Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
Isaiah 50:10 (ESV)
The book of Isaiah is fascinating. History tells us that during this time period, the nation of Assyria was expanding – often through violent means. At this time Israel and Judah were functioning separately. Assyria was attempting to expand by attacking Israel and Syria. Israel begged Judah to join in an alliance so that the three nations could resist Assyria’s advances.
Judah did not join the alliance and Israel attacked in retaliation. While faltering, Judah actually asked to join in coalition with Assyria. Assyria did, with ulterior motives of course. Israel fell; and soon, Judah was on Assyria’s list to conquer.
The prophet Isaiah throughout this time period had been urging Judah to leave its sinful ways and to make no alliances, form no trust with anyone other than the Lord Almighty. Judah didn’t listen to her prophet. She sought help from the Assyrian’s enemy – the Babylonians. And in the process, eventually fell captive herself.
In Isaiah chapter 10, we find the prophet Isaiah prophesying about both the captivity and the coming restoration. His words to the inhabitants of Judah speak to us today too. Verse 10 starts with a question: “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant?”
What that question and the entire chapter 10 boils down to is: Are we really living as if we trust the Lord? Or in reality, do we sing and nod on Sunday morning and then leave our faith their languishing in the pew?
Look at verse 1. The prophet is questioning those who don’t follow His law to see if they see that the difficult circumstances they find them in are results of their decisions to turn their backs on Him. Verse 2 asks them whether they think that the Lord lacks the power to save.
One conclusion of this is easy to come to – we feel comfortable on our couches reading the Word. We pat ourselves on the back because we know that we haven’t been so wicked as those people that Isaiah was trying to reach. We know that verses 1 and 2 pointedly teach that Isaiah was letting them know that God sees everything they do. This meaning works very well when it is directed back in history or even towards others in the world today.
But how about if it is directed at our own hearts? Isaiah is still speaking to us today. He is asking us, are you confident? Does your reality reflect the confidence shown in verse 8? Do you go through each day, do you make decisions in a way that it is crystal clear that you believe that God is right there with you?
By the way He is there with you. He is here with me, too.
Verse 10 is prophesying about the Christ – our Savior, our Lord. As the Lord’s servant, He paid the ultimate price for our salvation. So that in the end, our efforts are inextricably linked with His and, saved, we will live in heaven forever.
What would you do if you knew that the end result of what you threw yourself into fully, relying only on the Lord, trusting only in God, was heaven? Doesn’t that sound wonderful by the way? Live this Christian life in the way God called YOU, with your specific life, personality, and gifts, and the end the result is Heaven.
Did you know this isn’t just nice sounding words? This is our actual reality.
This is the reality of Christian life. Be faithful and obedient to what God has instructed you. Be confident in and trust only in God.