When God laid out the china – Wednesday, 1st week in Advent – Isaiah 25:6-10a

The historical background for the book of Isaiah spans more than two centuries. In 745 B.C. Tiglath-Pileser III ascends the Assyrian throne and King Ahaz asks him to help Judah repel attacks by Israel and Damascus on Judah.

It was during this period that Isaiah began his ministry at the age of 30. Isaiah’s message is straight forward. He gave counsel that Judah should not look for security to Assyria or any other nation but to God. The enemy may creep in, he may be great, but our Lord is greater. Even when the enemy sneaks in, the Lord is greater! Ahaz did not seek out God first. Instead, he cried out to Assyria and not to God.

Tiglath-Pileser accommodated Ahaz by conquering Damascus and annexing most of the kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 16:5-9; Isaiah 7-8). However, as a result of this action, Judah became a vassal of Assyria and its people were required to recognize Assyrian gods (2 Kings 16:3-4). Isaiah communicates the anger of God. He said, “The faithful city has become a prostitute!” and “Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves” (1:21, 23). He warned, “the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; and Yahweh alone shall be exalted in that day” (2:17).

Then during the period of King Sargon II who came to rule Assyria (721-705 B.C.), King Hezekiah of Judah allied himself with Egypt instead of Assyria. Once again, Isaiah counseled reliance on God rather than foreign nations, but once again he was ignored. Hezekiah’s alliance backfired when Sargon defeated an Egyptian-led coalition near Ashdod, which is located on the Mediterranean Sea not far from Jerusalem.  

Upon Sargon’s death, Hezekiah allied himself with Judah, Edom, and Moab. Once again, Isaiah counseled faith in God rather than foreign entanglements, but once again, he was ignored. Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.), Sargon’s successor, began a campaign against Judah. He besieged Jerusalem in 701 B.C

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