Are we as hard-headed as those in Judah? Do we look to the might of men instead of the majesty of God? Isaiah is pointing out to us again “What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.” Can you imagine how hard it was for Isaiah to sit back and watch his friends and neighbors continue in their sinful ways?
We probably have friends and family, too, who are content going about their lives with little attention to God, much less giving him the respect he deserves. It is frustrating for me to see the indifference. Does it help that I read passages like this and realize that people today aren’t acting that much different than those in Isaiah’s day? Maybe just a little. Not many of us are looking to Egypt for help!
But what about God? What do we see of his character in today’s reading? He is intentional. He does not let anything divert his attention. When he has a mission in mind, he is focused and all in. The images Isaiah was given by God to portray this intensity were brilliant. “When a strong young lion stands growling over a sheep it has killed, it is not frightened by the shouts and noise of a whole crowd of shepherds. In the same way, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will come down and fight on Mount Zion. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will hover over Jerusalem and protect it like a bird protecting its nest. He will defend and save the city; he will pass over it and rescue it.”
How does that make you feel? You are just as important to God as those in Jerusalem. He is fighting battles we aren’t even aware of on our behalf, too. Psalm 91:4 has more beautiful imagery for how God protects us. “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Take some time to imagine yourself being protected in this way.
What are we called to do in response? “Though you are such wicked rebels, my people, come and return to the Lord.” Repent! Return to the Lord! It’s not hard, and yet we all have our excuses. God said, “I know the glorious day will come when each of you will throw away the gold idols and silver images your sinful hands have made.”
What are your golden idols and silver images? This can be anything crafted by man to take our focus off God. These idols rob us of our time, energy, and devotion to the one who is true. These idols of ours promise to take us places we want to go, give us the treasure we are seeking, and perhaps even make us happy. But do they really?
John 8:31-32 says this. “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I want that freedom Jesus speaks of here. It’s time to repent and turn from the way of the world and return to Jesus.
Let’s pray … Lord, I thank you for all the images you have given in your Word to help me understand how vast and loving you are. You want the best for me. I do turn to you today and ask you to crush my fears and insecurities. May I be empowered by you. Thank you for your protection and abiding love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.