Summary: God is longing to answer the prayers of His people. If His people would authenically turn to Him, He would speak to us and revive us.
ISAIAH 30: 18-26
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
God never forgets His people and longs to bless them. Though the people had turned from the Lord, He longed to be gracious and compassionate to them for they were in a covenant relationship with Him. As a God of justice, He stands ever ready to send blessings to those who depend on Him so that they may walk in His way.
The Lord longs to be faithful to His people. And when they call on Him for help instead of on someone or something else, He will answer. Though His people experience difficulties, eventually God will amazingly bless the repentant. Then His people will readily listen to Him. They will become sensitive to His Word and conscious of His leading as they walk with Him.
Isaiah then describes what times will be like when God’s people live according to God’s Word and are obedient to Him. It will be a time of great victory and blessing both for nature and for His people.
I. REPENTANCE BRINGS ANSWERS, 18-19.
II. ANSWERS ARE IN GOD’S WORD, 20-22.
III. OBEDIENCE BRINGS BLESSINGS, 23-26.
Verse18 transitions from rebuke to blessing. Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice. How blessed are all those who long for Him.
Judgment is not what God is about. God’s longing is to be gracious to His people (40:2). YAHWEH was waiting hopefully and expectantly for the moment of the change of heart that is called for in verse 15. Read. He longs to bless them but because of their rebelliousness, His justice will not allow Him to demonstrate compassion. When they repent of their way of life and turn to God, He will be there prepared to abundantly bless them.
The message of Isaiah is that those who exalt themselves in an self-effort to live life their way will eventually fail. There is only one God and He alone is exalted and He alone can truly met the needs of His people (40:27-31). The key to life is submitting to Him and in faith becoming completely dependant upon Him. Then you will experience the grace of His covenant blessings. (Isaiah, Oswalt, p 557).
Verse19 provides all the incentive anyone could need for earnest prayer. O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.
The Lord longs to be gracious to His people. Often it takes tears and crying before we get serious about what God is serious about. A condition for their change of circumstance is that their praying to YAHWEH must become earnest. The humble and contrite heart God will hear. And when they call on Him for help instead of on someone or something else, He will answer. Heart felt repentance opens the door for God to respond as He longs to, in compassion and grace. Then what is empty will become full and what is barren will become fruitful. Oh the fullness God offers to those who reconcile to Him through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-21; Lk. 23:45; Col. 1:21-22).
Verse 20 depicts what their rebellion had brought them. Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher.
The Lord fed His people the bread of [that is] adversity and the water that is affliction, but now He promises to come out into the open where they can find Him and see Him working. They would learn the holy way and come to know the Holy God.
God punished His people to teach them the necessity of following Him. Though His people experienced difficulties, having only bread to eat and water to drink in times of calamity, eventually God will amazingly bless them.
God expects a lot from us and at times following Him can be painful, but He always guides us with a loving hand, even during the hard times and the hard lessons of life. If we look to Him, He promises to be with us, and teach us. Next time you go through a difficult time, pray and try walking in joy with Him (Jas 1:2-8) and grow from it by learning what God wants to teach you. God is longing to show you His maturing love by patiently walking with you through adversity. [Application Bible, p1218]
[Teacher can be pl or sg in Heb. The verb is singular. If plural then indicates that His people will readily listen to their spiritual teacher(s) such as the prophets and priests (in contrast with rejecting them, v. 10); no longer will God’s teachers need to hide for safety.]