We see the reality of the verses here in Isaiah 30 being lived out in Isaiah 37 where King Hezekiah and the whole of Judah is under threat by Assyria - they are confronted with a BIG and REAL PROBLEM - a multiplication of the forces of darkness against them.
Initially, instead of looking to the Lord, the king and the people look in the wrong place to put their trust....
(2) THE PROBLEM : A Backsliding people not trusting God.
Isa 30:1: Seek wrong counsel, devise wrong plans.
Isa 30:2: Walk in wrong direction, don`t seek God`s advise, trust in strength of earthly ruler.
The word for `Egypt` means `black` - trusting in the powers of darkness that rule this age. Trusting in things of this dark, black, sin-filled world.
Today this could be trusting in money, in own possessions, in human governments etc.. above God.
As a result God caused a real THREAT - Assyria (meaning `level plain`).
In this day the Lord is allowing the forces of evil to gather and be a threat to God`s people because of misplaced trust.
What should be our response in these end times?
(3) THE SOLUTION :Returning, Resting, Quietness and Confident trust in the Lord.
RETURNING + REST = SALVATION (Setting free into wide space).
(a)Returning (Shoobaw - `to turn back`) - REPENTANCE.
See Isaiah 37:1 - Having trusted in Egypt, Hezekiah sees his wrong (See Deut 1:16) and repents (does about turn).
(b)Rest (Nachath -`to descend..carry down to rest`)- HUMILITY.
Hezekiah humbly seeks Lord`s counsel- stripped of kingly garments (like a pole- tree stripped of branches- on a hill - Isaiah 30:17 (pruning process - Cf. John 15:2)).
QUIETNESS + CONFIDENCE = STRENGTH (Force,power,might,victory).
(c)Quietness (Shawkat - Be still, settled in spirit)-PRAYER.
Hezekiah didn`t go into a frantic rage of loud words
of vengeance. He stilled Himself before God, laid out the threatening letter and prayed for God`s intervention(Isaiah 37:14-15).
(d)Confidence (Bitkhaw - `place of refuge, trust)- FAITH.
Hezekiah expressed great faith in God (Isaiah 37:16).
This combination saw VICTORY indeed....
(4) CONCLUSION : See Isaiah 37:36 - Enemy onslaught is ovecome by God!
This combination of returning, resting, quietness and
confident trust brings us into a freedom we have not had whilst trusting other things. It also brings us into victory.
1. Read Isaiah 30:1-2 again and comment on the things that Judah (King Hezekiah) had done wrong that had brought about troubled times.
2. How can we be guilty of doing the same things ? Talk about various other
things we can put our trust in besides God.
3. Read Isaiah 30:15-18 again. What is the way out of this trouble brought on us by misplaced trusts ? alk about each stage of God`s solution (returning,resting, quietness and confidence).
4. What things have you been trusting in above God if at all ? What are the consequences ? How can you be set free ? Pray for each other.