It is absolutely amazing to consider how God works His plan. These words of the LORD in approximately 713 BC, about the time the 46 cities of the Nation of Judah were taken by the Assyrians, the Israelites living therein destined to be deported to the area selected for the deportation of their brethren from the Nation of Israel, coincides with the proposed attack on Jerusalem where the angel of the LORD killed 185,000 of the Assyrian invaders. This was likely the first fulfillment.
Of course, many scholars have looked at Isaiah 31:5 as a prophecy, perhaps a dual fulfillment, and believe the liberation of Jerusalem by British forces in 1917 was the unveiling. Remember, British planes had dropped leaflets on the city, which had an unsettling effect on the Turks.
So, when Allenby walked quietly on foot through the Jaffa Gate on December 11th, he had taken Jerusalem without a shot from the Turks, who had surrendered and run. T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, thought the entry into Jerusalem was the supreme moment of the war. It’s also interesting that using the seven times punishment of Leviticus 26:18, in the 1870’s a scholar named H. Grattan Guinness confidently forecast that Jerusalem would be liberated from the Turks in the year 1917.
Certainly there is little doubt that the liberation in 1917 echoed Isaiah 31:5 and was a supreme moment on the road to the Kingdom of God. Yet, was that 1917 event just a partial fulfillment of Isaiah 31 and another is set for the very near future. The ACP Bible Study Group thinks it is very possible. Let us explain why we arrive at this possibility.
First, however, why do we think 1917 was just a partial fulfillment? Because Verse 7 did not come about, “For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which by your own hands have made unto you for a sin”.
Perhaps we should begin with a quick glance of the entire chapter.
Verse 1: “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horseman, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!”
Well, our group looked at various commentaries and the meaning is rather simple. It is Israelites to whom the LORD is addressing and he is telling them that disaster awaits those of us who trust in human strength rather than in God. Look around today and witness our brethren turning their backs on God and His Commandments. And as we have moved away, we have seen the massive departure of our freedoms, our wealth and our moral standards. To top it off, just as God warned in Deuteronomy 8, we give ourselves credit for whatever blessings we still have and without acknowledging God we have been lulled into the curses of Deuteronomy 28, particularly permitting the stranger to rule over us.
Verse 2: “Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evil-doers, and against the help of them that work iniquity”.
God says, “Make no mistake about it, My word will not be recalled, the disaster described in Verse 1 stands.” Indeed God will attack the schemers and their evil allies. We know who has dominion over us, the schemers, but it is sad that they are carrying out their evil plans with the help of some of our own brethren, the Bible calls them collaborators, but they could more appropriately be referred to as turncoats or traitors. They can be found in the political, economic and ecclesiastical worlds and there men and women are destined for destruction according to the Book of Revelation.
Verse 3 “Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they shall all fall together”.
It is being made clear here that these evil ones are not gods but simply mortals. When the LORD shows his power, he will destroy the evil ones and all those who collaborate with them. They will fall together.
Verse 4 “For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion and for the hills thereof”.
Isaiah makes it clear that it is the LORD who is saying to these schemers that no matter how boisterous they are or no matter how large the number lined up against Him, it will be meaningless because God will be there to fight for His Israel people and their nations.
Verses 5, 6 & 7 “ As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it. Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin”.
Verse 5 is the key verse, it had its first fulfillment and a second partial fulfillment in 1917. So, as a prelude to a final fulfillment, we have Esau (Genesis 27:40) in control of our Israel nations and many of our own brethren collaborating with them for personal benefit. Our good Alberta friend, who joins our meetings by way of Skype, suggested this final fulfilment might be interpreted as True Israel nations being delivered from the invasion by the Gog/Magog alliance described in Ezekiel 38-39 by armies flying from Heaven at the time of the return of Christ. Among other passages, Jude 14-15 reveals, “…… Behold, the LORD cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all …”
The Amplified Version of the Bible translates Verse 6 very clearly, “Return. O children of Israel, to Him against Whom you have so deeply plunged in revolt.” Verse 7 is a follow-up to Verse 6 in that the idols will mean nothing as the children of Israel place themselves wholly in the arms of The Almighty God.
Verses 8 & 9 “Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Jerusalem, and his furnace in Jerusalem”.
Verse 8 basically tells us that no True Israel army, no matter how powerful, can overcome the enemy. This should ruffle the egos of those in the west who think we are invincible. Incidentally, “Assyrian” is just symbolic of the Gog/Magog alliance. But, God has not forgotten His People. It is only going to be a direct intervention of the Lord God Almighty that can achieve victory and save us. And just as in 1917, Verse 9 depicts the enemy’s fortresses falling, with the terror of the LORD striking the officers of the enemy forces as they try to run from Jesus Christ and His saints.