In verse 1, there are two woes pronounced upon the rebellious children, and thus by extension, two lines of instruction of how we ought to be:
- We should seek council from the Lord.
- We should seek for a covering of protection from the Holy Spirit.
“Their strength is to sit still”
In the subsequent verses, Isaiah talks about the rebellious’ tendency to flee to Egypt (the bigger national power) for protection or advantage. Isaiah is quick to point out that Egypt would not regard them with any favor because the children of Israel would be of no profit to them. There is no temporal advantage to help them. Isaiah’s council is simple, yet profound: be still.
The theme of “waiting” or patience is then repeated multiple times throughout the chapter.
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.Verse 15 (emphasis added)
By the same principle that the Lord asks his people to be patient, by this same principle does the Lord himself “wait”.
And 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.Verse 18 (emphasis added)
On a new day of study, parts of verse 18 have resonated deeply with me again. The Lord is a God of Judgment. Blessed are they that wait for him. The Spirit of the Lord speaks so strongly to me on this point.
The chapter heading speaks of the Lord returning in a day of apostasy. I pray that another 100 years or more, another season may pass before his coming, but now is a time of increasing apostasy, therefore it could happen sooner than I am ready to admit. Preparation, irregardless of what happens, will always be the answer.
As I come to the end of the chapter, which I have struggled to find meaning in, it seems to talk about the results of an apostate people being destroyed by the word of the Lord. It is interesting to me how the Lord doesn’t change between merciful and gracious being on the one hand and a vengeful God of judgment on the other. He is one and of the same. The same Word that gives life to one can cause another to burn.