by Stephen Whitney

The Branch Restored
Stephen Whitney
Isaiah 11:1-5

In 700 B.C. Assyria was the world power and King Sennacherib continued to expand his empire. He sent his army south from Nineveh to conquer the land of Israel. They defeated once city after another city as the continued their march south.

Herbert Wolf wrote, "According to Isaiah's description (10:28-32), panic set in as the unstoppable Assyrians closed in on Jerusalem. With a deft of poetic touch, Isaiah told how the enemy moved through twelve different locations, coming ever closer to the capital. Not all of the places can be identified, but the direction is from the north, starting at least 10 miles from Jerusalem. Micmash is about seven and a half miles away, Gibeah four miles, and Anathoth only three. The Assyrians last stop was at Nob, on the slopes of Mount Scopus, within sight of the temple on Mount Zion.

All seemed lost as the Assyrians shook their fits at Jerusalem. But the ax had defied the one who swings it for the last time and the Lord felled the cedars of Lebanon with a might blow."

Isaiah describes their defeat in 10:33-34 as trees being cut down. God promised his people that the Assyria army would be defeated. The sudden defeat of the Assyrian army took place in 701 B.C.

Isaiah 37:36-37 The angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians, and when the people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home.

No nation threatened the city of Jerusalem for the next 100 years. Charles Spurgeon wrote, "There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God's Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty overrules them."

God is sovereign and works out his will to accomplish his purpose. Nothing happens in our world or in our lives which he does not allow or control ...

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