-The oracle (burden) concerning Damascus, which was the capital of Aram who partnered together with the Northern Kingdom of Israel to resist the Assyrians in the time around 730 B.C.. Isaiah prophecies that this city will fall and be removed from being a city (Isaiah 17:1). This occurs with the taking of the city under Tiglath-pilneser in 2 Kings 16:9. Later the city was rebuilt, and remains to this day. Other cities of Aroer will also be forsaken by people leaving animals to live there, and the fortified city will disappear from Ephraim of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. God is declaring judgment on these idolatrous areas at the hand of the Assyrians (Isaiah 17:2-4).
-Now the prophet’s attention turns to Judah as their glory too is fading. Only a few olives will be left on the tree. “In that day man will have regard for his Maker and his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 17:7).” This is the remnant, which God leaves to restore His plan and purpose. These will disregard the idols of their own fleshly hands and look to their Creator. These will be broken and humble because their strong cities are forsaken and desolate. The reason for the judgment is because they had forgotten the God of their salvation and had not remembered the rock of their refuge. The people had erected alternatives to the true God with strange gods and idols, which they worshipped. This caused their harvest to be a ruinous heap and caused the days of sickness and incurable pain (Isaiah 17:5-11).
-In the last and brief section of this chapter, the LORD pronounces His disdain with the Assyrians themselves, who is the uproar of many peoples like the roaring of the seas and the rumbling of nations that rush in like mighty waters. God will rebuke them and they will flee away. “At evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they are no more.” This will be their portion and lot for the plunderers and pillagers from the north (Isaiah 17:12-14).” This prophecy parallels the narrative in 2 Kings 19:14-37 during the time of Hezekiah, when the Assyrians were threatening Jerusalem, but God struck them down in the night with His angel (2 Kings 19:35). *Application* Just when things may seem at their worst, God can immediately come through in ways you could never dream of, think, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Look constantly and expectantly to Him who is ultimately in control of your personal situation and the whole-wide world.
Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 17:7