“Has the LORD struck her (Israel) as He struck down those who struck her? Has she (God’s people) been killed as those were killed who killer her (Judah)?”
Throughout the book of Isaiah God is not only judging His chosen people, but He is also judging the evil and wicked nations around them. God has prophetic oracles against other nations in Isaiah including, Assyria, Babylon, Moab, Philistia, Edom, Tyre, Ethiopia, Ephraim, and Egypt. Not only is God upset and His holiness compromised in His people sinning and looking like the world, but God is also very upset and disgusted with the sinful nations and the world around Israel. The verse I began the post with is an important one for the relationship of Israel and the nations around her. In chapter 10, God uses the evil and wicked nation of Assyria to punish and judge the people of God. Yet God, in His sovereign power, holds Assyria responsible for the pain and judgement that they cause His people. So here is the question. How can God hold a nation He uses for His purpose to judge and punish His people responsible for the judging God used them for? How can God hold Assyria responsible for the sin they committed while they were a tool in the hand of God?
I have a quote in my office that reads, “God uses evil to work out His purposes ultimately to defeat evil”. Romans 9:19 states, “One of you will say to me, ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who resists His will?’” So here is the conundrum, how can God hold sin against someone that is used by God, in that sin, for His purposes? That is a hard question that this side of eternity we will never have a perfect answer to. In Isaiah, God was telling His prophet that He was going to use the sin of Assyria for His purposes and then punish Assyria much worse for that sin. This is Biblical truth from God we cannot argue with. We might not understand it but God is telling us He does it. And as Romans adds a verse later in chapter 9, who are we as man to argue and question God? So, we do not have control over our destiny and life outcome, but the Bible is clear we have a choice over the decision right in front of us. Assyria had a choice to make in regards to Israel. God knew what they were going to choose and He used there single choice to accomplish His purposes. Their choice was sin, God used it, and then punished them for it. This truth is the same for us today. We can chose to sin or not to sin. God already knows what we will choose and He is going to use that for His purposes, even when it is an evil sinful choice. And then God will bless us or punish us based upon our choice in His purposes. So for us, we need to make sure we chose the God glorifying, honoring, worshipping, and pleasing to Him, choice every time we have a choice to make.