Thoughts on Isaiah 26-30

 •  27 min. read  •  grade level: 6
“In that day” (ver. 1) is an expression of frequent recurrence which marks the time of accomplishment. “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah.” Israel becomes again the center of God's government for the earth. (Deut. 32: 8.) At present the nations have the upper hand: these are the “times of the Gentiles;” but at length Judah re-appears on the scene as the object of God's counsels.
Though Israel has been for a time delivered to the nations as to fierce beasts of prey, nevertheless the nations are not the direct object of the government of God, whilst providence directs everything. From Psa. 67 and many other scriptures we learn that the face of God must shine on Israel in order that His way may be-known in the earth. When God strikes the nations, they are set aside, and He resumes the course of His government toward Israel. God overthrows the power of the Gentiles, and as to Israel shows Himself to be Jehovah, the Eternal.
“The way of the just is uprightness” (ver. 7)-of him who walks faithfully.
The immediate government of God takes place only in the midst of His people. Them God judges; and when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord that we should not be condemned with the world. Every act in the life of the Christian has its consequence. God judges immediately, and the unfaithful Christian has not a path of uprightness. This is what Israel has already proved, as it will prove more. God smooths the way of him who is faithful.
The remnant of the Jewish people will have waited for Jehovah, spite of Antichrist and all the difficulties. Psa. 44 shows the anguish of the remnant at this time. God has to chasten them; nevertheless they are watched tenderly by God. Jesus perfectly realized this waiting of the faithful which counts on God, what ever the anguish to which obedience might bring Him Never did He turn aside from the path of obedience although it led Him on to drink “the cup.”
“The inhabitants of the world” will only learn righteousness (ver. 9) by the divine judgment which strikes the earth. The Christian ought to take his part in suffering; if he walks with the world, he does not understand the interests of Christ and is weakened, he has not the desire for the glory of Christ and does not suffer for Christ. “The inhabitants of the world” are not of God; their portion is on the earth, they enjoy this world. We (Christians) are the dwellers in the heavens, or at least belong to heaven (1 Cor. 15:4848As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15:48); Phil. 3:2020For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (Philippians 3:20)), though too often Christians learn the ways of the dwellers on earth. God waits till iniquity reaches its height before striking; meanwhile the wicked will deal unjustly still.
“The land of uprightness” (ver. 10) is what is promised to Israel, Canaan under the Messiah.
The wicked fail to see the uplifted hand of Jehovah (ver. 11) until it falls upon them, when they shall see. As to the result here below, grace does not accomplish the conversion of the world. Every hope of the world's conversion by the gospel is without ground in the word of God; and it is even worse with Christendom, hardened as it is against the truth, than with pagans. Christendom as it refuses the love of the truth will receive a spirit of error.
The Jewish remnant (vers. 12, 18) have nothing but the name of Jehovah to boast. There are moments in life for the saint where nothing but that remains for the soul.
The nations which ill-treated Israel shall not live longer; their day is over. Not chosen of God for this world, they have failed in their responsibility; their day of visitation comes, and all their memory is made to perish.
Verses 15-19. Israel ends by renouncing all hope in itself; whilst now-a-days we see the Jews in their unbelief full of hope in their re-establishment. Yet they shall live. (Compare Ezek. 37) They shall rise as a nation.
The remnant (vers. 20, 21) are called to hide themselves during the time of indignation or the day of vengeance. It is the time when the lawlessness of Antichrist will draw down the consuming wrath of God. The sole testimony will then be His judgment.
Chapter 27.
