Today we read of God's response to Jerusalem's rebellion against God and His word.
Isaiah Chapter 30
Lessons from the text
What Is Strength?
The Jews of the Old Testament looked to Egypt for help because Egypt looked strong. It had chariots and horses, which was advanced weaponry at that point in time. Judah, however, was explicitly forbidden by God from having those things (Deu 17:16). Yet strong horses and chariots are good things to have, right?
God wants us to draw strength from Him. We are not to rely on our technology, friends, or even spouses to give us what we need in our daily lives. Can a friend save your soul from hell? Of course not! But what about providing food?
God is the origins of all substances. Without His blessing, there would be no oxygen for us to breath! He provides the materials we use to survive. That bread your spouse brought home came from land God created, seed He allowed to grow, and water that he provided. That is why we are ultimately dependent on Him for everything.
Whenever we get scared, we, myself included, are prone to forget this.
If you hear that a gang has moved in to your town, your first instant may be to buy a security system. When threatened by coyotes on a hunting trip, you may fire your gun without a second thought.
The point is, when threatened by physical dangerous, we tend to look for physical remedies. Is that Scriptural?
If we are to have any help at all, it will come from God. He shut the mouth of the lions for Daniel (Dan 6:16-22). He brought the Red Sea down on Pharaoh and his army to save the Jews (Exo 14:26-30). He rained down hailstones on the Amorites to help Joshua in battle (Jos 10:11).
Don't look for strength by outward appearances. Don't be fooled into a false sense of security because your house is as fortified as an army base. God alone has the sovereign power to do what He pleases, including saving His people from harm. Look to Him for guidance on how to protect to yourself, use the tools He has given you, and let Him uphold His promise to care for His children.
I once had a dog who in the middle of a lightning storm would run up the road about a mile to hide under a porch instead of going to our fully-enclosed garage. By turning to Egypt, the Jews were doing something similar; they were giving up God's supernatural help and seeking the strength of something else. They did not give God the opportunity to protect them. True strength, however, comes in knowing that an almighty God is working on your behalf. Let God fight your battles with you, and you will be amazed at the victories you can achieve. As Paul said, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31).
Verse by Verse Commentary
1-5 God wants one to consult Him in all of one's decisions. Relying on one's own advice or the advice of others results in shame and confusion. It means to trust in something that cannot help.
6-7 God decrees that the Jews of Isaiah's day will throw away their riches on something that will not help them. See II Kings 17:3-6 and II Chronicles 28:16-21.
8-9 God wants a record of their choices. This is explained in Jeremiah 5:19: when someone question as to why God would scatter and oppress the Jews, it can be answered that they have forsaken God.
10-11 It is dangerous to be rebellious against God, but it is even worse to prevent the men of God from preaching and teaching the truth. God warns that this will happen in the church in Timothy 4:3.
12-14 In response to rebellion, God will multiply one's errors until they are a gaping hole in one's life. Noteworthy is that God compares this sin as a breach in a wall; God is one's defense and without Him one is vulnerable. He will not spare those who reject Him. God is the Maker and can do with His creation as He sees just. In fact, it is His holiness that drives His decision to destroy evil.
15-16 God gives one the opportunity to rest and have confidence, but rejecting God, one will be turned over to those who destroy. Running from God and His judgement is useless.
17 Without God, one has no strength to stand. Fear instead of sound thought becomes the driving force in one's life.
18 God can still use one no matter where one is—even when one is in refuge on a mountain. He wants to be merciful and gracious. He is willing to be as patient as necessary to wait for the cry of repentance that allows Him to act for one's good.
19 His ultimate plan for Israel is redemption.
20-22 Despite God's judgment, He will expose false teachers and make plain the way in which one should go. God calls one to destroy one's idols, casting them away like a bloody garment.
23-26 Only after one has removed one's idols will God bless. He promises to not only take care of individuals but also to provide for the land and all of its creatures. This will not be accomplished until God's wrath is fulfilled in judgment against the wicked. See Revelation 16:9. The purpose of these judgments is to heal His people.
27-28 God may be far from the sinner, but His sovereignty is not slacking. He bears the weight of the sins of the world (Isa 9:6), and if one does not repent, He will return that burden back to the sinner, loosing indignation and fire in an unstoppable overflow of judgments. Noteworthy is that part of this judgment is allowing vanity and error to blind one from the truth.
29 One should come into the presence of the Lord with sincerity, humility, and joy. He is not to be treated lightly; He is the almighty King of Heaven.
30 Part of God's judgment is a revealing of Himself. To the saint, this is a joyous thing to behold one's Savior. To the sinner, this is a dreadful time of wrath.
31 God does not fight with swords, guns, or bombs. He uses His words against His enemies. Just as He spoke things into being, He can speak things to destruction.
32 Jesus is the grounded staff. Even as He destroys evil, there will be praise given Him. Noteworthy is that God the Father will lay this judgment on Jesus. As the Lord said, He does not do His own will, but the will of the Father (Jn 5:19, 6:38).
33 Tophet was a place inside of Jerusalem and was where the Jews offered child sacrifices to idols. Jeremiah says that God will rename it the valley of slaughter (7:31-32). As it was a place to burn children alive, this is an image of hell, for God will kindle the fire with brimstone. The reference to the king is to make the point that God ordained this punishment for the king of this world, satan (Mt 25:41).
Please comment below to share what you learned from today's lesson.