I’ve written about how God sent Isaiah to warn the tribe of Judah, which included the city of Jerusalem, against forming alliances with Assyria. Later on, the King of Judah sent emissaries to Egypt for help. Isaiah told them they should trust God to save them because he said he would, but the people wouldn’t believe and said, “See no more visions! Give us no more visions of what is right! Leave here and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”
God said to them, “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and deceit, this sin will become like a high wall that is cracked and bulging. It collapses suddenly, in an instant.”
He said, “In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength. But you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ “Well then, flee! Your pursuers will be swift. A thousand of your men will flee at the threat of one…”
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you and he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of Justice. Blessed are those who wait for him.
I was moved at the words about God in the last paragraph. He tried to save them from war, he begged them to trust in him to save them, but look at what they said back to God’s prophet! They showed utter contempt for Isaiah and for God.
And yet… God longed to be good to them. He would still show them compassion.
I know a lot of people don’t like to read the Old Testament, but along with the killing and wars there are a multitude of verses that speak of why God is doing what he does and how much he wants us to belong to him. He wants to bless us in this awful world. That doesn’t mean he will always heal our illnesses or make sure we have lots of money. No, his blessings are higher and greater than that.
His blessings are gifts from heaven, a heart that is changed to be like his heart, full of love and goodness. We can become a blessing to the world by helping others. We can have peace and joy, even in the midst of a Covid-19 crisis, even if we have lost everything this world has to give, and even if we die. What I find to be the greatest blessing is telling him all my problems and worries and then just leaving it up to him to take care of. It is wonderful to know he is walking beside us, behind us and before us all the years of our lives.