(15) For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength, But you would not, . . .
(18) . . . And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]! (Isaiah 30:15, 18, AMPC)
Each and every time we turn away from God, He earnestly waits for us. Surely that is one reason Holy Spirit inspired men to record the parable of the prodigal son. Ponder Isaiah 30:18. Can you feel His boundless love for us in these words?
Confidence in the world or in God? Many believers would say they put their trust in God more than anything else. In this series of blog posts, we will see how Satan can deceive us into idol worship.
The message of Isaiah 30 – light for the afflicted and oppressed. In a nutshell, the message of Isaiah 30 is that anything less than dependence on God first eventually leads to sorrow, shame, humiliation and confusion. However, God lovingly waits on us and longs to help us WHEN we return to Him. THEN He helps us utterly destroy our enemies and gives us abundant life while He restores us.
Isaiah 30 is the basis for the book “Undepressed: How God’s Word Heals Your Heart When Nothing Else Can” (coming soon). This book shows how relying on God and His Word first, rather than methods of the world, healed deep depression when nothing else worked. This series of blog posts highlights the message of Isaiah 30, focusing on verse 18.
Overview of Isaiah 30. Isaiah 30 shows us that we rebel against God when we rely on anything more than Him. Eventually, the very thing we lean on starts destroying us. God will answer us when we return to Him, He will destroy our enemies, and He will give us joy as we fight together to destroy our enemies.
- Verses 1-9: Anything less than dependence on God for strength and protection eventually leads to great sorrow, shame, humiliation, and confusion.
- Verses 10-12: Dependence on the world and worldly ways–rather than God–for strength and protection, shows we are rebelling against God.
- Verses 13-17: This rebellion removes part of the protection around our heart and, eventually, “at some distant day” the enemy attacks through this open door with sudden, total destruction. That happens because we refused God’s warnings to return to depending on Him, quieting ourselves and letting our trust in God give us strength. And because we said no to God and went our own way, thinking we could outsmart, or outrun our enemies, our enemies will totally terrorize us
- Verse 18: God earnestly waits, longing to be gracious, to have mercy and compassion on us. Because God is faithful and just, we are blessed if we wait and hope for Him with expectation. He will be gracious and faithful to our waiting and trusting if we ask for help.
- Verse 19-22. God hears His people when they cry out to Him, and He answers by letting us constantly hear His clear instruction, even though He hid Himself and gave us adversity and affliction when we turned from Him. After that, we will totally turn away from putting anything before God because we will understand how disgusting that is to God.
- Verse 23-26: While God is healing the wound He inflicted because of our sin, He will: abundantly bless our work and our life, give refreshing water everywhere and give seven times our usual light.
- Verse 27-28: God will burn with anger, with indescribable consuming fire and power, when He comes to fight for us.
- Verse 29-33. We will have the highest possible joy God annihilates our bitterest enemies, completing the destruction He has prepared for them.
Historical Background of the Book of Isaiah: The name Isaiah means “Jehovah is salvation” or “Jehovah saves.” While Isaiah prophesied in Judah, the Southern Kingdom, Assyrians had already destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel. As Halley’s Bible commentary explains, prophets are “the spiritual conscience of the nation. They are appointed to remind kings, priests, and the people of their obligations to God and people.” (p. 363).
Isaiah warned kings and the people that God’s wrath would bring condemnation and tribulation. He urged repentance from sin and returning to God. As Mary Fairchild explained in her post, Isaiah also described beforehand events that would happen soon, like consequences of depending on Egypt for help, events that would take place in the distant future, such as the first coming of Jesus Christ, and finally events that still have not occurred, like Christ’s return to earth. “In summary, the message of Isaiah is that salvation comes from God—not man. God alone is Savior, Ruler, and King.” https://www.learnreligions.com/book-of-isaiah-701145)”
The Assyrian threat. For Isaiah’s entire life, the Assyrians threatened Judah’s existence. Isaiah witnessed the destruction the Assyrians inflicted on God’s people, including the captivity and exile of the entire Northern Kingdom, the taking by Sennacherib of 200,000 people of Judah, and the near capture of Jerusalem. Isaiah saw his entire nation ruined by Assyria. Throughout his life, during the reign of four kings (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah), Israel warned over and over that Jerusalem and Judah would be destroyed because of their wickedness. But he also gave words of comfort as he spoke of the coming Messiah.
Outline of the book of Isaiah: The 1984 NIV published by Zondervan outlines the 66 chapters of Isaiah as follows:
1-6 Judgement and hope of restoration
7-12 Hope in Assyria or God
13-23 Prophecies about nations
24-27 Israel’s judgement and deliverance
28-35 Warnings and Zion restored
36-39 King Hezekiah withstands Assyria
40-56 Promises of divine deliverance
57-66 The final kingdom established
The 1984 NIV Bible (Zondervan) states:
“Isaiah repeatedly warned the people that Jerusalem and Judah would be judged because of their wickedness. In chapter 39 he predicted the Babylonian exile. But he also held to the hope that the kingdom would be restored again.
Beginning in Isaiah 40 Isaiah offered comfort with these promises from God: 1) the Babylonian exiles would be allowed to return to Jerusalem; 2) a righteous, suffering servant would bring salvation; 3) God would set up a new, righteous kingdom.” (page 593)
Isaiah Chapter 30: Isaiah 30 is one of the “Sermons of woes upon the unbelievers in Israel.” (Open Bible, New American Standard, p. 626). Chapter 30 is labelled “Confidence in Egypt versus Confidence in God.” Chapter 30 occurred in the reign of the very wicked king Ahaz. Unlike the other three kings who reigned over Juda during Isaiah’s lifetime, Ahaz was a wicked king, encouraging idolatry and even sacrificing his own child to the idol Moloch. Tragically, this same sin is practiced by many in our world today, when people murder babies in the womb. They make it sound less gruesome by calling it “abortion” but it is the same thing.
When surrounded by his enemies, instead of turning to God for help, this horribly evil King Ahaz took the treasures out of God’s Temple and sent them to Egypt, to purchase help.
The blessing and safety of obedience to and reliance upon God and His Word first is one central message of Isaiah 30.
This week, read Isaiah 30 and see how God helps you summarize its message.
Personal Note: Health issues stopped blog posts for about six weeks. I’ll write about that another time. It is a stellar example of how God keeps lovingly guiding our path and rescuing us even when we think we have failed or disappointed Him.