When sin has brought men into distress, it is their wisdom, in repentance,
to turn to God for deliverance, but those who think to prosper in their sin,
by the help of man, add sin to sin and invite worse disaster upon themselves.
If we would be saved from the evil of every calamity and secured from the curse of it,
we should turn to Jehovah and repose in Him.
1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.
5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.
6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.
7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.
8 ¶ Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.
15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.
18 ¶ And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
22 Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.
23 Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.
24 The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan.
25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.
26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
27 ¶ Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
29 Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.
30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.
31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
32 And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the LORD shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.
33 For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.
Isaiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Isaiah 30:1-17 – Fatal Reliance on Human Aid
Toward the close of the 8th century, b.c. Jerusalem sent ambassadors to seek help from Egypt against Assyria, in distinct defiance of God’s repeated warnings. Isaiah denounced this as adding sin to sin. Even though their princes reached Zoan and Hanes, capital cities, and succeeded in their object, it would not help them. The beasts of burden might traverse the deserts with presents and bribes, but all would be in vain. These truths, however, were unpalatable, and the politicians endeavored to silence the prophet, Isaiah 30:9-11. All sin recoils on the sinner. At first his efforts seem to protect him, but soon the wall begins to bulge, then it totters, finally it falls. The true policy, urged by Isaiah in Isaiah 30:15, would be to renounce these efforts for Egyptian help and return to rest in the loving care of God. In returning and rest they would be saved! Oh, that we were more quiet and calm in the face of danger, hushing our fears, stilling our throbbing hearts, and leaning back on the everlasting arms! God cannot fail you, ye fearful saints. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Isaiah 30:18-33 – The Goodness of God’s Severity
Jerusalem refused God’s invitation to return to Him and rest; they preferred to trust in Egyptian cavalry. Their Almighty Friend knew that this would end in disappointment, but He said that He would wait till they had exhausted every expedient and returned to Him. Then would He be gracious and have mercy. The results of repentance and forgiveness are set forth with singular beauty: no more tears; great grace; answered prayer; divine teaching; guidance in the right way; no more idols; good harvests and rich pasture-lands; the dumb creation benefiting by man’s repentance; and thus, in Isaiah 30:26, we come to the light of the millennial dawn.
In Isaiah 30:27-33 Jehovah is represented as coming to avenge His people and to judge their enemies. Their welcoming gladness is compared in Isaiah 30:29 to the songs of the Hebrew festivals. What a magnificent description in Isaiah 30:30-31 of Jehovah as a man of war! Every stroke He inflicted on the foe would awaken the music of tabrets and harps in the temple at Zion. Tophet, near Jerusalem, was the place where refuse was burnt. The spiritual counterpart of its fire is ever burning up the waste-products of men and nations. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Isaiah 30:18—Therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you.
As long as the people tried to help themselves, sending ambassadors to Egypt, and seeking an alliance against the invader, God could do nothing for them; He could only wait until they returned to simple reliance upon Himself. In returning to trust and rest they would be saved. At first they said No. They were opposed to the idea of simple trust in God. It seemed impossible to believe that if they simply rested on Him He would do better for them than their most strenuous exertions could do for themselves. And all the while God was waiting till every expedient failed, and they were reduced to such a condition that He could step in and save them.
How like this is to much in our lives! It is long before we learn the lesson of returning and rest; of quietness and confidence. We will trust in chariots and horses, and ride upon the swift. It is, of course, right to use the means; but our strong temptation is to put them in the place of God, and trust them. You are trying to save yourself from the just penalty of your sin, from the pursuit of your foes, from perplexing combinations and complications of circumstances; you have been running backwards and forwards, flurried and excited. At how many doors you have knocked to find them closed; and all the while God has been waiting to be gracious to you, waiting till you came to the end of yourself; waiting, till like a spent struggler in the water, you ceased from your mad efforts and cast yourself back upon his strong everlasting love. He is exalted to have mercy; but He is a God of judgment, or literally, of method. He can only save in one way. Blessed are they that wait for Him. The soul that waits for God will always find the God for whom he waits. —Our Daily Homily