Isaiah 10 has the prophet painting the picture of how God is using, and will ultimately deal with, the Assyrians. They were a tool in His hands. “For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still….Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets”. God has the ability to use any people or any person for His plan. He did that with the evil Assyrian empire, and then deals with them after they remind His people that He is still on the throne.
The issue was idolatry. The Israelites lost their way and pushed God off the throne. And being God’s people did not insulate them from the punishment of that sin. “As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols….shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Samaria and her images”? God doesn’t tolerate idolatry. We cannot push Him from the throne and just expect Him to ignore it. God will move. “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones”.
But that punishment is not forever. God used the Assyrians to restore His people and get their hearts back where they belong. And in His plan, they were to become great again. “The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day”. God allowed His people to lose much to the Assyrians, but they were not destroyed. And in His plan, His people would destroy the prideful kingdom of Assyria and be restored to their place in God’s plan.
“In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return”. They return and lean upon God. No longer are they worshipping idols and depending on themselves. They come to understand the power and position of the Father and return Him there. And as they do, God restores His promises. “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction”.