It is clear from these verses that God has a specific way for things to proceed. Of course, He is at the top of the list, and the most important step. Keep Him there and things fall into place. Forget Him, and well you know, all hell will break lose and everything in between. I don’t like to use that word, but sometimes it is appropriate.
Do farmers plow and plow and do nothing but plow? Or harrow and harrow and do nothing but harrow? After they’ve prepared the ground, don’t they plant? Don’t they scatter dill and spread cumin, plant wheat and barley in the fields and raspberries along the borders? They know exactly what to do and when to do it. Their God is their teacher.
And at the harvest, the delicate herbs and spices, the dill and cumin, are treated delicately. On the other hand, wheat is threshed and milled, but still not endlessly.
The farmer knows how to treat each kind of grain. He’s learned it all from God-Of-The-Angel-Armies, who knows everything about when and how and where. (Isaiah 28:24-29 The Message)
So, if God gives wisdom to the farmers and explains to them everything about when, and how and where, is that enough for the crop to survive and flourish? No! They still need the proper amount of sunlight and rain to grow. So, if I try to do anything without God, I am destined to failure right from the start. It’s like when someone gives you a recipe and leaves out a key ingredient. It just doesn’t taste right. And so, my life just doesn’t taste right without God. Sure, I can live without God and do just fine for a time. He gives me free will. But I can’t imagine how I would get through the tough stuff without His sunshine and His rain to grow and flourish me. Also, there are so many times I need His wisdom on how to do things. More than once I have had a project that I couldn’t figure out how to fix, and then at night, while lying in bed, a thought would pop into my head. I would try it out later, and it would work! I don’t have to get it right 100% of the time, but God knows where He stands in my life.
“No longer will Jacob hang his head in shame, no longer grow gaunt and pale with waiting. For he’s going to see his children, my personal gift to him—lots of children. And these children will honor me by living Holy lives. In Holy worship they’ll honor the Holy One of Jacob and stand in Holy awe of the God of Israel. Those who got off-track will get back on track, and complainers and whiners learn gratitude.” (Isaiah 29: 23-24 The Message)
I have to say that lately whining is what has taken me off course. There are things going on at my job that are falling in the gray areas, and I whine about it to my son (we are both accountants) and he always says, “Why do you care, you are getting paid aren’t you?” The truth is my job has given me a lot of perks. I work from home 4 of 5 days, I am allowed to go to Aquatics in the morning three times a week before starting my work day, and like my son says—I get paid every two weeks. So, I should be grateful for my job! And I am mostly, I just have this tugging that there is something going on behind the scenes. I need to practice gratitude. Every time a negative thought comes into my mind, I am going to try to turn it around and say “Thank you God for my job!” and if God wants me to leave, He will open a door somewhere else, but until then—Thank you God for my job! I don’t want to be rebellious or ungrateful!
So, go now and write all this down. Put it in a book so that the record will be there to instruct the coming generations. Because this is a rebel generation, a people who lie, A people unwilling to listen to anything God tells them. They tell their spiritual leaders, “Don’t bother us with irrelevancies.” They tell their preachers, “Don’t waste our time on impracticalities. Tell us what makes us feel better. Don’t bore us with obsolete religion. That stuff means nothing to us. Quit hounding us with The Holy of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:8-11 The Message)
“Your salvation requires you to turn back to Me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on Me—the very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. (Isaiah 30:15 The Message)
But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for Him are the lucky ones. Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment He hears, He’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your Teacher alive, and present among you. Your Teacher, will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road, walk down this road.” (Isaiah 30:18-21 The Message)
I believe this also applies to all the citizens of the United States and beyond. I can’t tell you how to experience God, it is an individual process. But it is definitely not obsolete or impractical. It is very alive and active. But the only way I can experience it is to get out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. As long as I play it safe, I will not fully see how active God really is in my life.
I don’t know about you, but I see so much love in the promises of God. He understands my stumbling and complete face dives into the concrete. But I only need to cry for help, and He’s right there with amazing grace. He will provide the right amount of rain and sunshine in my life. He will treat me delicately when I need delicateness, and He will thresh me with the right amount of threshing, but not enough to destroy me. My Teacher is present and alive in my life trying his darndest to keep me on the right road that will provide my safety and security though out this time on earth.
Oh God my Father and Teacher, help me to stay on the road you have for me. Never let me wander too far off before you nudge me back towards you. Thank you for the love of your promises and your amazing grace that is new every morning. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.