Isaiah 30:1 “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; 2 who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! 3 Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation… 5 everyone comes to shame through a people that cannot profit them, that brings neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace.” ESV
Like many of the prophets, Isaiah was given the difficult assignment of preaching repentance to the rebellious people of Israel. He began his letter with these words:
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ESV
God was willing to help the nation of Israel if only they would turn from their sins. Yet, instead of coming to God for His help and forgiveness, they went to the other nations. God warned them that such alliances would never solve their problems. Instead, looking to someone other than God to help us, only keeps us from experiencing His blessings.
Who do we turn to whenever we have a problem? Do we plot and scheme in an attempt to solve our problems by ourselves? Do we go from house to house, voicing our complaints and searching for an answer? Or do we humble ourselves before God and wait upon Him to strengthen us with His grace?
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. ESV
Many years ago, Tammy and I heard a message by Warren Wiersbe that we have never forgotten. The title of the message was: ‘The Lord Waits for You to Wait.’ Scripture teaches us that the longer someone delays humbling themselves before God, the longer He delays in providing them His grace. God desires to be gracious to us and to show us His mercy; yet He cannot do so until we stop running and begin to wait.
It is not always easy to wait upon God; yet it promises us great reward.
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Is 40:27-31 ESV)