“Go tell your brothers to stop doing that!”  As parents, we’ve all done it.  We sometimes send another child when we are busy to warn the others to stop what they are doing so they won’t get hurt.  We might send the oldest to tell the siblings and their cousins and friends to settle down and stop quarreling while we finish preparing their meal.  However, the sibling sent to say the words you tell them can sometimes become very proud of their assigned work and new “authority” and go way beyond what you tell them, saying and doing more than the parents asked them to do. 

Sometimes “the sent” march in, take over, and shout hateful words along with applying punishment that incites a riot much more destructive than the original behavior!  We’ve all seen it.  We’ve all experienced it.

God, the Father, uses the Assyrian army as a tool to punish His People as a way to get them to realize the futility in turning from Him and all that is good for them.  But the Assyrians sent become so proud and mighty, they decide to do and be more than God, by being more than God asked and doing more than God allowed.  Our passage begins with “Doom to you…”  The Assyrians will be punished far beyond what they expect for rising above God and going ahead of God.

Isaiah 10, The Message

You Who Legislate Evil

1-4 Doom to you who legislate evil,
    who make laws that make victims—
Laws that make misery for the poor,
    that rob my destitute people of dignity,
Exploiting defenseless widows,
    taking advantage of homeless children.
What will you have to say on Judgment Day,
    when Doomsday arrives out of the blue?
Who will you get to help you?
    What good will your money do you?
A sorry sight you’ll be then, huddled with the prisoners,
    or just some corpses stacked in the street.
Even after all this, God is still angry,
    his fist still raised, ready to hit them again.

Doom to Assyria!

5-11 “Doom to Assyria, weapon of my anger.
    My wrath is a club in his hands!
I send him against a godless nation,
    against the people I’m angry with.
I command him to strip them clean, rob them blind,
    and then push their faces in the mud and leave them.
But Assyria has another agenda;
    he has something else in mind.
He’s out to destroy utterly,
    to stamp out as many nations as he can.
Assyria says, ‘Aren’t my commanders all kings?
    Can’t they do whatever they like?

Didn’t I destroy Calno as well as Carchemish?
    Hamath as well as Arpad? Level Samaria as I did Damascus?
I’ve eliminated kingdoms full of gods
    far more impressive than anything in Jerusalem and Samaria.
So what’s to keep me from destroying Jerusalem
    in the same way I destroyed Samaria and all her god-idols?’”

12-13 When the Master has finished dealing with Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he’ll say, “Now it’s Assyria’s turn. I’ll punish the bragging arrogance of the king of Assyria, his high and mighty posturing, the way he goes around saying,

13-14 “‘I’ve done all this by myself.
    I know more than anyone.
I’ve wiped out the boundaries of whole countries.
    I’ve walked in and taken anything I wanted.
I charged in like a bull
    and toppled their kings from their thrones.
I reached out my hand and took all that they treasured
    as easily as a boy taking a bird’s eggs from a nest.
Like a farmer gathering eggs from the henhouse,
    I gathered the world in my basket,
And no one so much as fluttered a wing
    or squawked or even chirped.’”

15-19 Does an ax take over from the one who swings it?
    Does a saw act more important than the sawyer?
As if a shovel did its shoveling by using a ditch digger!
    As if a hammer used the carpenter to pound nails!
Therefore the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    will send a debilitating disease on his robust Assyrian fighters.
Under the canopy of God’s bright glory
    a fierce fire will break out.
Israel’s Light will burst into a conflagration.
    The Holy will explode into a firestorm,
And in one day burn to cinders
    every last Assyrian thornbush.
God will destroy the splendid trees and lush gardens.
    The Assyrian body and soul will waste away to nothing
    like a disease-ridden invalid.
A child could count what’s left of the trees
    on the fingers of his two hands.

* * *

20-23 And on that Day also, what’s left of Israel, the straggling survivors of Jacob, will no longer be fascinated by abusive, battering Assyria. They’ll lean on God, The Holy—yes, truly. The ragtag remnant—what’s left of Jacob—will come back to the Strong God. Your people Israel were once like the sand on the seashore, but only a scattered few will return. Destruction is ordered, brimming over with righteousness. For the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will finish here what he started all over the globe.

24-27 Therefore the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: “My dear, dear people who live in Zion, don’t be terrorized by the Assyrians when they beat you with clubs and threaten you with rods like the Egyptians once did. In just a short time my anger against you will be spent and I’ll turn my destroying anger on them. I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will go after them with a cat-o’-nine-tails and finish them off decisively—as Gideon downed Midian at the rock Oreb, as Moses turned the tables on Egypt. On that day, Assyria will be pulled off your back, and the yoke of slavery lifted from your neck.”

* * *

27-32 Assyria’s on the move: up from Rimmon,
    on to Aiath,
through Migron,
    with a bivouac at Micmash.
They’ve crossed the pass,
    set camp at Geba for the night.
Ramah trembles with fright.
    Gibeah of Saul has run off.
Cry for help, daughter of Gallim!
    Listen to her, Laishah!
    Do something, Anathoth!
Madmenah takes to the hills.
    The people of Gebim flee in panic.
The enemy’s soon at Nob—nearly there!
    In sight of the city he shakes his fist
At the mount of dear daughter Zion,
    the hill of Jerusalem.

33-34 But now watch this: The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    swings his ax and lops the branches
Chops down the giant trees,
    lays flat the towering forest-on-the-march.
His ax will make toothpicks of that forest,
    that Lebanon-like army reduced to kindling.


Sometimes we are “sent” by God to warn our brothers and sisters of the consequences of their sinful behavior and show them God’s better ways to relate to each other.  The warning to us, as God’s instruments/tools, are to avoid taking God’s place in judgement, but instead help others see God, hear God and move toward God with better ways of behaving as written in His Word.  We do tell them exactly what to do according to our opinions, we go to God’s Word for information.  We ask questions, pray together, while seeking help from His Holy Spirit who guides all of us.

“You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.”  Hebrews 3:13

We should be aware and stay focused on Jesus so that we recognize the spiritual dangers that exist. But we should also encourage each other to be faithful to the Lord. Christian believers in Jesus belong to each other and need each other.  We are all siblings with Jesus to God, our Father!

“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:24, MSG

Paul also offers another great explanation of being sent as “encouragers” for each other as we are all in the same shoes on this journey to live for God with Jesus living in us helping us.  “God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.”  1 Thessalonians 5:11, MSG

THINK before we speak.  This is a good filter to sift our thoughts through before spilling them out to each other:

T—Is what I’m about to say God’s Truth?

H—Is what I’m about to say coming from God’s Holy Spirit as a way to Help?

I—Is what I’m about to say going to Inspire this person to find and follow Jesus, “good works”?

N—Is what I’m about to say Necessary at this time?  God’s timing is perfect.  Pray for God’s timing in saying what He wants you to say in the right Spirit.  “Speak the Truth in love” says Paul the Apostle.

K—Is what I’m about to say void of all anger and self-righteousness, but absolutely Kind as Jesus is kind and loving, compassionate, merciful, and full of grace?


May Your Holy Spirit filter our thoughts that lead to words of real love for each other. Help us to love like you love us—without conditions, full of grace and mercy.  May we be your instruments of encouragement that are used to build each other up, pointing the way to You always.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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