Isaiah 17–The Rise and Fall Of Empires

Isaiah was sadly having to deliver a message to Damascus and to the Northern Tribes of Israel.  After the Division of Israel under Jeroboam, the northern tribes took on the identity of Ephriam. The Southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin took on the identity of Judah as the sons of David. As time progressed, Ephriam became increasingly evil and first aligned with the Assyrians, whose capitol city was Damascus.  Then after some time they were conquered by the Assyrians, removed from the lands, and transplanted in Samaria.

Isaiah was giving both groups fair warning–If they thought they would take Judah; God had a different plan.  As they dared to challenge God and His people, God would destroy them, disband them, and make sure they would be completely and utterly forgettable. History tells us, that is exactly what happened.  The northern tribes were scattered. Assyria defeated, absorbed, and forgotten.

Amazingly, God’s people are still a nation, God is still in charge, and His name still above all names.  In our culture, men still believe they can eradicate God from the world–they are as mistaken as were the Assyrians.  Try though they may, all attempts to defeat and dispel God will fail. 

We as His chosen must remain on our knees and pray for direction and revival of our hearts and the heart of our nation.  Following God is always the best answer for peace, security, and prosperity. All other answers are at best band-aids and are never successful.  We must change the course and return to being “One nation under God, indivisible; with liberty and justice for all.” If we will; we can still have an impact on the world.

 Sadly, the alternative has been played out many times. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medes & Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Prussians, Mongols, Japanese, British, Axis, USSR…nations and empires rise and fall–God simply does not.  That’s why following the Lord and His plan is always the right course.

God Bless You


An oracle concerning Damascus.

Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
    and will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of Aroer are deserted;
    they will be for flocks,
    which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
    and the kingdom from Damascus;
and the remnant of Syria will be
    like the glory of the children of Israel,
declares the Lord of hosts.

And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
    and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain
    and his arm harvests the ears,
and as when one gleans the ears of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
Gleanings will be left in it,
    as when an olive tree is beaten—
two or three berries
    in the top of the highest bough,
four or five
    on the branches of a fruit tree,
declares the Lord God of Israel.

In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. 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.

In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
    and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge.
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
    and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11 though you make them grow[a] on the day that you plant them,
    and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
yet the harvest will flee away[b]
    in a day of grief and incurable pain.

12 Ah, the thunder of many peoples;
    they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations;
    they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
    but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind
    and whirling dust before the storm.
14 At evening time, behold, terror!
    Before morning, they are no more!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
    and the lot of those who plunder us.