Isaiah: The Return of the Remnant

Peter Barnes: Isaiah 10:20-34

(3 February 2019)


1. The remnant lean on the Holy One.

– 10:20-23. John Oswalt calls the emphasis on the remnant here ‘perhaps the most apt summary of the whole book.’ The remnant may be a minority but they will lean on the Holy One of Israel.

– the remnant will return to the mighty God (10:21) which is also the description of the Messiah in 9:6. The Messiah is spoken of in the same terms as God.

– for 10:22-23, see Romans 9:27-28; 11:5-6. Do not be concerned if the number of Christians only constitutes a remnant.

2. Learn from history not to be afraid.

– 10:24. The ‘therefore’ connects this with the previous section. Isaiah gives two reasons for why believers, those of the remnant, should not be afraid in 10:25-27. Look at what happened to Egypt (Ex.13-14) and to Midian (Judges 7).

– Allan Harman and Alec Motyer say the word in verse 27 is not so much ‘fat’ as ‘oil’, even oil for anointing. The idea seems to be the same, that the yoke of Assyria will slip off easily as it would off a fat ox or an ox with oil on its neck. Faith overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).
3. God’s judgment on Assyria.

– 10:28-32. These are towns north of Jerusalem.

– God will destroy Assyria – 10:33-34. Calvin thinks this is referring to Judah and connects it to 11:1. But the focus here is surely on Assyria.

– the elect according to God’s grace leaned on the Holy One, and so prevailed. There is the gospel