-Still in the context of God’s destructive pronouncement upon Damascus and Samaria, Isaiah is told to take a large tablet to write in ordinary letters, “Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey (Isaiah 8:1).” God will take to Himself faithful witnesses from the prophets and prophetesses to fulfill His commands and words (Isaiah 8:2-3). The wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will indeed be carried away before the terrifying army of the king of Assyria, and their power will sweep into Judah to fill the breadth of Immanuel’s land (Isaiah 8:4-8). This flood analogy was a poetic way of describing the powerful and overwhelming force of the Assyrian army at this time prophesied in history. They would indeed take control of Damascus and the Northern Kingdom of Israel by 722 B.C. and almost overtake even Jerusalem in Judah (2 Kings 17-19, 2 Chronicles 28-32).
-For the believing remnant who are broken before the LORD, He is with them. They will be spoken to by God with mighty power and they will not walk in the way of evil people. They are not to fear people, but “it is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then He (Messiah) shall become a sanctuary; but to both the houses of Israel, a Stone to strike and a Rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Isaiah 8:9-14).” The prophecy states that many will stumble over the righteousness of God and His people. These will fall and be broken, snared and caught. For future generations these words were told to be bound up as a testimony, and the law of it was to be sealed among His disciples (followers, Isaiah 8:15-16). These words become intensely profound with the coming of Christ Jesus (Luke 20:18, Romans 9:32). For Isaiah, he states that he will wait for the LORD who is currently hiding His face from the house of Jacob. Isaiah will even look eagerly for Him along with the children whom the LORD has given him for signs and wonders from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion (Isaiah 8:17-18). The final verses give a comparison to those who turn away from God to their own darkened devices for understanding. These look to the earth, not God, and find distress, darkness, the gloom of anguish, and eternal separation rather than healing in their time of need (Isaiah 8:19-22). *Application* It is the LORD we all should regard as holy to be feared and dreaded like a fierce champion (Jeremiah 20:11). He is with His faithful and knows the difference between the sincere and liars. Don’t stumble over the trap of self-help to rescue you from disaster. God is the only One who can truly save. Let Him become your sanctuary (consecrated holy place, refuge, protection). Bind and seal up His testimony and law of love upon your heart as His believing disciple.
Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 8:13