God is in Control

Title: God is in Control

Bible Book: Isaiah 14 : 24-27

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: God, Control of; Trust in God; America



On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States of America, legalized "a signal act" revealing the heart of a nation under divine judgment. God is in control. By the grace of God we will reflect the truth, redeem the time, and resist the temptation to shrink back from our divine mandate (Ephesians 5:1-33). Furthermore, by His grace we will stand firm and speak faithfully in this evil day (Ephesians 6:10-20).

Paul E. Little writes, “The statement that God is in control is either true or it's not true. If it's not true, we’d better forget about God. But if it is true and we accept God’s revelation of himself, our faith enables us to enjoy and rest in the certainty of his providence.”[1] Dr. John A. Martin, former dean of faulty and professor of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary, explains, “Many interpreters feel that these verses [Isaiah 14:24-27] are a separate section. But it seems preferable to see them as part of the oracle beginning in 13:1.”[2] Dr. E. J. Young writes, “Isaiah now takes the thoughts which had just been expressed and transfers them from the Babylon of the future to his own present. In this way the whole body of the prophecy is placed in the future. The destiny of Assyria which is now discussed becomes a pledge of the future destiny of Babylon. From this we see that what has just preceded is not intended to have a reference contemporary to Isaiah but describes what is to occur in the future. Verses 24-27 serve as a conclusion to the former passage concerning Babylon in the same manner as 16:13, 14 forms a completion to what has just gone before, or 21:16, 17 to what just precedes it. With this verse therefore we are not beginning a new prophecy.

If we note the two verbs, we see that one of them is a perfect and one an imperfect. What God has intended has come to pass already in the destruction of the Assyrians and what He has counseled will be fulfilled in the future destruction of the Babylonians. This is not to say that when Isaiah spoke Assyria had already been destroyed. That was not the case. Sennacherib had not yet come. The first verb is a prophetic perfect, and the thought is that just as the doom of Assyria is sure so also is that of Babylon.”[3]

Isaiah 14:24-27 reads, “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, ‘Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: That I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?” (Emphasis mine) This passage reveals three timeless truths about God.

I. First, note the plans of God.

Isaiah 14:24b reads, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass. . .” (Emphasis mine) This portion of the verse can be rendered, “As I have planned, so it will be. . .” (Holman Christian Standard Bible) This refers to the prophecy recorded in Isaiah 10:5-19, “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, Nor does his heart think so; But it is in his heart to destroy, And cut off not a few nations. For he says, ‘Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus? As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, Whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria, As I have done to Samaria and her idols, Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?’’ Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, ‘I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.’ For he says: ‘By the strength of my hand I have done it, And by my wisdom, for I am prudent; Also I have removed the boundaries of the people, And have robbed their treasuries; So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people, And as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth; And there was no one who moved his wing, Nor opened his mouth with even a peep.’ Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood! Therefore the Lord, the Lord of hosts, Will send leanness among his fat ones; And under his glory He will kindle a burning Like the burning of a fire. So the Light of Israel will be for a fire, And his Holy One for a flame; It will burn and devour His thorns and his briers in one day. And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field, Both soul and body; And they will be as when a sick man wastes away. Then the rest of the trees of his forest Will be so few in number That a child may write them.” Dr. John A. Martin, further explains, “Though the Lord was using the Assyrian Empire for his purposes He would eventually judge that empire harshly (10:5-19). Assyria’s plan to destroy Jerusalem was thwarted (10:7), but God’s plans would be carried out (14:24). He would crush the Assyrian in His land, on His mountains (v. 25). This probably refers to the great slaughter of the Assyrian army when it surrounded Jerusalem (37:36-37). Because of God’s sovereign control over all nations nothing can thwart His plans by turning back His hand (14:27).”[4]

Bible prophecy reveals the precision of God’s plans. It is amazing to read the predictive element of the Scripture alongside the passages recording the fulfillment of the promises. Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) said, “There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.”[5] I recently read, “The Devil had a plot. BUT GOD HAS A PLAN. The End” (Isaiah 14:12-21).

II. Second, note the purpose of God.

Isaiah 14:24c-27a reads, “And as I have purposed, so it shall stand: That I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? . . .” (Emphasis mine)

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “The key word here is purpose. God is in control of the rise and fall of the nations as He works out His divine purposes in the world. Assyria was His tool to accomplish His purposes (10:5), and the day would come when God would judge Assyria (see vv. 5ff).

