Isaiah penned these words when the Israelites were at a very low point in their history. God had allowed hardship and captivity to come to the Jews as a result of their disobedience. Isaiah gave them hope.
“This won’t last forever,” he seems to tell them.”Those who abuse you will be destroyed.”
Matthew Henry tells us the Babylonians were destroyed. The things God told Isaiah were going to happen happened. But not for another two hundred years. The people who first heard God’s promises never lived to see them fulfilled. Many were born and died in captivity.
I am reminded God’s timing is not always our own. But even in our darkest hours, God does not leave His children without hope.
Chapter 15 begins with a prophecy concerning Moab’s defeat. Henry tells us this particular prophecy was fulfilled only three years after Isaiah wrote the words. I love that. God allowed His people to see concrete proof that He keeps His word, that faith in Him is not misplaced. It wasn’t everything He promised. But it was something.
I think God would remind us He hasn’t changed. Some verses come to mind:
We know all things work together for the good for those that love God… (Romands 8:28)
Is any among you in trouble? Let them pray… (James 5:13)
He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. (Psalm 102:17)
Scripture tells us over and over to put our faith in God, and He will never let us down. He hears and answers prayer. You can count on it.
But sometimes it seems like we’ve been waiting two hundred years for an answer, doesn’t it? Reading Isaiah today reminds me that I can trust God with everything, including the timing of answered prayers. He’s reminding me that praying is not the same as rubbing a magic lantern and immediately being granted three wishes.
Reading Isaiah today also encourages me to watch in the meantime; to pay attention to the other answers to prayers along the way; to recognize God’s hand in other areas of my life. Because God wants me to know I can trust Him, And He’ll prove I can trust Him every day.
Reading these chapters in Isaiah strengthens my faith in my God. It helps me know that He is my hope, and I can trust Him with today, and tomorrow. It reminds me that I can pray, put my requests at His feet, and know that He’s got this. And it convicts me to take a step back, and let God be God.
He’s actually pretty good at it.