Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.Isaiah 30:21(NASB)
We have a wonderful God and throughout His Word we see over and again His loving-kindness, tender-mercies, and patient-endurance ever flowing out to His children and guiding us along the right pathway. We do not deserve it but He is true to His word and has promised never to leave us and always to lead and guide us in the way we should go, even during those times when we prove faithless – even on those occasions when we deliberately disobey Him or try to work things out in our own strength.
In Isaiah 30 we see the disobedient nation of Israel once again being rebuked by the prophet Isaiah for a range of rebellious acts and defiant attitudes against God. From the beginning in the wilderness, when problems arose they murmured against the Lord, did evil in His sight, and refused to learn the lessons He has to teach them. But when things went well, and they were prosperous and enjoying the fruit of the land they forgot Him, ignored His word, and started to trust in their own strength and abilities.
Israel continually broke their covenant with God refused to harken to His voice, which resulted in their punishment. However, as the Lord's covenanted people, they forgot that obedience would bring them blessings, while disobedience would result in punishment, and God used the bread of adversity, and waters of affliction to get their attention. God continued to remind them of their unbreakable relationship with Him.
Although the Lord had to punish His people's infidelity, He remains true to His promises and remains faithful towards His people. In His grace, He did not cut them off forever and was always ready to give those who would repent of their sins an opportunity to return to Him and receive His blessings. Throughout Israel's history, God's grace and mercy poured over His chosen people in a cleansing flood of refreshing streams, for the Lord longs to shower compassion, mercy, comfort, and grace onto His distressed people, and to bring them to victory in their lives.
A succession of prophets had told Israel that by returning to Him and trusting in His Word they would be saved from their enemies and be blessed abundantly. Through Isaiah, it was also explained that it would be in quietness of spirit and through confidence in God's faithfulness that they would find strength to deal with the trials and tribulations they were facing.
Sadly, the majority were unwilling to listen to the prophets' call and refused to obey God's commands. Nevertheless, despite the reluctance of many, Isaiah told them that the Lord would show mercy to His people and continue to lead and guide them. For those who would listen, their ears would hear a word behind them, saying, this is the way, walk you in it. But history records that Israel acted like a petulant child and tried to defeat the Assyrian army by seeking help from Egypt, rather than placing their undivided trust in the Lord their God.
How easy it is for us to look at Israel's ongoing foolishness and their cycles of resisting God's gracious call to repent of their wickedness and return to Him with disdain. But like Israel, we nurture our own brand of foolishness and lock ourselves into alternative cycles of resistance. Like Israel, we can also be forgetful and foolish, rebellious and ignorant, disobedient and petulant, confident on our own abilities instead of trusting in His sufficient strength.
But as with Israel, God’s grace and mercy towards us is never changing, and He is always there to guide us back into the way of truth. All that He desires of us is that we listen to His voice, hearken to His word, trust in His love, rely on His sufficient grace and let the love of Christ guard our heart... so that every step we take may be directed by Him – for our eternal benefit and for His greater glory.
Christ is the Way and Christ is our Guide. Christ is the Path, and He is our constant Companion. He is the Rock of our salvation - our Defence and our Deliverer, but the enemy has set traps on the left and laid snares for us on the right, as he pummels our ears with doctrinal falsities and entices us away from the highway of holiness, with tempting ‘treats’, deadly doubts and ungodly desires.
Let us learn to listen to the Word of the Lord and hearken to His voice behind us - leading us, guiding us, directing us, and telling us which is the way that we should go, so that we are not tempted to turn to the right hand nor to the left – but keep our eyes on Jesus and our ears ever open to His still, small voice of love.
Loving Father, I praise and thank You for Your faithfulness, even when I am faithless. I long to tune the ears of my heart to Your promptings and to always listen to Your voice. Thank You that You are always there to hold me steady when the enemy of my soul seeks to entrap me. More than anything I thank You for sending Jesus to be my Saviour and my Friend; my Way and my Life, my Guide and my Comforter - my constant Companion and the Rock of my salvation - in Whose name I pray, AMEN.