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General James Green, August 15, 2011
“Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood” (Isaiah 10:15).
THESE WORDS ARE DIRECTED AGAINST a Godless king (the king of Assyria) whose hardness God used to chastise His very own people...because of their hardheartedness (see Ezek 2:1-8 where Israel was called “a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against Me (the LORD)” (v. 3); “impudent children,” “stiff-hearted” (v. 4); “a rebellious house” (v. 5); “a rebellious house” (v. 6); “most rebellious” (v. 7); and a “rebellious house” (v. 8). In chapter 3, verse 7, Israel is called “impudent and hard-hearted.” Isaiah 48:4 describes Israel as “obstinate, and thy neck (= will) is an iron sinew, and thy brow (= forehead) brass” (etc., etc.). The Assyrian king “ascribed to his own wisdom and strength that which could only happen because God permitted it,” for he (the king) was only a tool (weapon) of “DIVINE WRATH.”
The Master ordains, anoints, appoints and COMMANDS what is needed at what time. With this in mind, it isn’t hard to believe that God is using many and various types of tools/weapons to punish the world at this wicked time, including “Christian” America!
ISAIAH, THE Prophet of God (hearing and speaking The Words of The LORD) introduces the concluding threat by a rhetorical question, harking back to the opening verse 5: “O Assyrian, the ROD of MINE ANGER, and the STAFF in their hand is MINE INDIGNATION.” From here we go back to chapter 5, verse 24: “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their (Israel’s) root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have CAST AWAY the law of the LORD of Hosts, and DESPISED the Word of the Holy One of Israel.” Just replace “Israel” with “America” and we are in 2011! (Read Isaiah 5:24-30.)
In those verses we get an awful picture of God's wrath, yet the prophetic message, written and spoken, was deliberately rejected; nevertheless, the announcement of the DOOM which was at hand for Judah was sent forth—the LORD of history signaled for an avenging army. The oncoming judgment...coming with relentless speed...was “ALERT” and ready to perform DESTRUCTION...all at the prompting of the LORD.
ISRAEL / AMERICA! Chapter 10:6 — “...the people of my WRATH...”
Although it was God who used the king of Assyria to be His axe, His saw and rod, yet this king ascribed to his own power and wisdom, rather than to God, what had been accomplished.
You see, the Assyrian was only an instrument, powerless in himself. I know that I sound like I repeat myself in these articles, but I want my readers to understand that God is not hidden from history—He IS the MASTER of it!
God was saying in 10:15, “Who moves the axe, the saw, the rod?” Just as man uses the above tools, so God uses/moves men and nations and armies (etc.). All this raises an issue that is “decisive for human destiny”: If men repent, life will spring forth; if men harden their hearts, death will ensue. It all boils down to this: Is it to be force/punishment or repentance/forgiveness? God has and will use human force or natural force at His command. The ULTIMATE power in the universe is God Almighty! The powers of men and nature, which have so tragically been witnessed, were and are the instruments of His will. Men and nations and nature are the agents of His purpose.
Even though men (like the Assyrian king here) believe that it is their power, their god or gods, and/or their luck that wins for them...THEIR “LUCK” WILL RUN OUT...for God will destroy the very instruments (except His nature) which He used, when their pride and arrogance is supreme.
Back Up to 10:12-14
“WHEREFORE IT shall come to pass, that when the LORD hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.”
As my title says,—“Two-Edged Sword”—this is how it worked: God summoned the Godless Assyrian king and his army for to punish His hardhearted people, Israel (the 10 northern tribes), and because of the Assyrian king’s pride, God pronounces judgment upon him.
This prideful king believed in himself. He terrorized Israel so that “there was none that moved the wing (as a bird to protect her young), or opened the mouth, or peeped” (v. 14). It appears that the anti-Christ forces in this land presently (speaking of America) have so TERRORIZED the Christian camp, that hardly none moves a wing or peeps—“Political Correctness” shouts, and scared “Christians” REMAIN SILENT!!
God Is Not Mocked!
TRUST ME, God will not forever be mocked. Men and nations are free to do what they like (God has granted this)—free to DEFY/MOCK/REBEL against Him, and even for the time being, to frustrate Him; but the Sovereignty of Justice and Righteousness is not at the last to be mocked by men: it belongs to the omnipotence of the Almighty that He can and does use the movement of human history and the powers therein for the accomplishment of His Divine ends—such we are seeing now.
Therefore Isaiah can describe Assyria as a sword wielded by the strong arm of God, and therefore, without any sense of contradiction, Isaiah can go on to say that the power which can use the WRATH of man to make men praise God can also turn to judge the very people whose RUTHLESS BRUTALITY God employed for the SCOURGING of a sinful and rebellious nation. That is, God can use and then destroy His own “tools of destruction.”
Make no mistake about it, America WILL BE PUNISHED for her ZILLIONS of SINS she has committed. The so-called “United States of America,” founded (in part) upon Christian principles, will NOT crowd God out of their calculations of “what will be” or “not be.” NO WAY!
It is not a “new” God America needs, nor a “liberal” old one, but a heart to turn BACK to the God of the Bible, the God of history. When any nation that has strayed, gets back to her God, then shall they know and experience peace.
ISAIAH LIVED in an era of incessant strife and hatred, like we do today; the tramp of invading forces were heard all through his writings. Inevitably, he saw the JUDGMENT of God wrought out in CATASTROPHE: INVASION, FAMINE, FIRE and PESTILENCE—to the prophet they were all “visitations” of God. This land is full of churchfolks crying out for God's “visitations”...well, they are here, dear churchites, but not the kind you want to see. And I don’t mind saying this: THEY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT ON PARTLY BY YOU!! It is YOUR SINS, YOUR REBELLION, YOUR PRIDE that have angered God. YOU’RE NOT INNOCENT.
Just as the Assyrians destroyed Israel (the 10 northern tribes), so shall Israel (the 2 southern tribes) get the same treatment...IF she refuses to repent. We know the truth: she DID NOT REPENT!
So, history proves the “Two-Edged Sword” story. But America is at the stage whereby she will not experience the sword of the (Holy) Spirit performing its work on the inside of us (individually and nationally)...so expect the sword of steel to do its work.
The Bible is full of poignant illustrations of what happens to men and nations who begin to “trifle with conscience, who forsake Godly standards and give up faith in anything which makes demands on ‘self.’” The Bible tells us to “die to self”; yet the Church (NOW) teaches us to “live it up,” “have ‘fun in the Son,’” “Just do it!” and blah, blah, blah. And so, the Church is “doing it”—REBELLING LIKE HELL!!
SIN HAS sucked the very life out of this nation, the Church included. God's Truth, both written and spoken, the sharp Two-edged Sword, has become odious to this nation of hypocrites. In this stinking and rotting nation of America, maggots continue to feast upon her decaying body. The majestic America has become A DISEASED WHORE whose body rots away each day: “the high ones of stature shall be HEWN DOWN, and the haughty shall be HUMBLED” (10:33). The Assyrian king, Sennacherib, was eventually humbled—even murdered. God used him as His “rod,” and then turned around and judged Him: two of Sennacherib's own sons thrust him through with a sword as the king was worshipping in the house of his pagan god Nisroch (2 Kgs 19:35-37). In like manner, God will use His “rod” (or “rods”) to PUNISH and GREATLY HUMBLE America, and then will turn around and DESTROY the same.
Friends, let us seek God in humility while there is yet time.
[Study material has been adapted from its original sources.]