and was about to take over the northern kingdom of Israel. God was allowing the nation of Assyria to do this as a means of punishing His people for their continual unfaithfulness to Him (Isaiah 9:8-21).
Yet, Assyria never considered the fact that God was using them to accomplish this act of judgment upon His people. Instead, they the Assyrians were filled with arrogance as they boasted: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; also I have removed the boundaries of the people, and have robbed their treasuries; so I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man” (Isaiah 10:13). I absolutely love God’s response to their arrogance: “Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!” (Isaiah 10:15). As a result, after God had used Assyria to accomplish His judgments upon His people, God would judge Assyria and punish them for their arrogance and cruelty (Isaiah 10:16-19).
However, even more important than God’s sovereignty regarding the kingdoms of the world, is His sovereignty regarding the spiritual needs of man. God was going to accomplish something even greater than just putting the king of Assyria in his proper place. He was going to send His Son to be their ruler, not over just the physical kingdom of Israel with limited boundaries on this earth, but a spiritual kingdom, the church, which would reach throughout the world: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7; cf. John 18:36; Colossians 1:13).
God’s Son, Jesus Christ, would spring forth as a Branch that would grow out of the tree of Israel which had been cut down by the Assyrians (Isaiah 11:1-9). At that time, God would provide a way for His people Israel and all nations to come to Him just as God had delivered Israel in the past from the Egyptians: “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10).
As I consider God’s sovereignty in both the physical world and in the spiritual realm, it brings great peace to my heart. I don’t have to let the politics of this nation or the troubles throughout this world weigh me down. Spiritually, I don’t have to worry how God can save one with a lot of faults like me. I can trust in God and remember He is in control. Today, I rejoice that God is the ruler of this world and I will give Him the reins to rule in my life!
“Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:10-12).