We have here another fact of all importance. The power of Satan in the world is destroyed, a power which governs and deceives the nations. Israel becomes the vineyard of red wine that Jehovah keeps, waters, and guards: whoever would harm it, must face His judgment; but He offers peace with Him, and His strength to make it good. Israel became the center of earthly blessing. To this the church has not been destined; and the moment it is her pretension, it is nothing but pride. In fact the church has failed in the mission she received of announcing the gospel and of being the witness of Christ's heavenly glory; and if she would after that pretend to it and count on it as a right, is this any more than pride? Even things which at one time are of faith are in other circumstances only pride. For instance Isaiah tells the king in chapter 38 to count on the deliverance of Judah from the Assyrian; whereas Jeremiah tells the king at a later day to save himself by submission to the Chaldean. In Isa. 51 God tells His people to look to Abraham, and as He called their father when he was alone and blessed and increased him; whereas when the Jew boasted of Abraham in pride, God confounded them, as in Ezek. 33:2424Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance. (Ezekiel 33:24); Matt. 3:99And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (Matthew 3:9); John 8:3939They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. (John 8:39).
In verses 7, 8 we see Israel chastened, not destroyed. It is a purificatory dealing. “By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin” (ver. 9) in the very day when judgment takes its course on the wicked who have no understanding. (Vers. 10, 11.)
From verses 12, 13 we see that there will be among the nations a remnant of Israel to be recalled one by one. (Matt. 24:3131And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31).) Such is the unraveling of the history of this poor world. All should bid us now stand entirely aloof from its course. The pride of Israel transfers itself to Christendom which arrogates to itself what God never gave it. Worldly-mindedness and the hope of gaining over the world always go together now. When the church thinks of converting the world (instead of gathering out of it to Christ in heaven), it allies itself to the powers of the world. They begin, it is true, by sincerely desiring the conversion of souls; then to arrive at this they join the world and fall into spiritual feebleness. When we rest on the world, we own and affirm its power. Rightly viewed, the conversion of three thousand in one day in Jerusalem was the precursor, not even of the conversion of that city, but of the judgment which was about to fall on it.
God abides sovereign, and the Christian admires His sovereignty, and rejoices in it.
Thus from chapter 13 to chapter 27 we have seen judgments falling on the Gentiles, the Jews being found there. From chapter 28 to chapter 35 we shall see the details of what is to happen to the Jews, &c., in the last days of this age. Each revelation closes with a testimony borne to God's glory in Israel.
Chapter 28.
In this division chapters 28, 29 show the judgments on Ephraim and Jerusalem (Ariel, that is, lion of God). We see there what God thinks of that which inspires most confidence in man, His judgment condemning it all, and the deliverance of the meek, the remnant of His people.
The first thing judged is the crown of pride, the carelessness of luxury, which leaves man intoxicated and blind. God raises up the Assyrian, a mighty and strong one, against those who had abandoned themselves to pride and excess. “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: and the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which, when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.” After this judgment there is a change, and Jehovah becomes a crown of glory, and a spirit of strength for the remnant. (Vers. 5, 6.) Pride, ease, luxury, and the world's vain glory hinder the word from striking the conscience; but for the poor, despised, afflicted remnant, God is their resource and strength, and becomes a crown of glory. It is very possible that the people of God should be despised till then.
As to the church there is this difference that from the beginning it is a remnant. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” The ways of God were not such in the Jewish economy. The nation was the people of God, and the remnant remained hidden. Elijah believed himself alone, the remnant was not manifested, though God knew seven thousand. When the church began, the Lord added together such as should be saved, the remnant from among the Jews. The actual principle for the present time is the gathering together in one of the scattered children of God. Among the Jews God did not thus gather His children: they were the elect people that He owned.
It is a mistake that some Christians make of the church an invisible thing. Such was the case with God's children in Judaism, but it is not the principle in Christianity. For the Jews there was only individual faithfulness, besides their common national privileges. But to-day, that is, since Pentecost, the presence of the Holy Spirit is a power that gathers the children of God and produces a corporate testimony in the world. It is a city that cannot be hid. When Israel departs from God, God sends as to children, precept upon precept, line upon line. “But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, like upon line: here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Vers. 7-13.) God cannot cease to bear testimony till He has exhausted all the means to bring back to Himself.
