Isaiah 17

Isaiah 17 has the prophet putting it on the line about Damascus and what its future would be.  Damascus was one of the most beautiful cities of the ancient world, but the coming Assyrian judgment would reduce it to a heap of ruins.  Isaiah doesn’t mince words – he paints a pretty gloomy picture of what is to come.  At this time, Israel and Syria were closely aligned against Judah. Since they are such close friends, God will announce His judgment against Ephraim, against Israel, at the same time He speaks to Syria!  There is going to be a big change coming from Assyria.

God’s going to get their attention.  “In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel”.  In the midst of such severe judgment, some will respond as they should, with humble respect for God. He’s going to bring them down to earth and wipe the pride from their hearts.  One of God’s purposes in judgment is to turn our focus away from our idols and the things we have trusted in instead of Him.  When things are going our way, we tend to think it’s because of us and what we’ve done.  That’s not true and God will help us figure it out.

He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense”.  What they had believed about their own ability is quickly going to be changed.  God’s purpose here is to drive them back to Himself and away from the idols and fals sacrifices that were being made.  It required some harsh action, and God will orchestrate the loss of the cities the Israelites had taken when they came into the Promised Land.

The root of the problem is pretty clear.  “For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge”.  God’s not into us putting our trust and faith in anything but Him.  In one way, this does not seem like a “great” sin. After all, why does God need us to remember Him? Why can’t we just leave Him alone, and He leave us alone? It is a sin to forget the God of your salvation because He created you, and because He is the God of your salvation. If you forget Him, there will be consequences.  He is a jealous God.  He demands our faith be in Him!

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