Isaiah 30:1-18

The Huge Assyrian Empire was on their way to Judah to wipe out their entire nation. Naturally, they wanted to seek help. And I quite honestly, don’t blame them. A few years ago, a bunch of us from our church went on a canoe camping trip. Well, there came a point where I almost drowned. And instead of calling out to God for help, I called out for my friends to help me out. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with this, but the point is, God never crossed my mind even once. Of course, this is nothing compared to being attacked by a world power nation. If I died, it just would have been me. But we’re talking about the annihilation of an entire nation. And not just any nation, but God’s chosen nation.

Isaiah 30:19-33

It’s so funny how one week everything seems fine. We’re growing spiritually, we feel like we’re getting closer to God. But then the very next week, it all comes crashing down. Last week I shared how excited I was about studying Isaiah. But as soon as I started preparing for the second part of Isaiah 30, I thought, “Man, I don’t want to study Isaiah anymore!” Then I began to wonder, “Why is it our natural habit to want to go back to Egypt? Why do we always seem to go back to our old sinful ways, rather than trusting and waiting on God?” But then I realized, even though we do this, God’s love is so amazing. Even though we fall back into our sins time and time again (18), God is still gracious enough to wait on us.

And what’s even more amazing, is how God responds to us when finally do repent and come back to him. God doesn’t say, “You know? I’m sick and tired of this pal. You’re too late my friend. You had your chance.” But rather, the last part of verse 19 says that God’s grace is so abounding that as soon as we “cry for help”, God hears and answers us. And how does God answer? He answers with three beautiful promises; He promises he will give us spiritual regeneration, he will give us physical blessings, and finally he will defeat all our enemies.

Isaiah 31:1-9

We all have emotions, doubts and real problems. Our capacity to both express and feel emotion is a God-given gift. And problems are an unavoidable facet of living in a reality in which things can go well, wrong or something weird in between. And doubts arise because we’re constantly working with incomplete knowledge of just about everything. In all of this, we have a strong tendency to become self-focused and perhaps even a bit nihilistic. God seems to hold very little practicality for our lives as well as our communities. We tend to want to focus on our own ingenuity or perhaps some other method of dealing with reality. Isaiah was attempting to address a similar problem as this in his day. Solomon’s temple, the religious and spiritual crown jewel of Israel was located in Jerusalem, the capital of the kingdom of Judah. Even still, much like the northern kingdom, those in Judah had failed to part ways with their former polytheistic practices. Isaiah likened this to functional atheism, because the idols that they worshiped were not truly gods; they were only created, inanimate objects which were made in the image of man. Isaiah understood the Assyrian invasion as the LORD’s judgement upon their idol worship. But this judgement was also meant to be redemptive, a means by which the LORD would bring his people back to Him.