The result of resistance is to bring upon those that resist a blindness so much the greater as it is proportionate to the light refused. If the first testimony is received, more is always added, for it is given to him that hath, and he shall have more abundance. Those who bowed to the witness of John the Baptist received also Jesus; those who rejected it rejected also the Messiah, and the testimony of John was withdrawn, and the people blinded. Jesus bears a greater testimony, the remnant attach to Him. The Holy Spirit, bears afterward testimony and gathers the church; but the Jews rejected Him, and were rejected. These testimonies bring on their judgment. The more God manifests Himself, the more does the heart's natural opposition show itself. Those who receive the first grace receive the rest, until glory, and go from strength to strength. God does not let judgment fall on Jerusalem till Jerusalem rejected the Holy Spirit. When grace is exhausted God sends judgment. The flesh seeks ever to keep the enjoyment of its lusts, and would harden the conscience against the testimony that God sends.
The Jews would not have their kingdom and their holy place destroyed, but their unbelief led to a complete blinding, and Satan pushed them on to destruction, going so far as to make them say of Jesus, that He cast out demons by Beelzebub. There is no blindness like that which results from resisting the light and in presence of the light not renouncing one's own will.
When Jerusalem sees the judgment on Ephraim, to escape it they unite more firmly with the power of evil. “Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” In the close it will be Antichrist in alliance with Satan and his instruments. But God gives the remnant a sure foundation-stone in Zion. “Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand: when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.” (Vers. 16-18.)
In the judgments of God, the question one sees debated is between the rights of Satan because of sin, and those of God. It is necessary that the people of God should be judged on the one hand, and on the other, that in the midst of the judgment salvation should be found, as Noah in the ark was carried over the waters of the deluge. It is in the cross of Christ that faith sees the judgment of God against our sins, and for ourselves; we are thus saved righteously. So here also judgment will Jehovah lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, when He lays in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone. The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, the waters overflow the hiding-place; but the stone abides sure and steadfast. The very same thing-God's judgment-which destroys the wicked guarantees the believer against all evil, for he is made God's righteousness in Christ.
The foundation-stone has long been laid at Jerusalem. The blood of the new covenant with His people it carried within the holiest of all. The church is already laid on this stone; meanwhile, because it has owned the stone, which later on is to become the confidence of the Jewish remnant. The church profits by it beforehand, as Israel will doubtless at a later day. The passages where it is a question of this Stone are cited in the New Testament, in the past generally applicable. One often sees passages thus half cited, because as a whole they do not apply to the present. Judgment is not yet laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet. To-day is the time of grace, and not that of judgment.
But judgment will surely come for the earth. “From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For Jehovah shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord Jehovah of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.” What is Jehovah's “strange work” and “act"? It is the judgment of His people towards whom His goodness has no bounds. This “act” strange to the heart of God, which made the Lord Jesus weep, is the execution of judgment on His people, then apostate. It is a thing God does only when He is forced to it by their extreme iniquity. The Jews have rejected the Christ, and they will have the Antichrist. The consumption, even determined upon the whole earth, will be much more terrible on them. It is the same principle, but even worse for Christendom which had the light but rejected it. The more truly one is in the light, the more is one necessarily allied to Satan if one rejects the light. Nothing more terrible than a conscience hardened by a perverse will, which commences by the most ordinary lusts. Judas is not the only man fond of money.
The end of the chapter (vers. 23-29) shows the wisdom of God in the smallest things. He gives to man wisdom in cultivating the earth, in sowing, reaping, and dealing with the crops. And will He not know what to do best for His people?
Chapter 29.
As Chapter 28 gave us Ephraim and Jerusalem taken spite of its evil alliance, chapter 29 shows that a second attack against Jerusalem, brought to the utmost distress, will fail through divine power which will destroy its adversaries. (Vers. 1-8.)
If Jerusalem is a lion of God, when God speaks of the judgments He says, “I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.” (Ver. 3.) The Assyrians were but instruments in His hand. He would Himself strike, but not exterminate His guilty people. He does not destroy, but chastens them. This humbles but it comforts; for love is there. See the case of Job: there are the instruments of judgment, and Satan behind them, but God above who directs all for the good of Job, who at the end is more blessed of Jehovah than at the beginning, bright as it was. Psa. 118 shows us these three things clearly. (See Vers. 10,13, 18.) The nations surround in enmity, Satan seeks to destroy, but above them all Jehovah chastises and sorely, but does not deliver to death.
