Isaiah 30:30-33 And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard and the descending blow of His arm to be seen, coming down with indignant anger and with the flame of a devouring fire, amid crashing blast and cloudburst, tempest, and hailstones.
31 At the voice of the Lord the Assyrians will be stricken with dismay and terror, when He smites them with His rod.
32 And every passing stroke of the staff of punishment and doom which the Lord lays upon them shall be to the sound of [Israel’s] timbrels and lyres, when in battle He attacks [Assyria] with swinging and menacing arms.
33 For Topheth [a place of burning and abomination] has already been laid out and long ago prepared; yes, for the [Assyrian] king and [the god] Molech it has been made ready, its pyre made deep and large, with fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it. (AMPC)
In Parts One through Eight, we:
- examined the context and main points of Isaiah 30,
- discussed the subtle ways the enemy of our souls deceives us into devoting our hearts to idols, rather than the one true God,
- saw God explain to Israel how their rebellion against His ways would cause calamity,
- examined verse 18, which described how God earnestly, eagerly waits and longs for us to return to Him and that, while He waits, He is getting ready to show us mercy and loving-kindness when we return to Him, and
- explored some of the unbelievable things God is earnestly longing to do for us when we return to Him, and
- considered the unimaginable power of God and how He fights for us.
In Part Nine, we will conclude this series with further exploration of the power of God as He fights for us.
Isaiah 30:30 And the LORD shall cause His glorious voice to be heard and the descending blow of His arm to be seen, coming down with indignant anger and with the flame of a devouring fire, amid crashing blast and cloudburst, tempest and hailstones. (AMPC). In this verse, God continues painting for us a vivid picture of how powerful He is and how angry He is at our enemies, just as we saw in Isaiah 30:27-28. As He continues His description, He turns our attention to how terrified the enemy will be when they hear His voice and see His mighty arm. They will catch a glimpse of our God Who is a consuming fire and they will hear His voice thunder.
Throughout the Bible, God’s presence is associated with thunder. Job 40:9 asks “Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?” Think of God’s appearances to Israel in the desert. For example, in Exodus 19:16, after Moses had in obedience to God’s instructions consecrated the people, “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled.” Slowly read Psalm 29 for another description of the power of God’s voice.
And it is not only His voice that God promised would terrify the enemies of Israel when they returned to depending on Him to save them. Their enemies would see His arm coming down and it would be with flames of fire, in the middle of “cloudburst, tempest, and hailstones.”
Have you ever been caught outside in a heavy, heavy downpour of rain? Have you ever been in or seen a raging, violent storm at sea or been in an open area when big hail started falling from the sky? There is no place to run, is there? No place to find shelter. That is the condition in which our enemies find themselves when we depend upon God to fight for us. And they will be terrified, overwhelmed by fear.
 At the voice of the LORD the Assyrians will be stricken with dismay and terror, when He smites them with His rod. In pondering Exodus 14, which tells how God delivered Israel by parting the Red Sea and then closing it up again to destroy the pursing army of Egypt, I often wondered how wide the pathway through the sea was. No one knows for sure but I believe God made it so that everyone who walked through that path was close enough to see the water, maybe even feel the spray from it, so that they would deeply experience the awe and wonder of what God was doing for them.
I also pondered how close the Egyptians got to where the Israelites stood safely on the other side. I think it is possible God let the first chariots of the Egyptian army get close enough so that the Israelites would have seen the snarling mouths of the soldiers and would have heard their threatening shouts. They would have heard the horses snort, and the chariot wheels rumbling. I believe God wanted Israel to see the fierceness of their enemy the moment before He utterly destroyed them in an instant. “So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.  Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses. (Exodus 14:30-31, NKJV).
“And every passing stroke of the staff of punishment and doom which the LORD lays upon them shall be to the sound of [Israel’s] timbrels and lyres, when in battle He attacks [Assyria] with swinging and menacing arms.” Notice that God promises that Israel will rejoice and celebrate while God is fighting for them. The Israelites understood what it was like to celebrate a great victory. Through Isaiah, God was speaking to His chosen people who would have heard the story of the Red Sea. It is mentioned in Psalms at least 11 times, and the psalms were their hymnal. So when God tells His people they will celebrate while He destroys their enemy, perhaps they thought of the spontaneous song of Moses in Exodus 15:1-18 and of how Miriam then led the women in singing and dancing (Exodus 15:20-21).
For us today, whenever God has delivered us from the snares of the enemy, be it only a day or a few hours that we failed to depend on God first or be it months or years, meditating upon the song of Moses, with deep sincerity and much joy, would be an appropriate way to honor God and celebrate with Him. He rejoices over each of our victories, big and little, our whole life through just as a father rejoices over each step his little child takes just as much as when that child takes the step of graduating from school. Our Father is a good, good, good father. Let’s remember to thank Him and take time to rejoice with Him.
Celebrating with loved ones is particularly meaningful, leaving lingering, pleasant memories. I can still smell the rich aroma of the coffeehouse that my daughter and son-in-law took me to when we celebrated my graduation. I can still see their smiling faces looking at me across the tiny table. They took time out of their daily life to celebrate with me.
