Witness Him Now
I am going to write this morning so that I can share my husband's wisdom. Every morning we read one chapter out of the prophets at breakfast time. This has been eye opening for my husband. This morning we read Isaiah 30.
"What sorrow awaits My rebellious children," says the LORD. "You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by My Spirit, thus piling up your sins. For without consulting Me, you have gone down to Egypt for help. You have put your trust in Pharoah's protection. You have tried to hide in His shade." (Isaiah 30:1-2)
Listen to what God is saying. We are making plans that are contrary to God's, and we are going to other places to find protection. This will not end well - read what God says, but this is not what I want to talk about. Starting in verse 18, God switches directions.
So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help. O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the LORD gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, 'Good riddance!"
Can you see this? God gave us adversity for food and suffering for drink. Say what?!? But He is with us in the middle of the suffering and adversity to teach us. We hear His voice, "Go this way. No. Don't go there!" He does this until all of our idols fall. But then listen to what He does.
Then the LORD will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. The oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. In that day, when your enemies are slaughtered (principalities and powers) and the towers fall (pride), there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. The moon will bet as bright as the sun, and the sun will be given times brighter - like the light of seven days in one! So it will be when the LORD begins to heal His people and cure the wounds HE GAVE THEM.
Can you see it? Ask. The LORD is waiting for us to ask so that He can heal us and bless us. Wonderful harvests become ours. LIGHT. Bright light. Good grain. Rain. Freedom!!!! But then listen to what it says:
"Look! The LORD is coming from far away, burning with anger, surrounded by thick, rising smoke. His lips are filled with fury; His words consume like fire. His hot breath pours out like a flood up to the neck of His enemies. He will sift out the proud nations for destruction. He will bridle them and lead them away to ruin. (Isaiah 30:27-28)
So on the heals of blessings, we see fury. Say what?!? But at the same time this fury is happening - I think it is against the principalities and powers - we see the results.
But the people of God will sing a song of joy, like the songs at the holy festivals. You will be filled with joy, as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem, the mountain of the LORD - to the rock of Israel. And the LORD will make His majestic voice heard. He will display the strength of His mighty arm. It will descend with devouring flames, with cloudbursts, thunderstorms, and huge hailstones. At the LORD's command, the Assyrians (terror, fear - principalities and powers) will be shattered. He will strike them down with His royal scepter. And as the LORD strikes them with His rod of punishment, His people will celebrate with tambourines and harps. Lifting His mighty arm, He will fight the Assyrians. Topheth - the place of burning - has long been ready for the Assyrian king; the pyre is piled high with wood. The breath of the LORD, like fire from a volcano, will set it ablaze. (Isaiah 30:29-33)
If, in the middle of all of the adversity and suffering we are going through, we ask the LORD to help us, He comes! He comes with power to set us free from our strong enemies. Then the people celebrate! We sing songs of joy while the LORD pours out His fury on our enemies. In that wonderful day when the LORD gives His people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains, you will taunt the king of Babylon (Satan). You will say: "The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended. For the LORD has crushed your wicked power and broken your evil rule. You struck the people with endless blows of rage and held the nations in your angry grip with unrelenting tyranny. But finally the earth is at rest (that's us!). Now it can sing again! Even the trees of the forest - the cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon - sing out this joyous song: 'Since you have been cut down, no one will come now to cut us down.' (Isaiah 14:3-8)
Wow! Hell was a place prepared for the enemies of our God (principalities and powers), not people. The LORD's fury is being poured out on them, not us. We are being caught in the crossfire. If we allow - ASK - God to help us and let Him set us free, He will. Then there will be a joyous celebration. God's enemies have struck the people with endless blows of rage and held us captive in their angry grip with unrelenting tyranny. But finally the earth is at rest. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
So I kind of got off track. What I wanted to say is what my husband said this morning after reading Isaiah 30. He said, "You can see God's hand on the far right and on the far left. He is judge. He is full of fury and rage. BUT He is also love and mercy and redemption." WOW! Who could have ever thought of a plan like this? God is doing it all, and He is letting it all play play out. Will we continue to go to Egypt for help, thus piling up our sins, or will we turn to God so that He can set us free. "Though the LORD gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, 'This is the way you should go,' whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, 'Good riddance!'" (Isaiah 3020-22). This will happen if you ASK. "So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show yo His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help." (Isaiah 30:18)
This is that wonderful day when the LORD is giving His people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains! My prayer is that you will let Him do this for you, too.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."