Judgement, protection, response.
Prophesy runs strong in Isaiah’s family. His wife is a prophet, his children are walking prophesies. He has “a remnant will return” already, and now he has “fast plunderers, running prey”. And while not his, he spoke of a child “God with us” in the last chapter.
These three living words of God are entwined into a prophesy in this chapter, of the Assyrian attack that will destroy the northern kingdom, and nearly engulf the southern too. He compares the invasion to a flooding river. These are the fast plunderers, Israel is the running prey.
He mentions Judah, the northern kingdom being Immanuel’s, ie: God will be with them in the near flood. It’s like a Noah’s Ark story.
But the remnant reminds them that God will be with them through their own invasion, to return to Jerusalem literally, and of course to be key to the plan for his salvation of all nations.
The chapter ends with Isaiah telling himself and any disciples who will listen to internalise their faith, bind up the testimony, seal the teaching in their hearts and wait for him, so they can resist the conspiracy theorists who say god has abandoned them when it all seems to have gone to pot, and resist the temptation to turn to occult God’s instead.
This is really the whole role of the prophets, to enlarge the truth of God’s saving nature and plans beyond the literal success or failure of the Israelite nation(s).
My response to learning this is still to bind God up in my heart.