Key verse: 21
A REMNANT WILL RETURN
Through Isaiah, the Eternal God says that the Assyrian was his instrument in punishing the people. The central idea in Isaiah's book is the common sharing among the people. Even at this time, it was unclear who would be saved, but there would be a remnant. God's work always focuses on a remnant.
1. Misery for the Assyrian (5-15)
The Assyrian was God's rod of judgement over the people. It was his instrument of wrath. God used a foreign people and its powerful army to punish the impious Israel. However, the Assyrian didn't understand things that way. He said in his proud heart that all things had happened because of his own strength. All kings, including those of Syria and Samaria bowed before him. Now, he is going to invade Jerusalem, but when he said, "It is because of my strength and wisdom. . .", God suddenly attacked Assyria in order to humble it. Notice the use of the past tense. Isaiah already sees deliverance as something accomplished. Assyria had to learn that it was only an instrument of God. Alas! The proud never easily return to reason.
2. A remnant will return (16-34)
There will be a radical change in the political situation. Zion had been levelled by Assyria; now it will rise again and become a powerful, consuming flame. Not all of the people will be saved, only those who repent will stay. Up to that moment, the people of Israel relied on falseness, they relied on what dazzled their eyes, idols and the works of their hands were worshipped. Now, through their repentance, they will seek God and rely on Him. Though only a remnant will be saved, the people will seem numerous as the sand. In light of this future, the people must at present rejoice instead of moaning. The day of deliverance is at hand, for the Lord of armies spoke of it. God is He who humbles the proud and lifts men up (33).