In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the Lord , the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land. Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says: “My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did. Very soon my anger against you will end and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.” The Lord Almighty will lash them with a whip, as when he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb; and he will raise his staff over the waters, as he did in Egypt. In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat. – Isaiah 10:20-27
The Holy One of Israel is speaking to “the remnant”. Those that survived the flood from the north which was unleashed by God as a judgement against Judah. Though the people of Israel may “be like the sand by the sea, Israel, only a remnant will return”. Only some, the remnant, will choose to faithfully follow God in the face of the conquering Assyrians.
God makes it clear that although the judgement happened at the hands of the Assyrian king, God was the one to “carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land”. The “Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did” were merely the instrument God used to get the attention and discipline a stubborn and stiff-necked people.
God’s wrath will soon end and so will the rule of the Assyrians. The flood waters will recede and God will take the remnant to Himself. God is assuring the faithful remnant that He has their back just like he did when Moses was leading the people out of Egypt through the Red Sea. God will provide for those who are faithfully following Him. In fact they apparently will grow so fat with God’s provision that the yoke that the Assyrians had placed around their necks will literally break: “the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat”. Perhaps there is a metaphorical meaning here that eludes me.
I am not sure there is a take home message here. Maybe it is just an example of a time where God chose to hold the people of Israel accountable for their choices. God has done this before and I suspect He will do it again in the future. The important thing is to be part of the “remnant” as opposed to the ones washed away in the flood.
Prayer: God help us to be seeking You so that when floods come we will choose to be part of the remnant that remains.