It is disappointing when a child begins to consider his parent an enemy who can be safely ignored, rather than an ally in helping him to do his best. With human families, some of the fault for such a breach belongs to fathers rather than to children. They may exasperate their young ones with their own foolishness and hypocrisy, making it easy for the next generation to choose a pathway of rebellion. In the case of God’s love for Israel, we can make no such accusation against Him. He was a perfect Father to His people. Whenever there was any problem between God and His nation, the fault was entirely with the children.
In the days of Isaiah, Israel faced imminent destruction at the hands of the Assyrian Empire. The Lord their God had warned them repeatedly about their disobedience. He was sovereign over Israel and Assyria. How would Israel respond to the discipline of the Almighty? Too often they turned to Egypt for help, rather than consulting the Lord in the day of their trouble. Protection from the ancient nation of Egypt was a false hope for God’s people.
Why was God insistent that His people rely on Him rather than on the strength of neighboring nations for their survival? He was teaching them an important truth that they needed to understand: The biggest and best power in the universe was none other than the Lord Himself. He expected His people to pay attention to Him, allowing His Word to direct them throughout their brief lives under the sun.
God told Israel through Isaiah what they surely should have already known: They did not need to be intimidated by the power of any adversary. He would come down to fight on “Mount Zion.” His arm was well equipped to protect and rescue them. Jesus knew this well. Even from the cross He had legions of angels at His command. Yet He trusted in God to save Him and us.
How many men and angels does Christ direct from heaven today? When we scoff at Him or ignore Him, we show signs of a childish revolt against the Lord. We have bold access to our Father in heaven through Jesus. We can call upon His Name in every trial.
Let us cast away all the idols of our hearts and minds. We need to abandon sinful patterns of thought and behavior that will only bring us loss and difficulty. Today is a good day for everyone to remember the Lord in His power and to embrace Him in His love. Why should we revolt against the One who is so committed to our spiritual growth and our eternal well-being?
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, we look to You today in the midst of our troubles. We see now that the praise and aid of men will never be the ultimate answer for us. We cast away the idols of our hearts, and we remember You. Thank You for the great gift of Your Son, for His cross, and for His resurrection. Thank You for Your abiding love, and even for the trials that point us homeward again to You.