But we see here that the most ancient relations with God serve no good purpose when man lays his trust in them. When he is far from God, he attaches himself to the old things that God instituted to reject what God may be actually giving. But one cannot deceive God as to right and wrong. “Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year: let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.” (Vers. 1, 2.) He says elsewhere He would destroy His house, His altar; as He did to Shiloh, so to the temple, whatever the presumption of His people, because He will have righteousness and holiness, not the things He established. God had established the altar, temple, sacrifices, feasts, and priests; but when iniquity is there, judgment must begin with His house, and its judgment is only the more terrible if the effects of the Holy Spirit are not there: the sole consequence of being near to God outwardly is the more unsparing judgment. Again, the more Christendom departs from truth and righteousness, the more it rests on institutions as being of God. It is not those who are occupied with the Lord of the temple that say, “The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah is these.” The more evil the conscience is, the more it attaches itself to forms.
No doubt sovereign mercy and faithfulness will work in a remnant, and God will deliver for His own name at the end. But we see in verses 9-14, at the side of these forms, that God despises the incapacity of His people judicially blinded of God: learned or ignorant alike reject the word of God. To the one the book is as sealed, and the other pleads that be is not learned: the revelation of God by prophecy they cannot seize. Yet He reveals all for the blessing of His people, not that aught should be covered. He has not given the Bible that it should not be understood. If Christians say that they cannot take it in, they say just what the Jews do here, the proof of their state of ruin. They thus evade the testimony which would save them from the consequences of the judgment. But in vain. “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Jehovah, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?” (Vers. 15-17.)
But babes receive God's testimony. “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in Jehovah, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” (Vers. 18, 19.)
The Lord does not present us here with the detailed history of His people in the last days. He takes cognizance of all that will happen to them; He has measured the force of the enemy; He has not only foreseen all, but makes us see the light behind all these means.
The state of the people in the time that precedes destruction is a voluntary ignorance, after which God closes intelligence and sheds profound slumber. This will happen to Christendom also. There will be” strong delusion” because they wished not the truth. It is the same here as in verses 8-11. This iniquity will be like the bowing of a wall about to fall. They wish to hear no more visions threatening them with the terrible things that are to happen. It had been similar with the heathen who had not the knowledge of God, and were given over to a state of blindness. (Rom. 1:22-2422Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: (Romans 1:22‑24).) God had already said of Israel, “Make the heart of this people fat,” a word applied for the last time in. Acts 28 It is the case then for the heathen the Jews, and Christendom, and it will be yet again, true for the Jews. They have said to the seers, See not. (Chap. 30: 10.) It is frightful to know the people at such a pitch that they can no more be extricated. This obstinacy assumes an appearance of reason, because it is a strong delusion.
Verses 13, 14. This is not an avowed infidelity which brings on the judgment. The people draw near to God with a show of piety: they have a fear taught by the precept of men. It will be the same with Christendom: there will be a form of godliness, yes, and men will be lovers of themselves rather than of God. Such is what characterizes the perilous times the show of piety, but no conscience before God. (Ver. 15.) Then God turns all upside down. Lebanon is turned into Carmel. The fruitful field is esteemed a forest, and the forest a fruitful field. This is always what characterizes such a state; but when God turns all upside down, verses 18-24 will be seen accomplished. All that is yet to come.
Chapter 30.
Woe is pronounced on the rebellions children who act according to their prudence, but not counseled of Jehovah. (Vers. 1-7.) This is found too often even with the Christian. It is folly, even with the best intentions, to take counsel of oneself. It characterizes the evil in the last times. For the Christian it is not to take counsel of God, if one form plans and then pray for a blessing. Often it is necessary for us to run back the road so as to return to the place which we had quitted. All that is time lost.