The judgment would take place in the land of Judah, and God would be the judge. Assyria invaded Judah during Hezekiah's reign (701 B.C.), and God destroyed the army as it threatened to capture Jerusalem (37:36). God permitted Assyria to discipline Judah, but He would not allow the enemy to destroy His people.”[6]

Isaiah 37:36-37 reads, “Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.”

Isaiah 46:10-11 reads, “Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.”

Dr. Robert B. Chisholm, Department Chair and Professor of Old Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary, writes, “It comes as no surprise that words of judgment against Assyria are appended to the oracle against Babylon. Assyria and Babylon were closely associated geographically and in biblical tradition, which attributes the founding of both to Nimrod (see Gen. 10:8-12). As an oppressive Mesopotamian power that ruled Babylon in Isaiah’s day, Assyria’s decisive judgment foreshadowed that of the coming Babylonian empire and all the hostile nations of the world.”[7] Don Fleming, a prolific author and Bible teacher from Belmont, Queensland, Australia, explains, “The almighty God has determined this, and therefore no one will be able to prevent it (26-27).”[8] Dr. Joseph Addison Alexander (1809-1860) cites Dr. John Gill (1697-1771) as follows: “There’s nothing comes to pass but he has purposed, and everything he has purposed does come to pass.”[9] Dr. E. J. Young warns, “Many will seek to frustrate His purpose and to turn back His hand. How tragic to be found fighting against God!”[10] Job 42:1-2 reads, “Then Job answered the Lord and said: ‘I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” Rev. Matthew Henry (1662-1714) writes, “Though God has many things in his purposes, he has nothing in his prophecies but what are in his purposes.”[11]

III. Third, note the power of God.

Isaiah 14:27b reads, “His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?” (Emphasis mine) Dr. John Gill explains the phrase “His hand is stretched out,” means “no power on earth is equal to it . . . . not the most powerful monarch, or most powerful armies, or the most refined councils of men, or the greatest politicians on earth.”[12]

Dr. T. DeWitt Talmage writes, “Isaiah saw that there must be a tremendous amount of work done before this world becomes what it ought to be, and he foresees it all accomplished, and accomplished by the Almighty. . . Nothing more impresses me in the Bible than the ease with which God does most things. There is such a reserve of power.”[13]

Eustace Carey (1791-1855) shares, “. . . when in London [William Carey (1761-1834)] made the acquaintance of Mr. [John] Newton [(1725-1807) author of the beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace”], who advised him with the fidelity and tenderness of a father; and encouraged him to persevere in his purpose despite of all opposition. ‘What,’ says Mr. Carey, ‘if the Company should send us home upon our arrival in Bengal?’ ‘Then, conclude,’ said he, ‘that your Lord has nothing there for you to accomplish. But, if he have, no power on earth can hinder you.’”[14]

Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895-1960) writes, “We should never tire of the thought of God’s power.”[15] Psalm 62:11 reads, “God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.” Isaiah 26:4-5 reads, “Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. For He brings down those who dwell on high, The lofty city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He brings it down to the dust.” Isaiah 43:13 reads, “Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?” Jeremiah 32:27 reads, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Daniel 4:35 reads, “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” Revelation 19:6 reads, “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!’” Ephesians 1:18b-21 reads, “that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” (Emphasis mine)


Dr. G. Curtis Jones explains, “One mark of spiritual maturity is the confident acceptance that God is in control, without understanding the whys and whens of happenings. ‘Woe to him who strives with his Maker, /an earthen vessel with the potter! /Does the clay say to him who fashions it, ‘What are you making?’ (Isa. 45:9).”[16] Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3:14, “I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.” Proverbs 8:13 reads, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Proverbs 9:10a reads, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . . .”

Romans 8:28-39 reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “The Book of Judges makes it clear that God can work in and through all nations, Gentiles as well as Jews. God has ‘determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation’ (Acts 17:26). He's the God of both history and geography. He can use Gentile nations to chasten His own people Israel. He can put one ruler up and bring down another.

