Isaiah 8: The Lord’s Judgment on Unbelieving Judah


(22 verses, 3:15 to read)

What I am about to READ

The people of Judah looked to Assyria to rescue them. However, the Lord would use the nation of Assyria to punish them. The Lord urged the people to turn to God’s Word for answers.


1: “Maher-shalal-hash-baz”—The word means “quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil.” Isaiah’s child, like Immanuel (chapter 7), would serve as a sign of God’s quick judgment on Syria and Israel through Assyria.

5: “Rezin” was the king of Aram. Pekah, the king of Israel, was the “son of Remaliah.” (See Isaiah 7:3-9.) The people of Judah would rejoice over their destruction by the Assyrians.

7-8: King Ahaz of Judah asked for help from the king of Assyria. His plan backfires because the Assyrian invasion didn’t stop at the borders of Israel but swept on into Judah. The nation Ahaz thought would save Judah became the nation that plundered Judah.

9-10: “God is with us.” The enemies of Judah think they’re acting in their own strength and power. But they are deceived; they are merely instruments in the control of the Lord which He’s using to punish His own people. They could raise the war cry and try to attack God’s people, but their plans would fail because of “Immanuel” (what the Hebrew literally says). This wonderful Gospel message tells us that God’s church will never be destroyed because “God is with it.” (See Revelation 20:7–10.) At the end of the world, the forces of evil will attack God’s people, but their attack will only provide God with the opportunity to defeat them. Verses 9 and 10 will be fulfilled on that day.

14: The Israelites were afraid of Aram and Syria. But they should have been afraid of the Lord’s anger on their unbelief. The “rock of stumbling” is the Lord Almighty. He would cause the unbelievers in Jerusalem to stumble. Jesus’ message of forgiveness in his name would cause the people of His day to stumble. Yet He would be a “sanctuary” for those who believe. (See 1 Peter 2:4–8.)

16-22: Isaiah and the believers God had given him would serve as signs for the unbelieving people. They would point them to the true God and bear witness that the unbelief of their fellow Israelites was wrong. Isaiah and the believers would find light in God’s Word, whereas the unbelievers would walk in darkness and curse God. This prophecy is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. (See Hebrews 2:11–13.)


Verse 16: “And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” There is hope in the darkest darkness. There is hope in this lost, broken, stumbling, and fallen world. There is hope even when we’re surrounded by the evil of faithless people. There is hope for believers – even in the midst of God’s temporal punishment. Our hope is in Christ alone. Our rock. Our fortress. He is Immanuel. He is “God with us.” He is a stumbling block and a rock of offense for unbelievers, but He is our sanctuary.

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon; He helps us free from every need that hath us now overtaken. The old evil foe now means deadly woe; deep guile and great might Are his dread arms in fight; on Earth is not his equal.
  2. With might of ours can naught be done, soon were our loss effected; But for us fights the Valiant One, whom God Himself elected. Ask ye, who is this? Jesus Christ it is.
    Of Sabbath Lord, and there’s none other God; He holds the field forever.
  3. Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us. We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us. This world’s prince may still scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none, he’s judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him.
  4. The Word they still shall let remain nor any thanks have for it;He’s by our side upon the plain with His good gifts and Spirit.And take they our life, goods, fame, child and wife, Let these all be gone, they yet have nothing won; The Kingdom ours remaineth.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

Sub Cruce,

Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.


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