24 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying,
“ Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land,
And on My mountains tread him underfoot.
Then his yoke shall be removed from them,
And his burden removed from their shoulders.
26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth,
And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed,
And who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
And who will turn it back?”
28 This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died.
29 “ Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia,
Because the rod that struck you is broken;
For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper,
And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.
30 The firstborn of the poor will feed,
And the needy will lie down in safety;
I will kill your roots with famine,
And it will slay your remnant.
31 Wail, O gate! Cry, O city!
All you of Philistia are dissolved;
For smoke will come from the north,
And no one will be alone in his appointed times.”
32 What will they answer the messengers of the nation?
That the LORD has founded Zion,
And the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.
A couple of points become obvious. First, God purposes all things and nothing occurs by random chance. He is sovereign over the "earth" and over the "nations." He "thinks" it, and it "comes to pass." His "purposes" cannot be "annulled." Perhaps this should stop us from fretting about the day to day circumstances that sometimes consume us. Next, God never deserts His humble afflicted and He always opposes the prideful and the rebellious. The wretched will be "dissolved" at the "appointed time." Yet, the "needy will lie down in safety" and the "burden will be removed from their shoulders." It is a marvelous assurance that the "Lord has founded Zion and the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.
God will punish the rebellious Philistines with the rod of Assyria. God will then punish the rebellious Assyrians with the rod of Babylon. This rod of punishment is in store for all that are found rebellious, and all will be found rebellious without the atoning blood of the lamb of God. We are Philistines and Assyrians and Babylonians by nature, for we are born revelers and mockers. It is only Christ that can transform us into new creatures; creatures that can take refuge in Zion.
Heard 'Round the House:
Some of the kids and I were wrestling around and about last night. I was wearing a ball cap and apparently it became skewed. Anna (age 7) looked at me intently and had this serious and generational question:
Anna: Daddy, are you too old to rap?