The Longsuffering, Mercy, and Grace of God (Isaiah 30; Isaiah 31)

Scripture reading – Isaiah 30; Isaiah 31

You will discover many of the chapters in the Book of Isaiah are lengthy, and challenging. It is my desire to strike a balance between Devotional and Commentary in these daily, chronological writings for www.HeartofAShepherd.com. I pray these efforts prove to be a blessing to you.

Isaiah 30 – The Reproof of Judah for Trusting Egypt

The Foolishness of Those Who Trust in Men (30:1-7)

Isaiah 30 is a prophecy of woe against Jerusalem. Facing the threat of the Assyrian king, the leaders of Judah foolishly turned to Egypt for help rather than turn to the LORD (30:1-7). Incensed by the rejection of His love and compassion, Isaiah declared, “Woe to the rebellious children [Judah], saith the Lord, That take counsel, but not of me…2That walk to go down into Egypt [seeking aid], and have not asked at my mouth; To strengthen” (30:1-2). Isaiah warned, because the leaders of Judah had turned to Pharaoh, and sought safety “in the shadow of Egypt,” the nation would be humiliated and confused (30:3). Isaiah prophesied Judah’s attempt to purchase Egypt’s protection would be in vain (30:7).

The Character of Judah and a Declaration of God’s Judgment (30:8-11)

Isaiah 30:8-17 paints a graphic portrait of Judah’s rebellion against God. Because Judah rejected the words of the prophets, the LORD commanded Isaiah to “note in a book” the warning of His judgment (30:8). Consider the character of the people: Rebellious, lying, refusing to “hear the law of the LORD” (30:9). They were intolerant of  the words of the prophets, saying, “Prophesy not unto us right things, Speak unto us smooth things, Prophesy deceits: 11Get you out of the way, Turn aside out of the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (30:10-11).

Is that not the sentiment of many who profess to be believers in our day? The churches of the 21st century have little or no tolerance for God’s Truth. In my opinion, the church has become what Paul warned as characteristic of the last days before Christ’s Second Coming: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

A Declaration of God’s Judgment (30:12-17)

For failing to turn to the LORD and trust Him, Judah would become a crumbling wall (30:13), and the nation would be crushed like a broken shard of pottery (30:14). Yet, in spite of their sins, if the people returned to Him, God promised to extend rest and peace (30:15). Judah, however, refused. The people boasted they would be swift and save themselves (30:16), but the LORD promised an enemy would be swifter (30:16-17).

An Offer of Grace and the Millennial Kingdom of Christ (30:18-26)

Understanding prophecies often have both an immediate and far-reaching implication, the prophet revealed the LORD’S promise to one day bless and restore Judah (30:18). We read, “therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: For the Lord is a God of judgment: Blessed are all they that wait for him” (30:18).

I believe the Millennial Kingdom is the subject of Isaiah 30:19. Isaiah foretold the day when “the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem” (30:19a). When that day comes, God’s people will no longer weep, and will enjoy the LORD’s grace and favor. When they call upon Him, the LORD will hear, and answer their prayers (30:19b).

In the immediate, Judah would face a season of adversity, but the LORD promised He would send faithful “teachers (30:20), who would teach the people, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (30:21). What is the way of the LORD? It is His law and commandments (Exodus 20). When that day comes, the people will destroy their idols (30:22), and the LORD will once again make Israel a fruitful land (30:23-24).

Of course, the Millennial Kingdom will not come until after the “great slaughter” (the Battle of Armageddon, 30:25). Then the land will be blessed with streams of water, the moon and sun will be bright, and the light and glory of the LORD will fill the earth (30:26; Revelation 21:23; 22:5). The LORD will heal the broken hearts and lift the spirits (30:26c).

God’s Promise to Destroy Assyria (30:27-33)

The prophets foretold, and history supports Assyria’s failure to defeat Judah, and conquer Jerusalem. In the hour when all Judah’s attempts to save herself failed, the LORD intervened, and His judgment passed over the Assyrian army like floodwaters (30:27-28). With their adversaries removed, Isaiah promised the people would rejoice in song, and go up to Mount Zion to worship “the Mighty One of Israel” (30:29).

Demonstrating His power and presence (30:30), “through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod” (30:31). “Tophet,” a symbol of hell located in the valley of Gehenna, reminds us that the lake of fire awaited not only the king of Assyria, but all lost sinners (Revelation 20:5).

Isaiah 31

Isaiah 31 continues the LORD’s rebuke of Judah for turning to Egypt, and trusting man to save the nation (31:1-2). We read, “3Now the Egyptians are men, and not God… they all shall fail together” (31:3). The LORD warned, He would come as a lion, and would roar against Assyria, and would defend Jerusalem (31:4-5).

Our study closes with the LORD once again extending to Judah an opportunity to repent and turn to the LORD (31:5-7). Assyria would be defeated, and the fire of God’s judgment consume them (31:8-9).

Closing thoughts – Someone reading this devotional may realize, like Judah of old, you find yourself in the same miserable, backslidden state. You may lack an appetite for spiritual truth, minimize your sins, and rationalize your rebellion by living in defiance of God’s authority.

As the LORD was with Judah, so He is with sinners…He is waiting for you to turn from your sins to Him.

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith