I will send him against an hypocritical NATION, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. (Isaiah 10:6)
God had an agenda that was carried out and he used the plans of evil men to do it. His plans were ADDED to by men. Consider what God said of the Assyrian king whom He used to destroy sinful Israel in Isaiah 10:5-15.
Isaiah 10:7Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; BUT IT IS IN HIS HEART TO DESTROY and cut off NATIONS not a few
Note that God’s instruction was concerning a ”nation”, but here we can see that the Assyrian had in his heart to destroy NATIONS, in plural. God had told the Assyrian king to go against Israel, not Jerusalem, but the king’s motive was different than God’s. The king merely wanted to plunder the nation of Israel for his own personal gain and without divine permission. Therefore God says he will judge the Assyrian king for his pride. This is similar to the crucifixion of Christ. The death of Christ at the hands of sinners need not to have been attended with any more feeling of maliciousness than Abraham had toward Isaac. (See my blog post about this.)
Isaiah 10 starts out with a WOE to them that decree unrighteous decrees. If God caused the Assyrian King to do evil, then this woe would fall back on God himself.
1WOE unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed— 4Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Does God want people to decree unrighteous decrees? Clearly not. This shows that people can indeed decree unrighteous decrees against his will, and do other evil things. As a consequence, this could lead to being without the protection of God and end up in trouble. Without God’s divine protection it will be so much easier for the enemy to gain victory. When God stretches out his hand against Israel, the Assyrians will be more successful.
Isaiah 10:11Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? 12Wherefore 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.
It’s a sin to worship idols, and it’s a sin to have a stout heart. Clearly the Assyrian King acted against the will of God. God will punish the King for his actions, since they were done without his divine permission.
13For 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: —
The King forgets that he may not have been so successful had not God allowed destruction to come upon Israel. God used the King’s evil scheme to accomplish something he had in mind, and that’s why the King felt things went rather smoothly for him.
24Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
The same message is found in Isaiah 9
9And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,— 11Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; 12The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Pride and stoutness can cause God’s wrath, and here he stretched out his hand against Israel.
13For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
Bad idea to not seek the Lord of hosts. God would have preferred if they did.
14Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. 15The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. 16For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
The reason why God allows Israel to be destroyed is due to their own actions. God is not the one who predestines people to err, but we can read that it’s LEADERS who cause people to err. When people make the bad choice to trust in evil leaders, they will have to take the consequences, and they will be lead astray.
17Therefore the LORD shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
God has no joy in their young men. Would God predestine men to behave in a way that is not pleasing to God? We can read that ”every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and that every mouth speaketh folly”. Does God want people to be and behave in that sinful way? Clearly not. People constantly act against the will of God and DUE to their sinful actions, God will turn away and stretch out his hand against them in anger.
18For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. 19Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.— 21Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
The trouble is due to man’s wicked actions.