 For Topheth [a place of burning and abomination] has already been laid out and long ago prepared; yes, for the [Assyrian] king and [the god] Molech it has been made ready, its pyre made deep and large, with fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it. “Tophet was a valley near Jerusalem, where fires were continually burning to destroy things that were hurtful and offensive “(Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary). This was where the idolatrous Jews practiced child sacrifice—which is still being done today but called abortion rather than the murder of one’s own child, which is what it is.
As recorded in 2 Kings 23:10, when King Josiah was purging the land of idol worship “He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Vallen of Ben Hinnom, so no one could us it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech.” (NIV) The Benson Commentary states that in order to make the place “as despicable and abominable as possible [Josiah] ordered the filth of the city and dead carcasses to be thrown there, and made it a common burying place.” Fires were kept burning there to “consume dead bodies, bones, and such sordid things.”
Think about it. The entire time God had this utter destruction, this complete annihilation and consignment to the vilest place, prepared for the Assyrian army. The utter and final destruction of Satan and all his demons is just as certain and just as prepared. Even so, God has victory prepared for you and for me over those enemies of our souls.
As believers living in this world in a human body, we will all face trials and temptations of all kinds. But God has given us power over the enemy, as Jesus says in Luke 10:19.
“Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]’ and nothing shall in any way harm you.” (AMPC)
The night before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke to His followers at length, as recorded in John 14, 15 and 16. He concluded His discourse by saying:
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.” (AMPC)
We do well to consider this passage at length and to keep it and this concluding exhortation by Jesus in mind when we are tempted to dishonor God by failing to regard Him as our only hope of safety.
“The LORD of hosts—regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him.” (Isaiah 8:13, AMPC)
Sharing a personal application: Just as Israel turned to Egypt for help, when I was severely depressed a few years ago I turned to worldly methods first, rather than God. I was as rebellious as Israel. For years, God had been telling me through Bible teachers to dig deeper into, to meditate on and to speak His Word all day long, to the point of what many call extremism. For years, teachers and preachers who had overcome great personal problems stirred my spirit. I felt God’s anointing for me on their teaching. And they all stressed depending on God’s Word FIRST. They talked little if any about psychology.
I remember thinking that was God’s path for me, too, but I also remember thinking that speaking and thinking about the Word all day might interfere with daily life. I already thought about God more than most, I pridefully thought, and I followed good spiritual disciplines. So, I only half-heartedly tried to obey. Over the years, each time depression resurfaced I felt that with enough teaching and Christian self-help books I could get a grip on my life.
Undepressed. Isaiah 30 is the basis for the book “Undepressed: How God’s Word Heals Your Heart When Nothing Else Can”, available on the Books and More page of this website. This true story shows how relying on God and His Word first, rather than methods of the world, healed deep depression when nothing else worked.
Isaiah 30:18 was one of the first verses God used to start healing severe depression in 2018. At that time, I had slipped into depending mainly and primarily on worldly methods, rather than God and the truths of His Word. Oh yes, I tried to follow the suggestions of Christian books and teachers and pastors. I lived the best Christian life I could and tried nearly everything. Then I reached my breaking point and took an antidepressant. The medication helped, as did group and individual therapy. However, true healing and lasting freedom came only when I began using God’s Word like the medicine it truly is to renew my mind.
How to take God’s Word like medicine. I strongly urge you to read the excellent very short book “God’s Medicine Bottle” by Derek Prince (available in book form at www.derekprince.com and as a podcast at God’s Medicine Bottle | Podcast Series | Derek Prince Ministries.) “God’s Medicine Bottle” and Joyce Meyer’s repeated teachings on the same subject convinced me to finally start applying His Word like medicine to my particular emotional needs.
Derek Prince focuses on Proverbs 4:20-23 and explains what diligent Bible study really is and that it really is God’s medicine for us. Joyce Meyer also stresses that you must study, meditate and apply Scriptures that address your individual needs. She says “Personal victory over personal problems comes from personal time with God.” Only renewing your mind and breaking down the specific strongholds of lies you personally have believed will heal your heart. And the only way to do that is with God’s Word.
While I was struggling so desperately with depression, unfortunately, my actions said I doubted God’s Word would heal my heart. When I finally did begin studying His Word for healing, at first I still tried to get it second hand by diligently studying the teaching of others. It was only when I sat down alone with God, my Bible and a concordance and began diligent study as well as meditation on God’s truths about fear, peace, and His great love for me personally that healing began.
I had to persist. However, from the first sessions of diligent Bible study and constant meditation on the Word, healing began. And it came with joy. I personally experienced the process we have studied in Isaiah 30.
God is earnestly, eagerly, expecting, looking and longing to help you with whatever problems you face. Won’t you submit to His ways? You will encounter His mercy and lovingkindness all along the path of your healing and help.
He leads the humble in what is right, and the humble He teaches His way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and steadfast love, even truth and faithfulness are they for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. (Psalm 25:9-10, AMPC, emphasis added)
You will find His mercy and steadfast love every step of the way as you reach toward Him. And you will find Him faithful and true as, in proportion to, you keep His covenant and His testimonies.
Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for You. (Psalm 33:22, AMPC)