Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding…
Again we see Israel as the prodigal in Isaiah 29. The Lord is saying He had poured out on them a spirit of deep sleep (v.10). They have no perception of what God is doing. He says, These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. (v.13 NLT) It’s interesting how people can follow man-made rules thinking they are following God and yet they do not know God. When you look at some of the behavior of the Israelites, you wonder how they could even claim to follow God. But that’s what blindness does. That’s what deafness does. That’s what being asleep does. All around you God is working but you can’t see it or understand it. Some of us can certainly see this in our own prodigals.
A few verses later, Isaiah relays a further message from God concerning another prodigal nation: Judah. The Jews were saying, The Lord can’t see us; he doesn’t know what’s going on. (v.15 NLT) God’s answer to them and to our prodigals who may think along the same lines is, How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”? (v.16 NLT) It is ridiculous from God’s point of view and for us who know God to say we are greater than God and it doesn’t matter what we do. But it happened in Israel and it happened in Judah and it has been happening ever since that time. God is not surprised by our prodigal’s point of view. He is not stumped on how to answer them. It’s not His job to convince them (meaning it is still their choice). But out of His love and compassion, He is patient and continues to draw them. He will continue to give them opportunities to respond and cry out to Him. He will continue to orchestrate things to get their attention. Remember His plans are good. This is our hope. Isaiah often has a message of hope to give and he does in this chapter as well.
It is true that they would go through hard times as a means of getting their attention. But their attention would be got. A remnant would cry out to God and ask for His help. God would use what they went through for good. He would teach them and they would be able to see and hear. They would be awake. They would recognize the holiness of the Holy One of Israel. They would stand in awe of the God of Jacob. The wayward would gain understanding. (v.23-24). I believe God wants us to see this message to the Israelites and Jews who were (and many still are today) as a message for our prodigals. He wants us pray and never give up. He wants us to speak the words He said to them so long ago (insert your prodigal’s name):
In that day the deaf will hear words read from a book, and the blind
will see through the gloom and darkness. The humble will be filled with
fresh joy from the Lord. The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 29:18-19 NLT
God, You say You will be gracious if we ask for help. You will surely respond to the sound of our cries (Isaiah 30:19). We are asking for Your help. We are crying out to You. You say that only in returning to You will we be saved. You say our quietness and confidence will be our strength (Isaiah 30:15). God, we are trusting You and asking that You will do whatever is needed to bring our prodigals back to You. We know You are waiting for them to return so You can show them Your love and compassion (Isaiah 30:18), but they are asleep. But just as You gave hope and a future to Your children, Israel, we know You have a hope and a future for Your children, our prodigals. We only know to love them and pray for them. We rest in You knowing that You do know what to do. Our worrying can’t add a single hour to our life or their lives (Matthew 6:27). We know not one sparrow falls to the ground that You don’t know about. And You say we are more valuable to You than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31). So God, we place our prodigals in Your hands because we know this is the best place for them. We look forward to the day when they gain understanding, but until that day we will keep praying for it.
Publishing: © 2016 Centricity Songs & Graybird Songs (BMI) / Sony/ATV Tree Publishing & Upside Down Under (BMI) / So Essential Tunes & Not Just Another Song (SESAC) Writer(s): Words and Music by Jason Gray, Mia Fieldes and Jonathan Smith
You can't add a single day by worrying You'll worry your life away Oh don't worry your life away You can't change a single thing by freaking out It's just gonna close you in Oh don't let the trouble win You may feel alone But you're not on your own (Lalala) if He can hold the world He can hold this moment (Lalala) not a field nor flower escapes His notice Oh even the sparrow Knows He holds tomorrow Lean in and it's hard to miss Everything can change When you make it His Oh He wants to carry it Carefree in the care of God When you let it go You'll find that He's enough Oh you never leave His love You don't walk alone (Lalala) if He can hold the world He can hold this moment (Lalala) not a field nor flower escapes His notice Oh even the sparrow Knows He holds tomorrow There's not a single star that's out of place There's nothing broken He can't remake If you long for hope when you're afraid Oh look at the sparrow Look at the sparrow (Lalala) if He can hold the world He can hold this moment (Lalala) not a field nor flower escapes His notice Oh even the sparrow Knows He holds tomorrow (Lalala) even the sparrow knows He holds tomorro