Reading Time: 5 Minutes
One early morning I met my summer job employer at his farm. One of the cows had pink eye and needed treatment. My task that morning was to round up the cow and bring her to the vet.
I tromped through what seemed like knee-high, wet grass to the far end of the field. My ill-fitting boots were no help for my first attempt at herding cattle. Actually, only one cow was involved.
I managed to get the cow to the fence at the same time that the vet arrived. He gave the cow a shot in the white of her eye, much to the cow’s dismay and my shock.
The Isaiah passage for our study today reminded me of that experience. God promised people to be blessed with a certain kind of walk, provided they walk with him.
The way of the righteous is level;
O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous. (Isaiah 26.7)
My tromp through the field to retrieve a sick cow was miserable enough that I still remember it, even though it took place 50 years ago.
Multitudes of people have had a far more difficult walk than I could ever imagine. Suffering, deprivation, abuse, and loss are but a few experiences of people in the walk of life.
God’s promise to the righteous is not a trouble-free existence, but a smooth path.
I recently heard three stories from people who attend Maywood Baptist Church. All three have had experiences that make the worst day of my life look like a trip to Disney World.
Some of their pain was the result of bad decisions on their part. Another part of their hard walk took place because of the evil that was pressed upon them.
All three have surrendered the direction of their lives to Jesus Christ. They still experience difficult days, but compared to their past each day is like a walk with Jesus on a smooth and level ground.
More of Jesus
When God rescues us and places our feet on a level path, our response is gratitude and praise. Another emotion that emerges is a desire to experience more and more friendship with Jesus.
Isaiah knew this well and wrote,
In the path of your judgments,
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and your renown
are the soul’s desire.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
If favor is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
in the land of uprightness they deal perversely
and do not see the majesty of the Lord. (Isaiah 26.8-9)
A person who has been plucked out of a rough and painful walk by God’s mighty hand is profoundly grateful to be walking on a smooth and level path.
This person will say to God, “God, you are my soul’s desire. Yes Lord, my spirit earnestly seeks you.”
People who have been rescued are wise to the ways of evil humans. They know that some people can only learn through the hard path of experience. God’s judgment is often needed to teach people the way of righteousness.
Numerous self-willed individuals have walked a rough path until they hit “rock bottom.” At that point, they knelt before God and surrendered.
To wait for this to happen to a loved one or possibly an enemy is not an idle exercise. We pray for God’s activity to be felt, so that the other may be placed once and for all on a level path.
God’s Care for His Children
At the beginning of my ministry, I was overwhelmed with the many troubles that people faced. I remember the realization that this is the regular experience of so many.
Before the ministry, I lived in a small world that was insulated from the grief, pain, and conflict of people.
The good news of Isaiah and the New Testament is that the God of the Universe is on the side of all people, especially the broken.
Isaiah proclaimed a message that encompassed both pain and peace.
O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
for indeed, all that we have done, you have done for us.
O Lord our God,
other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but we acknowledge your name alone.
The dead do not live;
shades do not rise—
because you have punished and destroyed them,
and wiped out all memory of them. (Isaiah 26.12-14)
God has ordained peace because he is for us. At the same time, many people experience domination and oppression in one form or another.
The great enemy, death, lurks in the shadows of human existence.
However, God has conquered death and domination.
But you have increased the nation, O Lord,
you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
you have enlarged all the borders of the land. (Isaiah 26.15)
Isaiah’s message of God’s victory was veiled to some degree. That is not the case with Paul’s glorious statement of God’s power.
He wrote, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8.31, 35, 37).
One of the greatest joys of my life is to see people who have walked a difficult road, but who are now walking the best life possible with Jesus.
Full trust in our victorious Lord is the pathway to life with our Savior.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.