Monday in the Third Week of Advent

(If this day occurs after December 16, please refer to that date

in the list of devotions.)

Isaiah 30:1-33

A Call to Hear and Heed the Word of God

The Lord calls us to be faithful to Him – alone.  Scripture tells us that our God is a jealous God who refuses to share His glory with anyone else (Exodus 20:5).  We are to trust Him for deliverance from the things of this world – and deliverance from the things of this world we desperately need.

Here, Isaiah’s message from the Lord concerns Judah’s reliance, not on the Lord, but Egypt.  The Assyrians were invading and, rather than trust in the Lord, the leaders of Judah chose to trust in Egypt.  The irony is that Egypt was the nation from which the Israelites escaped bondage some seven centuries previous.  Now they look to Egypt for help against a common enemy.  “Well, what of it,” you say. “Doesn’t that make sense within the geopolitics of that time?”  Well, God didn’t think so and spoke by Isaiah to warn the people of their error.  The historical account is in Isaiah 36-37 and you can read there how the Lord did deliver Judah and not the Egyptians.

Then comes the word of warning and blessing that we find so often in Isaiah (and all the prophets).  Isaiah describes the people in terrible terms in verses 8-14.  They are “unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord.”  They tell the prophets not to speak, for they only want to hear “smooth things”: “Let us hear no more of the Holy One of Israel.”  Their punishment comes because they “despise the word.”  It is this sin of despising the word that ultimately led to their destruction a century later.  And the greater irony is that many of them did flee to Egypt at that time in disobedience to God’s word through Jeremiah (42-43).

And here is our lesson: It is the word of God, which is the Holy Bible, which is God’s enduring word for us and to us.  It is in it that we hear the gracious words: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”  How often we are in such personal turmoil.  We look everywhere for answers, anywhere for help.  The Lord would have us look to Him and find our strength in Him.  Trusting in the Lord often means waiting on the Lord, “who waits to be gracious to you.”  What follows is a beautiful description that prophesies the Church age in which we live: “Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”  This would be the Holy Spirit speaking through the Scriptures today, through which God binds up the brokenness of His people.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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