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What is “rock bottom”?
“Alcohol use disorder does not stay in one place. The disorder doesn’t hit a certain stage and then level off. It keeps deepening, affecting the person physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually.
“No matter where a person is in the progression of the disorder, things continue to decline until the person reaches a point where something must change” (www.verywellmind.com).
An individual or a nation can hit rock bottom in a variety of ways. If you feel that you are at rock bottom today, Isaiah 49 has a good news message for you.
Does God Care?
We know that sin and rebellion separates a person from God. The good news is that God loves all humans, including those who have sinned.
Isaiah’s audience wonders if God still cares for them, given their rebellion and unbelief.
Isaiah proclaimed God’s comfort and compassion as a reason for exultant praise.
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his suffering ones. (Isaiah 49.13)
Instead of joining the chorus of praise, the “rock bottom” nation believed their wrongdoing had put them beyond God’s love and assistance.
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
my Lord has forgotten me.” (Isaiah 49.14)
Good news! When we hit rock bottom because of all of the harmful things we have done, can we count on God’s willingness to help us?
Isaiah used two graphic pictures to describe God’s willingness to help “rock bottom” people.
Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49.15-16)
Imagine the best love, care, and sacrifice that a mother may have for her children. God is infinitely better than the very best human example.
If this excellent example of motherhood receives a child who has hit rock bottom, how much more will God.
In today’s YouTube video on chapter 49, Rudy Ross explains how God has inscribed the Hebrew people on the palms of his hands.
Both images proclaim God’s continued love for people, even when we have failed over and over again.
“Rock Bottom” People Return
The exile of God’s people to Babylon lasted approximately 70 years. During those 70 years, many Hebrews wondered if their sin had permanently separated them from God’s care and support.
Isaiah promised both God’s love and his activity on their behalf.
— Verse 17
Your builders outdo your destroyers,
and those who laid you waste go away from you.
— Verse 19
Surely your waste and your desolate places
and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too crowded for your inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
— Verse 22
Thus says the Lord God:
I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
— Verse 25
I will contend with those who contend with you,
and I will save your children.
The good news for “rock bottom” people is that God’s love and active care remain for them.
Please don’t let your sin keep you from God. Turn to him and receive the help he is willing to give to you.
God’s Character Revealed
God’s care for people who have hit bottom shows the exact nature of his character. His love can not be defeated by our rebellion.
— Verse 23
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.
— Verse 26
Then all flesh shall know
that I am the Lord your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
When we trust our lives to God, he is willing and able to rescue us from the broken lives we have created for ourselves.
He is our Redeemer, Savior, and Mighty One to change the circumstances of our lives.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross and I produce a daily video of these blog articles on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy is Jewish, a Christian, and an excellent Bible student. The videos present insights from a dialogue with the two of us.
I am indebted to Dr. John Oswalt, who has written an excellent two-volume commentary on Isaiah for insights into the Book of Isaiah.
Please email your prayer requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist Church prayer team will pray for you.