Running Ahead of God

Isaiah 30-32, 1 Corinthians 5

I get tired of waiting.  To be honest I don’t even know what I am waiting for.  I mean, God promises this big life, “to the full” as he says.  I am not feeling it.  Even worse, I see trouble ahead.  The economy is questionable, health issues arise, relationships are strained, and I can’t sleep anymore. What do I do?  I run ahead of God, just like the Israelites.

The Israelites struggled.  They were under constant threat of invasion.  As a small country, they were vulnerable.  They could easily be overpowered by neighboring armies.  Tired of living in fear, they found a new solution, Egypt.  Egypt was big.  They had a huge army and Pharaoh was powerful.  So what did Israel do?  They sought to create an alliance.

An alliance, they thought, would protect them.  Once they eliminate the threat of neighboring countries, they could live free.  Even better, they would grow and prosper.  Any good alliance, after all, provides new opportunity.  Unfortunately, it is not true.  The Israelites had forgotten what happened before.  The last time, it did not end in protection and provision.  No, their alliance resulted in oppression and slavery.  This is the warning from the prophet Isaiah.  If this alliance is carried out, he warns, the Israelites will face shame and humiliation (Isaiah 30:3).

Thankfully, Isaiah does not leave Israel wanting for a solution.  Instead, he reminds them of the grace awaiting them.  The grace that is freely given and generously provided by God.  This grace, he maintains, is greater than anything they can imagine.  God’s grace eliminates darkness, binds brokenness, and heals wounds (Isaiah 30:260).  Not only that, Isaiah continues, establishes gladness in our hearts and strikes terror in our enemies (Isaiah 30:29-31).

The words of Isaiah are relevant today.  We see all kinds of alliances and solutions that will quickly solve our problems.  Money and medicine come to mind.  There are certainly more, but none of them work.  It is only through the love and grace of Jesus Christ that we will find it if we will only remember these precious words of Isaiah:

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.  (Isaiah 30:18)