Israel sought an ally in Egypt strong as the Assyrian. (Ver. 2.) It is to seek strength in the flesh. God would make this prudence vain; He would have His people confide in Himself. So Abram went down into Egypt without consulting God (Gen. 12), and found himself the worse for it. What things have we, dear friends, done to-day without consulting God? It has been all lost time thus to act without God. Man would always act; though on many occasions God would have one keep quietly waiting. (1 Sam. 15) Whatever be the appearances of reason and prudence, it is always folly for man to wish to go before God's time. God does not slumber, He tries our hearts and intervenes at last in a suitable time.
Nothing is more despicable than the people of God in alliance with the world. They can but add their misery to that of the world, and the world profits them in nothing. (Chap. 31: 33.) Ruin will come on all that the deceivers do. (Vers. 8-14.) There is no people as God's, when He abandons them: the evil reaches them, the good escapes them; there is neither force nor intelligence. (Vers. 15-17.)
Nevertheless Jehovah waits that He may be gracious unto them. (Ver. 18.) The Pharisees, who would have made a snare of the adulteress, disappear; whilst Jesus stays to show grace, of which they felt no need.
“For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.” (Ver. 19.) This is given also in Joel 2:12-1412Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God? (Joel 2:12‑14). From the moment the remnant take the place where God put them, He listens to their cry. Faith takes the place of the sinner and humbles itself, and then God answers. If the church is in a sad state, faith has the consciousness of the state the church is found in; owns it, humbles itself, and God can answer. It is what Christ has done for us; He has owned fully before God the state of sin in which He put Himself for us, and He has wrought redemption. The remnant will feel the ruin of Jerusalem, and will cry according to the misery and the ruin of Jerusalem. Faith gives the consciousness of the state of ruin in which sin has placed us. “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers he removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Vers. 20, 21.) This is consoling. The remnant will be in the utmost distress, but they shall see their teachers, and hear the word of guidance. Misery may be deep, but God will show the way. Once they are brought down to the point where God sees things, He has always a way for His people, and as they depart from all iniquity, so He will bless with every blessing on the earth. (Vers. 22-26.) The nations are to assemble in the power of their will, but God will sift and scatter them in devouring judgment (vers. 27-30), while the remnant rejoice in their place.
The Assyrian is always presented here as the one with whose destruction ends” the indignation.” (See chap. 10: 24; 14; Dan. 8) When the Assyrian is destroyed the indignation will be closed. (Compare Mic. 5:5, 65And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. 6And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. (Micah 5:5‑6).) Jesus “shall be the peace when the Assyrian shall come into our land.” “For through the voice of Jehovah shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod. And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which Jehovah shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.” (Vers. 31-33.) The staff of Jehovah shall fall on the Assyrian. One sees the aim of this judgment of God. He is full of patience and long-suffering. His people meanwhile are in alarm at the power of the enemy. When God strikes the enemies, it is always the deliverance of His people. Tophet, the place of the Assyrian's judgment is already prepared, not for him only, but also for “the king,” the Antichrist who shall do according to his will. (See Dan. 11:36-4536And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. 40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. 44But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 45And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Daniel 11:36‑45).) Antichrist will be cast with the Assyrian into Tophet. “The breath of Jehovah like a stream of brimstone doth kindle it.” (Compare 2 Thess. 2:88And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (2 Thessalonians 2:8).) He will destroy the wicked with the breath of His mouth.
It is of great moment in these prophecies to distinguish “the king of the north” from “the king” in the land. They are not the same, but enemies and fight. They are both wicked, and each successively dealt with by the same terrible judgment at the Lord's hand.
If we listen to our own will, it would put us in movement according to the strength of man against the evil which surrounds us. But we have nothing else to do but wait on God, abiding faithful to Him who will not let us fall into ruin through the adversary. May God give us grace to receive His word that this rebellious people would not receive. For God waits to be gracious to those that receive His word. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell on the earth.” (Rev. 3:1010Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10).)