Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help… but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel nor seek the Lord! – Isaiah 31:1
What kind of help do we seek when life’s twists and turns jostle and disrupt our daily routine?
Who do we turn to with our needs and requests, our struggles, questions, frustrations, fears?
If we cannot admit to relying on God when faced with testings,
Can you and I even begin to comprehend the depths of God’s love for His own… the extent of His desire to answer our cries… to resolve our difficulties… to fulfill our longings… with Himself?
Can we imagine how His heart grieved as Israel repeatedly turned away from the One who loved them most, only to seek aid and favor from others?
This is the underlying theme of the first thirty-nine chapters in Isaiah—God’s one complaint against His people: they did not look to Him to satisfy their needs.
Woe to the rebellious children, says the Lord, who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! – Isaiah 30:1-2
Verse after verse speaks of God’s displeasure… chapters hang heavy with words of rebuke, with God’s deciding verdict on their continual deviation from His ways, their disregard for His instructions…
Rebellion… indignation… burdens… judgment… shame… the consequences of disobedience…
It’s all there among the pages, written in the lines, inscribed between the lines—the Holy One’s disappointment in His children.
Yet, with all His disappointment, God still speaks words of hope throughout the narrative, as rays of sunlight breaking through the bleakness… hope for the present, hope for the future…
O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble… The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is His treasure. – Isaiah 33
So much goodness awaits us for the simple, humble act of turning away from sin and self, and turning to our God. Return to Me, He pleads. For the sheer purpose of blessing us… with Himself.
And in that day you will say: O Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And in that day you will say: Praise the Lord, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst! – Isaiah 12
In whatever you do, wherever you go… remember God.
(Photo of Scripture courtesy of Dan Croft)