By Glenn Metts
Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Seymour
Focal Passage: Isaiah 31:1-9
I think the greatest comfort we have going through this life is that God is a Heavenly Father that watches over us. He is holy, awesome in power, almighty, omniscient, perfectly just and is love. As we study this week’s lesson, I couldn’t help but think of Psalm 103. It is a beautiful passage of Scripture!
In Psalm 103:10-12, David writes, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” In this week’s passage, we see God’s protection over a rebellious people. It gives us hope to know that even on our worst days, God still loves and watches over us.
Two things particularly resonate in my heart as we look at Isaiah 31. The first is in verse 1, where Isaiah writes, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many…”. “Woe,” as our lesson shares, is an exclamation denoting an intense outburst of grief, indignation and alarm.
As we consider how this applies to our own walk with the Lord, it convicts me to realize how often I have put my trust in other things and people instead of the Lord in so many ways. “Woe” should cause us to pause and not skim over what God’s Word is saying to us. The fact that we as humans are so incredibly fickle and easily distracted and enamored with the things of this world, should cause us alarm and deep introspection.
Our old sin nature raises its ugly head, and if we are not diligent to listen to and obey the Lord, then we can easily follow our own inclinations. We begin to rely on our abilities and what we can do, what we think is best over the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. That is a dangerous path. It comes back to our daily walk with the Lord.
I try to keep this thought at the forefront of my mind, “Any day we fail to focus on our walk with Christ is a day that is less than what it was meant to be.” You see, any day we fail to give the Lord priority in our lives, is a day we tend to lean on our own understanding. Sin is but one decision away.
Evangelist Freddy Gage said, “Sin thrills and then it kills. It fascinates and then it assassinates. If you play, then you’re going to pay.” So, pause and think about how closely you’re walking with the Lord and how you seek His help and guidance each and every day.
The second thing that resonated in my heart in particular is found in verse 6. “Return to Him…” is Isaiah’s plea to the people of Judah. God is a merciful and gracious God who lovingly watches over His own. When God’s people come to the end of themselves, they realize that they were foolish to put their trust in people or idols that are so much less powerful than the Lord.
The Life Application commentary offers helpful life application. It says, “Someday these people would throw their idols away, recognizing that they are nothing but manmade objects. Idols such as money, fame or success are seductive.
Instead of contributing to our spiritual development, they rob us of our time, energy, and devotion that ought to be directed toward God. At first our idols seem exciting and promise to take us places, but in the end we will find that we have become their slaves. We need to recognize their worthlessness now, before they rob us of our freedom.”
Our wonderful God can never be outdone in His care, His provision, His wisdom, His love or His protection over those who put their trust in Him. Are you looking to the Lord in every area of your life? Lord, help us to trust in You with all our hearts. Amen. B&R