The prophet Isaiah lived in tumultuous times. The People of God moved in and out of faithfulness to the Lord. Foreign enemies and domestic opposition to the things of the Lord were all around. Sounds like today?
Isaiah wrote so many memorable portions in his book that it is hard to pick out one. Yesterday, however, I was reading and came across this passage. The term “Wait on Him” was in my mind for the last couple of days, so when the phrase showed up in this passage, I stopped to ponder the passage. Here it is:
“Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.” (Isaiah 64:1-4)
Take a minute to re-read the passage. What comes to your mind? How might this passage relate to how you feel these days? How might you wait for Him? How does this passage give you hope?
There are many verses and passages that urge us to “wait on the Lord”. If you have a Bible app, take a minute to search the term. Look at 10-15 of the passages to get a better idea.
Cataclysmic things are happening in our world from the pandemic, to political polarization, to widespread persecution of believers, and to a scale of infant genocide unimagined decades ago. The list could go on. Seems like something is always right around the corner that could cause great fear.
For the follower of Jesus, there is hope and help. The prophet, Isaiah, writes it clearly.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Take a minute to reflect on this passage and reflect on these questions:
What other passages come to mind about fear and the Lord’s comfort and help?
What fears come to mind?
What hope and help do you seek?
How do the truths of this passage and others that come to mind, give a path to casting aside fear?
May you see the goodness of the Lord even in the midst of hardships and trials.
It couldn’t get any worse. Judah had just been defeated by Damascus followed by the Northern Kingdom of Israel. They’ve been raided by the Philistines and Edomites. They were led by Ahaz, one of the worst kings of Judah. “The Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had bought about a lack of restraint in Judah and was very unfaithful to the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 28:19)
Things could not get worse. These were bleak, frightful days. In this context, the Lord sent Isaiah (Isaiah 7). In this context the Lord also spoke to Isaiah about the future (Isa. 8-9).
In the midst of great darkness there is hope! Isaiah wrote, “The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them….For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7)
Our world has grown dark. Evil is all around. Things are bleak. But the Promise is for us today as it was for Judah in Ahaz’s day. Our hope is in the promise of our risen King who is coming again.
Take some time the thank the Lord for His coming, His redeeming you and giving you hope in His coming again as He promised.
I have been spending a number of months now in the Major Prophets (Isaiah,
Jeremiah and Ezekiel). I am only a few chapters from finishing. I have
several major conclusions:
1. God loves His people with an unbelievable, everlasting love.
2. God holds nations accountable to how they treat His people.
3. God’s promises will come to pass.
4. God does things in His way in His time.
Of course there are many, many more lessons we can glean from these rich
books. From them we see God’s heart, hear His perspective, and gain
understanding about some of His actions.
In our time of global angst, the regathering and expanding hatred of
Israel, the upheaval of wars, etc., we can easily lose our perspective and
spiritual bearings. The Major Prophets can be a source of hope and
perspective. I encourage the reading of these books, slowly and over time.