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5 O [howy] Assyrian, ['Ashshuwr] the rod [shebet] of mine
anger, ['aph] and the staff [matteh] in their hand [yad] is mine
indignation. [za`am] KJV-Interlinear
5 Woe to
Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hands is My indignation, NASB
The word for O, 'howy,' can be read as woe but typically is used in the sense of ah, or alas, or ho. But here woe carries a double connotation.
Assyria will be used as the instrument of Gods justice against Samaria and then eventually Judah by other means.
God is not ordering the Assyrians to attack and to punish Samaria, but in His foreknowledge, God saw in eternity past, that the Israelites would turn evil and that they would have a bordering nation to the north, and that nation would invade them bringing severe catastrophe upon Israel.
Thus in His infinite wisdom and control of history, God allows Assyria to become the instrument of His punishment against Israel.
The rod, is often used as a symbol of discipline or judgment or punishment against those who have crossed the line into evil practices.
Staff, is also used to describe divine punishment, but here it is in the sense of divine will. It is not the will of the Assyrians, but the will of God allowing them to invade. If God does not will a thing, and in this case allowing it, then it cannot happen.
In this hand, is a reference to the actions and agenda of the Assyrians.
And mine indignation, clears up the matter of who is making the decisions for this punishment against Israel. God makes the decisions. God provides the means of the punishment. God decides the duration of that punishment.
In eternity past, God brought together a divine plan. That plan is called the divine decrees. In that plan, God looked down through time and saw every possible thought, action, intent, and result from everyone and everything, and from every possible placement in history for each individual.
God could have brought you into history a thousand years ago, but he brought you into history at this time in your life.
God considered every possibility for every person and decided on the very best result for everyone. And so here you are, rather than having been born a thousand years ago or at some other time.
In so doing, God controls history. He gives life and He takes life. God gives and God takes, and that is His control over every possible aspect of life and history.
The divine decrees were put into place and then now we are experiencing that plan as our reality. God did not cause you to think the way that you think, or make the decisions that you make. He merely saw in eternity past, all that you would think and do and so brought together every other human being in history, both now and in the past and in the future, to fit your own chosen pattern of life, as well as theirs.
For some that path will be blessing. For others their chosen path will lead to disaster. And it is really of each persons own doing. God just made provision for all the aspects of your life, both the good and the bad.
So, your life is not predetermined by someone else, only pre-provisioned for based on you and your life.
Israel turned evil. Israel turned to evil partners. Israel will be double crossed and crushed because of their choices. And they could have easily been blessed with better decisions, but that was not the case.
You cannot hide from history. You cannot hide from God. You cannot hide in secret, because God knows and has made a way for you to be found out.
So as you are traveling down the road of your life, God has things out there waiting along that road ready for you, both good and bad things to apply in accordance with your choices and path. You cannot outsmart or outmaneuver God.
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Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.