When your cry becomes a cry out – Friday, 1st week in advent – Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26

In order to understand the texts of Isaiah we need to constantly place them within its historical context. The prophecy of this chapter relates (as that in the foregoing chapter) to the approaching danger to Jerusalem and to the desolations of Judah by the invading armies of the Assyrians from the North.

This prophecy was given at a time when the Assyrian army of King Sennacherib, King of Assyria, was about to  attack Jerusalem the capital of the southern kingdom of Judah. From history, we know that the northern kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians. While Ahaz the king of Judah had aligned himself with the Assyrians, his successor, King Hezekiah wrongly read the temporary misfortunes of the Assyrians  and chose to ally with Egypt against the Assyrians. It was his hope that he could break away from the yoke of being a vassal nation of the Assyrians.

Jewish ambassadors were now on their way to Egypt to seek aid against Assyria (Isaiah 30:2-6 Isaiah 30:15 , 31:1). The prophet Isaiah denounces this reliance on Egypt rather than on Yahweh. God had prohibited such alliances with heathen nations, and it was a leading part of Jewish polity that they should be a separate people (Exodus 23:32 , Deuteronomy 7:2 ). Yet as we know the cousin of stubbornness is rebellion and rather than obey, Hezekiah rebelled against the warnings of Yahweh.

Jerusalem is stubborn. They are carrying out plans that aren’t from God. They make alliances but not with the Holy Spirit. Their sin is just piling up and God hits right at the heart of their stubbornness. Egypt, as we  now know through our historical study, let down Hezekiah; their help was worthless and empty. There is a lesson for all of us in this; we need to be careful who we put our trust in. Often times we make alliances with people because they agree with us. That can turn in a heart-beat and just cause more agony. God wants our trust and he doesn’t want us putting that trust in anything else.

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