|Isaiah 30:18-19 – “…the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you… the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him… He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.”|
The background to the above encouraging words is that the Lord forbid the Israelites to ally with other nations. He wanted them to fully trust Him for their safety. At this time, King Hezekiah was afraid of the invading Assyrians, yet He did not ask the Lord for help. Unfortunately, he had surrounded himself with ungodly advisors who urged him to go to Egypt and get help from Pharoah! Because of their unrepentant ways, God was angry and said that Pharoah may provide them swift horses, but their enemies horses will be swifter! He said going to Egypt would be their humiliation and their help would be in vain. Because of their unfaithfulness, the Lord gave them over to adversity and affliction. Scripture says to ‘include the Lord in our plans and He will make them succeed.’ Had Hezekiah gone to the Lord for help, it would have been much better for him!
The Lords response to His children going to Egypt for help was not what they wanted to hear! As we read what the Lord had to say, let’s consider if there is any comparison to our behavior that angers the Lord as it did with the Israelites–‘These children don’t obey Me. They make plans, but they don’t ask Me to help them. They make agreements with other nations, but My Spirit does not want those agreements. These people are adding more sins to themselves. They did not ask Me if that was the right thing to do…They are depending on a nation that can’t help them… They are like children that refuse to obey their parents. They lie and refuse to listen to the Lord’s teachings. They don’t want to hear the truth, they only want to hear lies that make them feel good. They depend on fighting and lies to help them.’
God compares those who are guilty of rejecting His Word by trusting and relying on others, to being like a tall wall with cracks in it, that will fall and break into small pieces. They will be like a large clay jar that breaks and becomes many, many small useless pieces.
I find it interesting that God wanted to be gracious to them, but had to postpone His mercy until they were repentant. The Lord is our strength, an ever present help in times of trouble. If we choose not to follow the Lord, our divine help, our strength, our courage, and ultimately our salvation is lost.
God has many blessings in store for those who trust Him. When they cried out to God for help, He was very gracious and heard the sound of their cry and answered them. Let’s encourage each other to always go to the Lord first, rather than watch our life make a downward spiral before calling out to Him after we have exhausted all other options. His promises are great and He fulfills each one! There is no one like the God of Israel who rides across the heavens to help you! (Deut 33:26).