For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. — Isaiah 30:15
“Lost in a maze of sin, I could not find my way out,” writes the granddaughter of a missionary. “However, when I was nineteen years old, God found me. He knew exactly where I was, and He reached down and picked me up.”
Although she had been born into a Christian home and taken to Sunday school and church all her life, in her early teens this young woman strayed from that upbringing, seeking adventure and acceptance with her peers. These friends advocated a fast and loose lifestyle, which she sought to imitate. Soon she was far from God, and in the grip of addictions that she had never dreamed of as a child.
Once in a while God would remind her of His love, and send someone across her pathway who would speak to her of Jesus. In one case she babysat for her aunt, who sang a hymn to her before she gave her payment for babysitting the children. Another time, when she was hitchhiking, she tried to peddle drugs to the driver of the car. He told her that he didn’t need drugs to be happy — Jesus had saved him! That same year, her boyfriend was arrested and jailed, and he called to tell her he had been saved. He said she should go to church with her parents. Even though she had no desire to go, she went for his sake.
What she found at church were happy faces, peaceful lives, and the sweet Spirit of God. Before long, she surrendered her life to God as she walked down the street. Happiness and freedom enveloped her as she “floated” to the bus stop that day. God had saved her!
She is now serving the Lord, and testifies how God provides for her needs every day. He has helped her to raise her children as a single mother and get through college, giving her numerous opportunities to witness for Him. She relates, “I would not trade the riches I have in Christ for anything. He is my best Friend. He has given me peace and unconditional love. His power to cleanse and to restore is real!”
This woman returned to the God she was taught about in her childhood, and she found the rest He promised. God, through Isaiah, said the Children of Israel had been invited to return to Him and to be saved, but they would not. Each of us, also, will choose whether to follow our own ways or to turn to God and find the rest and strength that He promises. We will be glad if we choose God’s way.
This chapter begins with another “woe” from God against the people of Judah. It comes in two parts: the first is a rebuke for their dependence on Egypt, and the second for their unfaithfulness to Him.
Hezekiah was king at this point in Judah’s history. He had revolted against the strong hand of the Assyrian king, Sennacherib. It was known that Sennacherib was planning to make war with Egypt, and could easily conquer Judah on his way. The Jews were alarmed by a probable impending invasion. Rather than turning to God for protection, a strong faction in Judah wanted to seek aid from Egypt to the south. This was foolish since Egypt was waning as a world power and could offer no real assistance to Judah in a fight against Assyria. However, in spite of Isaiah’s warnings, they made an alliance with Egypt.
God rebuked Judah for going “down into Egypt” to seek help rather than seeking Him. God had promised back in Moses’ time to lead and protect the Children of Israel, yet they wanted to depend upon their own strength. They wanted to make their own decisions. He told them that looking to Egypt for help would bring them shame, and this prophecy eventually came to pass. How ironic that they turned to the very nation from which their forefathers had been delivered by the hand of God through Moses!
God then chastised Judah, through Isaiah’s words, for their spiritual rebellion and unfaithfulness towards Him. They had been warned by many prophets, including Isaiah, to turn from their wicked ways and to trust God. Yet the people had told the prophets they did not want to hear what God had to say. They told them not to prophesy anymore but to speak smooth things to them. They even went so far as to tell the prophets to “cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (Isaiah 30:11).
Because they despised the Word of God and trusted in an alliance with Egypt, God pronounced judgment upon them. He told them they would face sudden destruction and would be broken into tiny pieces.
God in His mercy reminded them that if they would return to Him and repent, they would be saved. In reliance upon Him they could have victory. Sadly, they remained stubborn and would not turn back to Him (Isaiah 30:15-16). They eventually paid the price for their rebellion with their lives.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The message of condemnation: the Holy One of Israel provoked, rebuking and judging
E. Prophecies related to unbelievers in Israel and Judah
3. Woes against foreign alliances
a. The first woe (30:1-33)
(1) The denunciation of dependence upon Egypt (30:1-7)
(2) The punishment for Israel’s unfaithfulness (30:8-17)
God’s desire and will for us is that we have complete spiritual rest and confidence in Him in every area of our lives. In doing this we will find true spiritual strength.