Deliverance from Assyria--Final
Dec 01, 2009
There is one final item remaining in our study of Isaiah 10. Verse 26 reads,
"And the Lord of hosts will arouse a scourge against him [Assyria] like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His staff will be over the sea, and He will lift it up the way He did in Egypt."
So God will deliver Israel from Assyria like He delivered Israel from Egypt at the Red Sea. Why does the prophet specify the Red Sea incident? Why not the Passover, when the firstborn of Egypt were killed?
In the big picture, our deliverance from the power of sin comes through the Cross (i.e., Passover Lamb), and it continues with Pentecost (Sinai), and finally culminates in the Feast of Tabernacles (entering the Promised Land). That would be the full story. But when the prophet speaks here of the deliverance from Assyria, he specifies the Red Sea incident. There is a reason for this.
First, the Red Sea incident was the place of final deliverance from the military power of Egypt. Because Pharaoh changed his mind and attempted to bring back the slaves that he had released at Passover, there was a second release, a double witness to establish this release fully.
It is the same in the process of personal salvation. We are released from Egypt and justified by faith in the blood of the Lamb, but the flesh is not yet fully released until baptism. Baptism is the double witness to confirm that which was done at our justification. Hence, when Jesus healed the leper, He told him in Luke 5:14,
". . . 'But go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, for a testimony [witness] to them."
The law of Moses said in Lev. 14 that he was to offer two birds, and he himself was to be inspected by the priest to see if he had truly been healed of leprosy. If healed, the priest was to sprinkle him seven times with water (Lev. 14:7) and pronounce him clean.
The priest was not the healer, nor did this sprinkling heal the leper. The priest merely bore witness to the healing that had already taken place. He was already cleansed of leprosy, but the priest provided the double witness to establish it on a legal basis. That was the purpose of baptism as established in the law of Moses.
So on a personal level, when we are cleansed of sin, it is first and foremost a matter of faith in the blood of the Lamb. This is our Passover experience. The second step is baptism, whereby we "cross the Red Sea" and receive confirmation from men who bear witness to that which God has done. In other words, they discern and see that there has truly been a change of heart in the new believer.
Now, in the case of the national salvation of nations (in this case, Israel), where God works on a corporate-body level, the deliverance comes in its own appropriate manner. There is a national repentance, where many people (perhaps the majority) repent and establish Jesus Christ as their King and Lawgiver. This is the equivalent of their Passover experience.
The next step is their full deliverance from the Babylonian-Assyrian rulers that God had previously raised up to bring judgment upon Israel. This is their Red Sea experience. It is the second step that naturally follows the first.
And so Isaiah 10 speaks of the Red Sea deliverance in the context of Israel's deliverance from prophetic Assyria. This did not happen in 1948 when the Israeli state was established. The founders of the Israeli state did not repent of their rejection of Jesus Christ, nor did they have faith in the blood of the Lamb of God.
In fact, as I showed in my book, The Struggle for the Birthright, they were actually fulfilling the prophecies of Edom, rather than of Israel. As I have so often written, the Jews are not Israel at all. The term "Jew" is a contraction for Judah, and the term is used biblically to distinguish Judah from Israel after the split in the Kingdom. The Israelites went into the Assyrian captivity and never returned; the Judahites later went to Babylon and returned after 70 years.
About four centuries later, Judah conquered Edom (or Idumeans, their Greek name) in 126 B.C. and forced them to convert to Judaism. All historians agree with this, including Jewish historians. But most do not understand the implications of this in Bible prophecy. This meant that the prophecies of Edom-Idumea in the latter days would have to be fulfilled in the Jewish nation, along with the prophecies of the evil figs of Judah who rejected Jesus.
In other words, the Jewish nation has to fulfill two sets of prophecies. The cursed "fig tree" in Matt. 21 was one such prophecy of the evil figs. It would never bear fruit again (Matt. 21:19), but it would come to life and sprout more leaves in the latter days (Matt. 24:32). Of course, fig leaves were the original problem, not only with the fig tree that was cursed, but also going back to Adam and Eve. Fig leaves represent self-justification, man's covering for sin that is not acceptable to God.
The second set of prophecies has to do with Esau, who was known as Edom ("Red"). Because Jacob took the blessing unlawfully (by lying), Isaac promised Esau, "when thou shalt have the dominion, thou shalt break his [Jacob's] yoke from off thy neck." [Gen. 27:40]
In other words, Jacob would have to give the "dominion" back to Esau in the end, in order to allow Esau to prove himself to be unworthy of the blessing of God. In 1948 this is what occurred. The laws of tribulation (Lev. 26) prevented Judah from returning to the land without repenting first; but they were allowed to return as Edomites, because of Isaac's blessing.
Hence, modern Zionism is a fulfillment of the prophecies to Esau-Edom, not to Judah or Israel. All of this is the final historic struggle between Jacob and Esau to see who will truly inherit the birthright.
Edom means "Red." The Red Sea was actually named for Edom, because Edom bordered the Red Sea. It is really the Sea of Edom. Edom was located on the north end of what is now the Gulf of Aqaba on the east side of the Sinai peninsula. This is where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea under Moses. It was NOT the Gulf of Suez. (Look at a map.)
In the big prophetic picture, Israel's deliverance from Assyria is to be like crossing the Red Sea. In other words, we could not avoid the Sea of Edom. Jacob had to give the birthright back to Esau in 1948 in order to rectify the lawless way in which Jacob had taken it from Esau in Genesis 27. So since 1948 we have been at the Red Sea, prophetically speaking, and we have yet to see the staff of God stretched over the Sea of Edom to deliver true Israel.
The divine judgment upon the Israeli state will certainly occur at some point, and it will coincide then with the prophecies of destruction upon old Jerusalem and the casting out of "Hagar" in Gal. 4:30. The Israelis have nearly filled up their "cup of wrath," by proving themselves to be unworthy of the birthright and the birthright name, Israel.
When their power is broken in Palestine, it will also be broken in America and Europe. We will then be free as a nation to go to our own "Mount Sinai" and declare Jesus Christ as our King and the Heir of all things. It was at Sinai where God formed Israel into a nation, that first Kingdom of God, having a King, citizens, laws, and (ultimately) territory. This will happen again when God once again lifts up His staff over the Sea of Edom.
This is the final part of a series titled "Deliverance from Assyria." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones