Times are troubled in Judah. Rumors and fears are running wild. Conspiracy theories fill the air. God says it’s not so. It’s God’s hand judging His people.
Isaiah tells us that the Lord spoke to him with “His strong hand upon me” (verse 11b), meaning that this message was very important. God wanted to make certain Isaiah was paying attention and that he KNEW this work was from the Lord.
Israel had refused to listen to the Lord and had sought other gods from the moment she split the nation. Judah’s current king wasn’t any better that the kings of Israel. Not everyone though had abandoned God. Those who were still trusting in the Lord needed His assurance. They needed to know that He would protect them during this time. They had faith in God but they wanted assurances that this was truly part of God’s plan.
That faith in God would divide the people. The remnant would have that faith. It would become a “stumbling block” to the people. With all that was going on around the nations, the wars and the alliances, those who trusted in God would feel His hand on their lives. Those who didn’t, would be crushed by the circumstances.
YES. Some who believed in God wound up being carried away into exile. But their steadfast faith, even in a foreign country would set them apart. Remember the story of the fiery furnace? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego definitely believed in God. And HE sustained them and preserved their lives. God also used them where they were to impact the nations. The king declared that no one could worship any other God than their God. Talk about touching the lives of the people!
Isaiah refused ALL attempts to have him contact ‘other sources’ of information regarding the future. He KNEW the truth lay with God, NOT the dead. “Should not the people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?” (verse 19b).
No help would come from the earth for those who refused to look to God. They would be “greatly distressed and hungry” (verse 21b) and still not ask God for help. They KNEW of God but would not seek Him, other than to rail against Him for the trouble they were in. Israel and then Judah would find darkness, gloom and anguish for their abandonment of God.
Today, our world is in turmoil. Men walk about seeking everything but God. They trust in astrologers, their own strength, governments, and everything in between for their help. NONE of these will save them. Only faith in God will sustain and save us. YES. We will have hard times to walk through too, but they will NOT be our undoing. When God is your foundation, Jesus is your salvation, and your eyes are on eternity, NOTHING this world can do can take that away.
“Do not call conspiracy all that this people call conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, Him you shall honor as Holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread” (verses 12-13). This is as true today as it was the day God first spoke it to Isaiah. Trust in Him for He knows what He is doing. And His ways are ALWAYS best. Let the world trip on that!
Father God, there is so much going on in this world. If I were to look at it through the eyes of man I would crawl in a corner and tremble! But I can look at it through Your eyes. I can see Your hand at work. And I can KNOW that NO MATTER WHAT I can trust You with my life. There is NOTHING this world can do to separate me from You. Even death cannot accomplish that.
There are those who have faith in You that also are afraid of what is to come. I know it looks scary, especially to those who don’t have You in their lives. Help me give strength to those who are unnecessarily afraid; those who are Your children but haven’t learned to trust yet. Help me when my trust is tried too. I’m not a rock of stability. I have days of anxiety. Hold me fast in those days and remind me again of this passage and Your promises. YOU are my strong tower! My Refuge in the storm. And NOTHING can snatch me out of Your hand!!!