Then at last, those who are left remaining after all is said and done, “will faithfully trust the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.” That was God’s hope at least. He didn’t want them to depend on the Assyrians or other powers. God wanted the people to trust him. God is also making a statement by allowing, if not orchestrating, the oppression that is to befall them. It is a definite “wake-up call” to see who is going to stay the course and represent the remnant.
Isaiah has done a great job of painting the picture of the destruction coming their way. As a result of their actions and behaviors, “the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, has already decided to destroy the entire land.” There was nothing that could be done to stop it. The people would see terror like their ancestors had at the hands of Egyptians. Those memories were no doubt kept alive and remembered each time Passover was celebrated. For those that listened to Isaiah, God had given them a hope to cling to.
“In a little while my anger against you will end, and then my anger will rise up to destroy them.” God’s anger would shift from the oppressed to the oppressor. That was something to hold on and wait for. When we find ourselves caught in the middle of the storms of this life, I’m sure we would welcome hearing such a promise. Thankfully, we can. We can hear the message to us from God in this story. If he can offer such hope to a disobedient lot, he can certainly offer the same hope to us.
I love the promise of Romans 16:20. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” I remember the kids learning a camp song to this verse. They sure loved the “crush” portion and would delight in using their feet to do the motions of smashing Satan. The promise of Jesus’ free gift of grace plays into this promise to make it even more powerful.
Isaiah tells of the hope like this. “In that day the Lord will end the bondage of his people. He will break the yoke of slavery and lift it from their shoulders.” There could be a double meaning here. The people will be free not only from the slavery to other humans but to the bondage of sin. For the latter, it is a deeper promise of a coming redeemer, Jesus. But I can see it there, if it is unspoken. We are certainly familiar with the liberation of being free from the bondage of sin because of what Jesus has done for us.
What hope we hold dear! It makes the drudgery of life, or the agony of situations we may find ourselves in, less intense. We can hold on to our hope of salvation. Roman 8:24-25 captures the hope we have been given so beautifully. “We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
Are you needing a dose of hope? Are you feeling stretched, stressed, or unsure? Take some time to tell God how you are feeling. Ask him for the peace you need to be able to feel the hope that awaits you.
Let’s pray … Lord, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for how the message of your Word continues to grow and bloom in my heart. Messages that were meant for people a long time ago are still so helpful to me. Restore the hope of my salvation so I truly bask in your grace. May I throw aside all worries that are keeping me from enjoying the life you have given me. Use me to be an encouragement to others today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.