Judgment of Damascus

A little boy was walking down the beach, and as he did, he spied aa elderly woman sitting on the sand. He asked, “Are you a Christian??” “Yes.” “Do you read your Bible every day?” “Yes.” “Do you pray often?” And again sh … More


The fall of Damascus was a warning to Ephraim in the Northern kingdom of Israel. Both Ephraim, representing Israel, and Damascus, representing Syria, would be defeated (vv. 1-2). The emphasis in this chapter is on the God who controls the armies of heaven and earth (v. 3). Isaiah used several images to describe Ephraim’s downfall. He referred to the destruction of the fortified cities (v. 3), the wasting away of a sick person (v. 4), the gleaning of a small harvest (vv 5-6), the decaying of a garden into a wasteland (vv.  9-11), the over-flowing of a flood (vv. 12-13), and the blowing away of chaff and tumbleweeds into a storm (v. 13). In the evening they will be frightened and by morning no one will be left (v. 14). When judgment came, the people of Israel realized that their idols could not save them; so they turned to the Lord for help, but it was too late.

This is the first of three sections beginning with the phrase “in that day” (vv. 4-6). Next refers to the time of God’s wrath on His enemies (vv. 7-8) followed by His blessing showered on his people (vv. 9-11). This no doubt refers to the situation that takes place throughout the previous chapters. He is the Lord God of Israel (v. 6), the Holy one (v. 7), the God of our salvation, and the Rock of our strength (v. 10). How foolish it was for the Israelites to trust in their man-made idols (v. 8).


Like Israel of old, we tend to trust in the things we have made (our gods) instead of the God who made everything. These include the false gods of pleasure, money, sports, education, cell phones and even “religious experience.” If I don’t want the same treatment Damascus and Ephraim received, I must turn from these things and trust in God now.

Isaiah 17:1-14 (English Standard Version)

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