Look to God for victory! He still crushes ”the Assyrian” in His ”land”.
This short oracle is directed against the nation of Assyria. (See 10:5-34). They were the world superpower before the Babylonians replaced them: the nation that took the Israelites captive. See three great truths about God:
He is sovereign (24, 26, and 27): He is ”The LORD Almighty…” (24a).Whatever He plans and purposes will come to pass. Not even the mightiest king can stand against Him and ”thwart” His agenda. You might as well stand in the middle of a heaving motorway with your hand raised, as try to stand against the rolling purposes of God. ”Exactly as I planned, it will happen. Following my blueprints, it will take shape.” The Message. It’s not just about what He has said, but what He has ”sworn” (24a; see Hebs.13:ff.). There is a ”Surely” (24b) about what God decrees. We know that His Word is true, and we can rely on it. What it foretells will happen. ”God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19.
He is Judge (25-27): He will deal with sin and sinners; He will deal with all sin and all sinners (26). There will be no exceptions. ”This is my plan for the world, and my arm is stretched out to punish the nations.” (26: Good News Bible). What God did to mighty Assyria should serve as a warning to all nations. The only shelter from the judgment of God is found in Christ, and people from all countries can take refuge in Him. But if they will not, a real and fearful judgment awaits them.
He is the Victor/Deliverer (25): What God says He will do, He literally did. You can read the story later on in chapters 36 and 37. It’s quite remarkable. But although this happened historically, I believe there is a spiritual principle I can apply to my life. I am God’s ”land”. (See ”my” three times in verse 25) I belong to God. My life, in all its regions, is His territory. But ”the Assyrian” is within the borders of His land. I have within me a sinful nature that has an appetite for sin. It likes to sin; it wants to sin; it will be with me until I die. It is the devil’s ‘Trojan Horse’ or ‘fifth column’. Sin is an ‘inside job’, you might say. But God can ”crush” this enemy within. Indeed, He already has, at the cross, and I can experience victory because of Him. I can know freedom from slavery to sin. According to Paul, in Romans 6, I already do. But I have to work out the implications in my everyday life. I must fully play my part, and co-operate with the Holy Spirit all along the way. I must do all I need to do to fight and resist indwelling sin. But I need to be clear that the victory is the Lord’s (Rom.7:24, 25; 2 Cor.2:14), and He will give me all I need for holiness as I seek to act in His power, and follow Him in His triumphant procession. The mightiest enemies of all have been slain at Calvary, and I can experience the fruits of that in my life. This thought encourages me today, that there is victory for me in Jesus. There is victory for you too! (There is the picture of something heavy being lifted in 25b. Maybe that is exactly what you need.)
One final thought: It is characteristic of God’s strategy, someone said, that the enemy should be broken in God’s land, in his moment of apparent victory. (Read Acts 4:27, 28 and pause to reflect and rejoice over the greatest triumph.)
Prayer: Thank you Lord that when man (and Satan) were doing their worst, you were doing your very best. You took Goliath’s sword and used it to chop off his head. Hallelujah!
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