Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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"Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly . . .
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, and he shall pass
through Judah. He shall overflow and go over; he shall reach even to the neck."
The Lord is describing the invasion of the armies of Assyria as a flood that will all but destroy the little nation of Judah. He describes this invasion as if Judah is a man who is tragically caught in a flood whose raging waters swelled and rose until they reached the poor man's neck. Those who are familiar with the Old Testament know that this happened, years later, when the cruel Assyrian army swept across the countries of the Middle East, overwhelming every nation that opposed them and taking untold thousands of miserable humans into captivity.
That Assyrian flood swept across the little country of Judah and took every city and village in the landBexcept for one: the holy city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the capital, the "head" of Judah, and in the Scriptures we learn that the Assyrian flood surrounded it, fully expecting their "waters" to rise and cover that head, too. But God, through Isaiah these many years before, had only said "to the neck". He would not allow Judah to be destroyed. He wanted it to survive so that Jesus could centuries later be born.
So, the Assyrian flood rose to the neck of Judah, but that was all the suffering that God had ordained for his people. He sent a pestilence among the Assyrian troops which all but wiped out the besieging, heathen army, and then sent them home, far from the promised land and His people.
It is not the military might of any nation that determines either its success or failure. God has already decided who will win the next war and who will lose it. He lifts kingdoms and nations up, and when He has accomplished the purposes for which He raised them, He casts them down again. The only safe kingdom is His kingdom, for He has promised to protect and bless eternally those who abide under the shelter of His wings.