Isaiah 29-30: In Him Is Your Strength
September 11, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Ariel here in Isaiah 29 is probably Jerusalem (“the city where David encamped,” 29:1; “Mount Zion,” 29:8), and the prophecies here spoken probably relate to Jerusalem’s rescue from the attack of the Assyrians, their destruction by the Babylonians, and then desolation by the Romans. In the midst of this upcoming initial rescue and then calamity is spiritual teaching that at once upbraids Israel, and speaks to us of where we should put our trust in times of calamity.
They were going to find help from Egypt when they were attacked by another one of the neighbors, attempting to play a game of alliance and counter-alliance, when all along the real problem they were facing, and the true solution, were much simpler.
The words of Isaiah 30:15 put it brilliantly: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength.”
But instead they ran off to Egypt for help (30:2), when they could have had the help of the sovereign God of the universe!
So often are we the same. Our first response to difficulty is to look for help, and for help we look to powerful neighbors, friends, acquaintances. We look to money, if we have it, or to a political alliance of some sort or other if that is in reach. God can use money; he can certainly use friendships and connections. But the root of the problem is very often the problem of the human heart—and in particular the heart’s relationship to the sovereign God of the universe.
Let our first response then be to seek God. To “return” to him. To find “rest” in him. To be “quiet,” submissive, meek, prayerful before him, asking him for help. There may well be many practical things that we will need to dig ourselves out of whatever pit we have fallen into. But the first step is to look up at the stars from the bottom of that pit. Remember who made those stars, as well as that deep well, and to know that in his hand no one can perish, and from that hand of his no one can snatch you. And appeal to him, in repentance and faith, for fresh blessing and rescue from high. In quietness and trust is your strength. Rest in him. Trust him. In him is your strength.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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