While there may not be an obvious pattern to history, although historians may search for it, there is definitely a plan to history; because God is in control. As Dr. A.T. Pierson used to say, ‘History is His story.’ Events that look to us like accidents are really appointments (Rom. 8:28). As dark as the days were in the time of the Judges, God was still on the throne, accomplishing His purposes. This ought to encourage us to trust Him and keep serving Him, no matter how grim the prospects might be in this wicked world.”[17]

In Pause for Power, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “Chapters 13 through 23 of Isaiah teach us some important lessons. First, God is in control of the nations of the world, and He can do with them what He pleases. ‘Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small’ (Friedrich von Logau, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow). Second, God especially hates the sin of pride. (See Isa. 13:11; 16:6; 23:9; and Prov. 8:13.) When nations turn from the living God to trust their wealth and their armaments, God must show them that He is the only sure refuge. Third, God judges the nations for the way they treat each other. Judah was the only nation mentioned that had God's Law, yet God held the other ten Gentile nations accountable for what they did. Finally, God always gives a word of promise and hope to His people. Babylon will fall, but God will care for Judah (Isa. 14:1-3, 32). Moab will not accept sanctuary from Jerusalem, but God will one day establish Messiah's throne there (16:5). Assyria and Egypt may be avowed enemies of the Jews, but one day the three nations will together glorify God (19:23-15).

Therefore, no matter how frightening the national or international situation may become, God’s children can have peace because they know Almighty God is on His throne. The nations may rage and plot against God, but ‘The One enthroned in heaven laughs’ (Ps. 2:4). When the Lord of heaven and earth is your Father, and you gladly wear Christ’s yoke, you have nothing to fear.”[18]

Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones longed to see the church filled with the joy of the Lord. He said, “I believe that the greatest need of the hour is a revived and joyful church. There can be little doubt but that the exuberant joy of the early Christians was one of the most potent factors in the spread of Christianity.”[19] Longtime pastor, Gary D. Preston, explains, “Joy is a deep sense of fulfillment, completion, usefulness, and importance. It is an enduring sensation, an overriding notion that God is in control and that my faith in him brings ultimate victory and vindication.”[20] God is in control.


[1]Paul E. Little, How to Give Away Your Faith (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1966), 198. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

[2]The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty, Old Testament Edition, eds. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, a division of Scripture Press Publications, Inc., 1985), 106. Database ©2014 WORDsearch.

[3]E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1965), 1:449. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

[4]Knowledge, eds. Walvoord and Zuck, 106.

[5]Corrie ten Boom, Available: 06/23/15 http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/25272-there-is-no-panic-in-heaven-god-has-no-problems .

[6]Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament: The Prophets (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2004), 24. Database © 2006, WORDsearch Corp.

[7]Holman Concise Bible Commentary, gen. ed., David S. Dockery, The Major Prophets, Robert B. Chisholm (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), 272. Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

[8]Don Fleming, Concise Bible Commentary (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publications, 1994), 252. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

[9]Joseph Addison Alexander, Commentary on the Prophecies of Isaiah, ed. John Eadie (Edinburgh: Andrew Elliot, 1865), 307-308.

[10]Young, Isaiah, 1:449.

[11]John Blanchard, The Complete Gathered Gold (Darlington, UK: Evangelical Press, 2006), 248. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

[12]John Gill, Dr. Gill’s Commentary (London: Matthews and Leigh, 1810), n. p. Accessed: 06/22/15 http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/isaiah-14-27.html .

[13]Fifty Short Sermons by T. DeWitt Talmage, comp. May Talmage,“The Bare Arm of God” Sermon Notes (Isaiah 52:10) (New York, NY: George H. Doran Company, 1923), 237.

[14]Eustace Carey, Memoir of William Carey, D.D.: Late Missionary to Bengal ; Professor of Oriental Languages in the College of Fort William, Calculta (London: Jackson and Walford, 1836), 85.

[15]Blanchard, Gold, 244.

[16]G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1986), 229. Database © 2006 WORDsearch Corp.

[17]Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament: History (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2004), 166. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

[18]Warren W. Wiersbe, Pause for Power: A Year in the Word, Comfort, 30 Daily Readings from the Book of Isaiah, Day 9, “International News” (Isaiah 9:24), (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010), 296.

[19]D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1965), 5.

[20]Discipleship Journal, January/February 1984, (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1984) Issue 19, Gary D. Preston, “The Great Spoiler”. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on Amazon.com in hardcover, paperback and eBook]

http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Miss-Revival-Spiritual-Awakening/dp/1462735428 & http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Biblical-Preaching-Giving-Bible/dp/1594577684 / [email protected] / (251) 626-6210

© June 28, 2015 All Rights Reserved



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