God’s Gracious Answer

from Lynda Lindsey

The Lord’s declaration: “Woe to the obstinate children, to those who carry out plans that are not Mine, forming an alliance, but not by My Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting Me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge.” Isaiah 30:1-2

What Judah wanted from the prophets: “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Isaiah 30:10(b)-11

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you. Isaiah 30:18-19

The old expression, “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!” exemplified Judah’s action as she faced the Assyrian invasion. But while the expression is merely amusing and silly, Judah’s situation was deadly. Judah heaped sin upon sin by forming unholy alliances with Egypt, looking to Pharaoh for refuge and protection, instead of turning back to God. Judah, like obstinate children, demanded prophets bring them only pleasant stories, desiring to eat cotton-candy confections rather than digest hard truths. But the Holy One of Israel, the One who watches over His people, serving as a shade and protector, a safe place of refuge, was not pleased.

The way of salvation? God alone. Salvation comes in repentance and rest, in quietness and trust. There is salvation and rest in no other name. Jesus alone is our strength. The battle is not to the strong, the swift, the one with the most horses, chariots, houses, or money. The battle is the Lord’s; the way to the Lord is repentance, obedience, submission. The enemy may well rage against us, our doom may seem certain; we may eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of affliction, but God’s ears are attuned to hear us. The Lord, sitting on His throne, so longs to be gracious to us that as soon as He hears our cry He rises to show us compassion! God sees, hears, knows, and He answers His children’s cries.  

Too often we behave just like Judah, scrunching our eyes tight, holding our hands over our ears, determined to hear only what appeals to us. We stubbornly go our own way, spurning the Holy One. Oh, but the blessings of repentance are ours for the asking! We will hear His sweet voice in our ear whispering encouragingly to show us His way. Showers of blessings will nourish us. And one coming day the Lord will abolish all evil and for eternity will bind up our bruises and heal our wounds. Long for that day…it is certain! Until that day comes, cry out to Him, for His gracious answer is just as certain!