God’s Word of Justice
Isaiah 30:8-26: Today’s reading begins with the prophet recording the ways in which the people rebelled against God, followed by a description of God’s mercy and compassion for the people.
The Disobedient People
8God told me to write down in a book what the people are like, so that there would be a permanent record of how evil they are. 9They are always rebelling against God, always lying, always refusing to listen to the Lord‘s teachings. 10They tell the prophets to keep quiet. They say, “Don’t talk to us about what’s right. Tell us what we want to hear. Let us keep our illusions. 11Get out of our way and stop blocking our path. We don’t want to hear about your holy God of Israel.”
12But this is what the holy God of Israel says: “You ignore what I tell you and rely on violence and deceit. 13You are guilty. You are like a high wall with a crack running down it; suddenly you will collapse. 14You will be shattered like a clay pot, so badly broken that there is no piece big enough to pick up hot coals with or to dip water from a cistern.”
15The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says to the people, “Come back and quietly trust in me. Then you will be strong and secure.” But you refuse to do it. 16Instead, you plan to escape from your enemies by riding fast horses. And you are right—escape is what you will have to do! You think your horses are fast enough, but those who pursue you will be faster! 17A thousand of you will run away when you see one enemy soldier, and five soldiers will be enough to make you all run away. Nothing will be left of your army except a lonely flagpole on the top of a hill. 18And yet the Lord is waiting to be merciful to you. He is ready to take pity on you because he always does what is right. Happy are those who put their trust in the Lord.
God Will Bless His People
19You people who live in Jerusalem will not weep any more. The Lord is compassionate, and when you cry to him for help, he will answer you. 20The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you, and you will not have to search for him any more. 21If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.” 22You will take your idols plated with silver and your idols covered with gold, and will throw them away like filth, shouting, “Out of my sight!” 23Whenever you plant your crops, the Lord will send rain to make them grow and will give you a rich harvest, and your livestock will have plenty of pasture. 24The oxen and donkeys that plow your fields will eat the finest and best fodder. 25On the day when the forts of your enemies are captured and their people are killed, streams of water will flow from every mountain and every hill. 26The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter than usual, like the light of seven days in one. This will all happen when the Lord bandages and heals the wounds he has given his people.
Today’s Key Verse: Isaiah 30:15a
The Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says to the people, “Come back and quietly trust in me.”
Reread verses 8-11. How are the disobedient people described? Reread verses 19-26. In what ways will the people be blessed? Verse 20 says that the “Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you.” Have you ever experienced a time when you felt God’s presence while going through a hard time in your life?
God of love and compassion, you hear us when we cry out to you. You are always there, waiting to be merciful to us. I trust in you, and your steadfast love fills my heart with joy and peace. Amen.
Isaiah 32:1-20: A king who will rule with integrity is promised.