Daily Readings & Thought for June 6th. “IN QUIETNESS AND IN TRUST”
God’s message through Isaiah in today’s ch. 30 shows us that God’s nation was experiencing very uncertain times. Isaiah was God’s major prophet to the nation during the reign of King Hezekiah and there are 32 references to the king in chapters 36 to 39, this was the climax of Isaiah’s ministry, see Isaiah 1 v.1.
It was an era of both success and failure, a time when faith in God was severely challenged. The mass of the people had no clear vision of their God, many cities in the land were falling into enemy hands. Our chapter starts, “Ah stubborn children, declares the LORD, who carry out a plan but not mine …” They do things “without asking for my direction” [v.2], they are “children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD” [v.9] and tell God’s prophets, “speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions … let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” [v.11]
How parallel this is with attitudes in religious circles today! While there are no prophets today, there is God’s book, the Bible – but what is the attitude toward it! Quotations from it are filtered into generalities to make it acceptable to the modern mind – and very largely misrepresent God as a result.
God’s words through Isaiah are as true today as when they were first uttered, “Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel, because you despise this word and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on them, therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall, bulging out and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant” [v.12,13] And so the time ultimately came “suddenly.”
And so the time will come today! But God’s message through the prophet for those who believe and trust in him from their hearts is in v.15. “For thus said the Lord GOD … ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” – but very few were willing to do this? Is that also the case today? Finally we noted v.18 “the LORD waits to be gracious to you, therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
But waiting is not a passive state of being; an essential part is feeding on God’s word which fills us with positive thoughts, and then sharing them with others who are doing the same.
Looking ahead to ch. 32 we find visionary words describing the end result for those with this aim in life, “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” [v.17] May we all have that vision.