Isaiah 30:18-33

When God inflicts ‘’wounds’’ on His people, it is only ever because He has their deep healing in mind. He is causing them to come to Him and be enveloped in His love (26b). It is a sad fact that sometimes we have to be hurt in order to be cured.

As we saw yesterday, there is a change of tone and atmosphere at verse 18. In (19-22), Isaiah describes the blessings the people of Judah will experience after the prophesied exile. They will ‘’weep’’ no more (19; see 25:8). God will answer their heart cries for help (19). He will guide them with His voice (21). They will now listen to Him and throw away their idols (22). This twenty second verse is a powerful picture of repentance. You will see that it is more than just feeling sorry. It involves radical action to put distance between you and sin (see also 31:6, 7 and Matthew 5:29, 30). ‘’You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, ‘’Good riddance!’’ ‘’ The Message. Is there some messy thing that you ought to discard today?

Isaiah goes on to say that the people will once more receive the covenant blessings Moses promised (23-26; see Leviticus 26:3-13). In (26) he says that the sun and moon will shine brighter: ‘’…moonlight will flare into sunlight, and sunlight, like a whole week of sunshine at once, will flood the land.’’ The Message. It’s not clear whether the prophet is speaking figuratively at this point, or whether he is referring to the new Jerusalem to come at the end of world history (21). Both meanings are possible.

Finally, this chapter depicts God coming to judge the nations, and especially Assyria (27-33). Even as God’s judgment is being carried out, His people are rejoicing (29, 32). ‘’Oh yes, at GOD’s thunder Assyria will cower under the clubbing. Every blow GOD lands on them with his club is in time to the music of drums and pipes…’’ The Message. They are not full of pride and gloating, but they are glad to see evil overcome and the righteous vindicated. Who would not be?

We do not all share the same destiny. Those who turn to God will be saved; but those who reject Him will be destroyed. ‘’Topheth’’ (33) was a valley outside Jerusalem where children were sacrificed by fire to the pagan god Molech (2 Kings 23:10). The king of Assyria was going to meet his own fiery end.

Prayer: Lord I constantly need to hear your voice behind me, saying, ‘’This is the way; walk in it.’’ Let me know your guidance today. Keep me from every wrong turning.