ISAIAH SESSION 16 — THE LORD’S PLANS WILL NOT BE THWARTED

Text: Isaiah 14:1-27

When God’s people go astray, He sends His prophets to frankly and bluntly warn them of their sin and admonish them to repent and return to Him. Again, when I speak of God’s people, I am speaking of the church, Jewish believers, and Jews that do not yet believe that Jesus is their Messiah.

The LORD does not desire for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). So, He sends Isaiah to speak to Jerusalem and Judah. And He has assigned me to speak to today’s believers.

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be “The LORD’s Plans Will Not Be Thwarted.” It begins with the Lord’s compassion toward Jacob (backslidden Israel), for He will destroy the Assyrians and, in his compassion for Judah, He will deal likewise with Babylon. 

His plans are against the whole earth, against all those who have defied and rebelled against Him, in their human pride and arrogance. And who can thwart His plans? No one!

Verses 1-2 — 

A time will come when the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, after they have received their punishment for rebelling against Him and have repented. Repentance must always precede release from captivity. 

It is true for believers today, for just like the Jews, all of us are born with a sin nature that rebels against the Lord. Believers remain captives to sin until we repent and ask Him to free us by crucifying our sin nature. 

And the LORD will settle Israel in their own land — His kingdom. He will settle in His land —His kingdom — ALL who repent! Israel became a nation in 1948, and many returned. But though they are geographically located there, they will not be settled in His kingdom until they return to Him and recognize their Messiah, Jesus Christ. And they will, as Paul writes —

Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26  and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, 

“THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, 

HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.”

27  “THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, 

WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”  (See Isaiah 59:20)

And strangers will attach themselves to the house of Jacob (to Israel). This is another prophecy that comes to pass, and then comes to pass again! When the Father sent Jesus Christ, Gentiles believed into Him. It happened after He died and rose and ascended, was glorified, and poured out His Holy Spirit to equip His church! A vast army of believers fanned out across the known world, and many Gentiles believed into Him. 

And many more will believe into Him during the Tribulation, when the 144,000 (12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel) go forth with the gospel —

Revelation 7:4   And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

Revelation 7:9   After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Jesus Christ came not just for the Jews, but first to the Jews. Gentiles, strangers who were not part of God’s people, were in His plan from the beginning, for the Father said this of His Son, Jesus Christ —

Isaiah 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Indeed, strangers have and will yet join with Jews who believe into Jesus. And indeed, His salvation reaches to the end of the earth! Hallelujah!

And Israel and Judah will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors. That is, those who were Israel and Judah’s enemies will bow down to them —

Isaiah 31:8  And the Assyrian will fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of man will devour him. So he will not escape the sword, and his young men will become forced laborers.

How will Sennacherib, king of Assyria, fall? By the hands of his own sons —

2Chronicles 32:21 And the LORD sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned in shame to his own land. And when he had entered the temple of his god, some of his own children killed him there with the sword.

And how will Satan fall? By the hand of the Son of God, Jesus Christ!

Verses 3-6 —

Both Judah and Israel, and all who repent and believe into Jesus Christ, will be given rest from their enemies, once and for all, and from the pain and turmoil and harshness with which they were treated in their captivity. And their reaction is described in this Psalm —

Psalm 126:2  Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3  The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad (filled with joy).”

And they will take up a taunt (mocking lament) against the king of Babylon, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased, and how fury has ceased. The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers which used to strike the people in fury, with unceasing strokes.”

And spiritual Babylon, as I taught last time, will suffer the same fate. And Satan and his offspring will be taunted in the same way by those who have been saved —

Revelation 19:1   After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” 3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.”

Verses 7-8 —

Isaiah sees a vision of the whole earth at rest and quiet, when Babylon is destroyed. 

Not only Israel and Judah, but even the trees and cedars of Lebanon will rejoice over Babylon’s destruction, and ultimately, over the destruction of spiritual Babylon, and Satan himself, as Paul writes to the church at Rome 

Romans 8:21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

Verse 9 —

Israel, Judah, all creation, and even Sheol, the temporary abode of the wicked until the great judgment, will be excited over the coming of the king of Babylon. Those in Sheol will eagerly await his arrival! It will be the same for Satan.

Sheol will arouse all the spirits of the dead and all the leaders of the earth. All of the kings of the earth who defied the Lord will be there, and they will arise and stand as the king of Babylon (and ultimately, Satan) enters. 

Verses 10-11 —

The kings and leaders now in Sheol will all respond, and speak to the king of Babylon. This is also a description of Satan’s demise. Even he has been made as weak as we, the kings in leaders in Sheol will say! You have become like us! 

The pomp and the noise of your harps have brought you down to Sheol. Maggots are spread out beneath you, and worms are your covering. 

