Isaiah has just finished addressing the nations, and then, focusing on the entire world. How quickly, though, does he come right back to Israel and Judah! What's the old adage, or at least a version of it? “Judgment begins at home.” Isaiah has harsh words for the people, but grace, once again, triumphs: “The Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. . . . though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (30:18,20,21).
The prophet goes on to warn the people against relying on alliances with Egypt and other nations and against placing their hope in any of the myriad machinations they are want to embrace. “Trust in the Lord!” cries Isaiah. Like Israel and Judah, we will always find God to be a welcoming Father, ready to forgive, receive, and bless us when we turn to him. I am just amazed, over and over again, at the patience and grace and mercy of the Lord. Amazing.
My faith looks up to thee,
thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray;
take all my guilt away;
O let me from this day
be wholly thine! --Ray Palmer (1830)