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One of the most quoted verses in the Bible declares God’s great love for people.
The familiar words, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3.16), have practical implications beyond obtaining a ticket to heaven.
God loves us so much that he is willing to give us personal direction for our lives.
It makes perfect sense to go to God for leadership, but often we don’t.
God’s Guidance Rejected
Our situation may be like that of the Hebrews of Isaiah’s day if we reject God’s direction.
Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help
and who rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
or consult the Lord! (Isaiah 31.1)
Horses and chariots in 700 B.C. were the missiles and cyber warfare of 2021.
We can be thankful for a good national defense and also place our full reliance upon God.
The same can be said for a good economy, physical health, educational opportunities, and the like. These can be appreciated, while we still pray and seek God’s guidance.
However, when we believe that our wisdom and technology surpass that of God, we are in trouble.
God is wise and is active in the world, even if people disregard his leadership.
Yet he too is wise and brings disaster;
he does not call back his words,
but will rise against the house of the evildoers,
and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. (Isaiah 31.2)
When God brings judgment on people, it is not because he is just having a bad day and offended because he is ignored.
When we reject God’s guidance, it affects all of life. Those who turn from God often become a “house of evildoers.”
Corruption must be halted like cancer in the body. If it is not excised, it will overtake the entire society or nation.
God is wise and wise people follow his guidance. If they choose to turn from his leadership, they will fall.
The Egyptians are human, and not God;
their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall,
and they will all perish together. (Isaiah 31.3)
A missile may look more powerful than prayer. A big bank account may seem more secure than trust in God.
It doesn’t have to be either/or. We can have national and economic defense, but not place our ultimate trust in them. How we know the difference between trust and unbelief will be shown by our behavior.
True Hope – Trust in God
God does not require humans to take the leap of faith into a dark unknown. God’s actions give us an indication of his willingness to guide us if we will but believe.
For thus the Lord said to me,
As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey,
and—when a band of shepherds is called out against it—
is not terrified by their shouting
or daunted at their noise,
so the Lord of hosts will come down
to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill.
Like birds hovering overhead, so the Lord of hosts
will protect Jerusalem;
he will protect and deliver it,
he will spare and rescue it. (Isaiah 31.4-5)
Isaiah used two images to describe God’s care for those who trust him.
He is like a lion, who cannot be frightened away by the shouts of shepherds. The picture of a lion proclaims that the nations do not frighten God.
God is like a bird, who hovers over her chicks. She dives at a predator to scare it away. If that doesn’t work, she sacrifices herself for the sake of her babies.
When we realize God’s love, devotion to us, and power, the reasonable thing to do is to follow his lead.
Isaiah admonishes us, “Turn back to him whom you have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel.
“For on that day all of you shall throw away your idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you” (Isaiah 31.6-7)
We should be amazed at God’s humility and love to give mere mortals direction for living. We also should be ashamed of how often we refuse God’s guidance.
The proper response is to turn to God and trust his leadership. When we do, we will no longer place our ultimate trust in missiles, bank accounts, and the like.
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.