Pomp and harps are the first links of this passage to Ezekiel’s prophecy of the fall of the king of Tyre, an earthly king who was also a representation of Satan —

Ezekiel 28:12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, “Thus says the Lord GOD, You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering . . . and the gold, the workmanship of your setting and sockets (tambourines and pipes) was in you . . . 14 You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God;  You walked in the midst of the stones of fire . . .” 

Ezekiel 28:17  Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty . . . I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.”

Do you see the similarities? Kings will mock Satan when he is presented to them in Sheol. He was an anointed cherub, created to worship the Lord. But his pride caused his fall. 

Some commentators say this section of Isaiah 14 refers only to human pride, but I disagree. Just as with the passage from Ezekiel, the prophecy goes far beyond natural kings. The parallels of the descriptions in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are striking.

Verse 12 —

The LORD shows Isaiah much more than the demise of the king of Babylon. Those in Sheol will say, per the King James Version, “How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” Lucifer is one of Satan’s names. As the passage from Ezekiel 28 shows, Satan was in heaven, before the LORD cast Him out because of His pride. 

Those in Sheol will say, “You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations.” How has Satan weakened the nations? By the influence of His demons, who tempted men to make idols to false gods, and are behind all idols, as Paul warns the church at Corinth —

1Corinthians 10:19 What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.

Verses 13-14 —

Just like the earthly king of Babylon, Satan said, I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I am greater than God! 

I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the recesses of the earth. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will make myself like the Most High! Satan and his followers reek with pride! 

Verse 15-17 —

Nevertheless — no matter what the king of Babylon and Satan boast — they will be driven down to Sheol, just like the king of Babylon. Ultimately, they will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Those who see the fallen king of Babylon will wonder at him, for his fall will be great! And it will be the same for Satan. 

They will say of the king of Babylon, who made the earth tremble, who shook the kingdoms, “Is this the man who did these things?” Likewise, when Satan is in Sheol, they will say, “Is this Satan, who was once so powerful?” Is this the one who made the world like a wilderness, and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?

Verses 18-20 —

All the kings of the earth have earthly tombs that are great and glorious. But the king of Babylon will be cast out of his tomb like a rejected branch (literally, a miscarriage)!  Satan and he will be clothed with those they have slain by piercing them with a sword. They will be clothed with those who go down to the stones of the pit of hell, even clothed with the trampled corpses of those they have mown down. In place of their glorious robes, they will be covered with the evil they have committed.

Satan will be united in burial with all he has slain, as will the natural king of Babylon. They have caused ruin, and have slain many. And the offspring of evildoers will never be renowned (famous, celebrated) again — forever!

Verses 21-23 —

The sons of the king of Babylon and the children of Satan will be taken to a place of slaughter, because of their sin. They will not arise and take possession of the earth, nor will they fill the world with cities. 

Satan’s kingdom will be destroyed, as will the kingdom of Babylon. And all of the offspring of the natural king of Babylon, and of Satan, will be cut off (killed). Their name (line), and survivors, offspring, and those who would be their posterity (their remnant) will be destroyed.

And their kingdoms will be places for unclean animals to dwell, a place of swamps filled with disease. The LORD of hosts, Jesus Christ, will sweep it with the broom of destruction! He declares it, and no one can thwart His plans! Hallelujah!

Verses 24-25 —

Now the LORD of hosts addresses the king of Assyria, and again, He also addresses Satan. He says, Surely, as I have intended it shall be done. As I have planned, so it will stand. 

Who is in charge? The LORD!

He will break Assyria and Satan in His land and will trample them on His mountains. He is the Lord of all the earth (Exodus 19:5)! Then the yoke will be removed from those who were Assyria’s and Satan’s captives, and their burden will be lifted from their shoulders. By whom will it be lifted? The LORD!

Verses 26-27 —

This is the plan devised by the LORD, against the whole earth, the whole world system that defies Him. His plan extends far beyond Babylon and Assyria. His hand is stretched out against all the nations (peoples) who have defied Him, and against Satan, who has defied Him— again, His hand is stretched out to punish.

For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate His plans? No one! And no one can turn back His outstretched hand. He will exact His punishment, just according to His plan which He established before anything was. 

Knowing that the LORD will punish those who rebel against Him and defy Him, and knowing that His plan will not be thwarted, how will you respond? If you are rebelling against Him, turn now! Repent and believe into Jesus Christ, and you will be saved from the wrath of God. But do not stop there!

After you are saved, cry out to Him to fill you with His Spirit. He will purify your heart and crucify your sin nature. Then Satan’s devices will be useless against you. All of his plans and schemes will fall to the ground, null and void. 

Lord, I pray all believers hear that Your plans will not be thwarted, and see their need to repent. You surely will have compassion on them, when they do!