still waters or destructive torrents


Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son; Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks”
(Isaiah 8:6-7)

Isaiah was surely one of the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. His amazing prophecies contain stern warnings, strong rebukes, and predictions of devastating judgments. Even so, laced through his prophecies we find mention made not only of God’s justice, but of His grace. Though He promises to chasten His covenant nation for their disobedience and outright rebellion (as he promises to chasten members of the church in the present dispensation, Hebrews 12:5-11), He promises never to fully abandon them or renege on His covenant promises. Israel is slated for restoration and glorification ultimately, when Christ the King of kings reigns and rules on His promised Davidic throne (Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 1:32-33). Today’s verse passage, though a warning to God’s nation of old, nevertheless has application for people today. In context, the prophet rebuked the people for refusing to come under God’s authority and protection. This he typifies as refusing the waters of Shiloah, which flowed from a fountain southeast of Jerusalem. Instead they aligned with Rezin King of Syria (who reigned in Damascus), Pekah, son of Remaliah king of Israel (who reigned in Samaria). Refusing to submit and trust God, the people effectively brought upon themselves God-ordained chastening at the hands of the Assyrians, whom God typifies as a mighty and destructive torrent of water. Their armies would flood the land like a powerful river running over its banks. This symbolism of rushing floodwaters representing hostile enemy forces is common in the Bible (Psalm 18:4; 124:2-5; Daniel 9:26; Amos 8:8; Zechariah 10:11). Though Israel is distinct from the church, there are some general principles that apply to all people. For instance, we are assured that all those whose minds are fixated on God as their ultimate object of trust will enjoy “perfect peace” (Isaiah 26:3). Entire nations will be blessed for their commitment to Israel and her God (Genesis 12:3; Psalm 33:12).“Happy is that people, whose God is the LORD,” declared the psalmist(Psalm 144:15b). These people will enjoy the supernatural peace that only Christ can give (John 14:27), a peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). David described this blessed condition as being led and cared for by God, the Good Shepherd, Who leads His people to still waters (Psalm 23:2). Those that reject the Lord, however, will find themselves tossed to and fro by torrents of troubles and challenges in this life. “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked,” wrote the psalmist, “but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart”
(Psalm 32:10-11).

God bless,

pastor john