Isaiah 30-31: When Trouble Hits, Look to God for Help Not the World

In times of trouble, like when an enemy attacks, we’re supposed to turn to God and trust Him. On the contrary, when the Assyrians were coming to attack Judah, whom did they turn to? Not not God, who brought them out of slavery in Egypt. They turned to Egypt! In this lesson, you’ll see that when trouble comes, and it’s going to come, God wants us to turn to HIM not mere humans. We’ll also see some of what God has planned for the Kingdom Age. As always, Isaiah doesn’t just speak of his day, but what turns out to be, the distant future. Isaiah just wrote down what he heard from God. For us, it’s the near future! Let’s dig in…

Isaiah 30

“What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,”
    says the Lord.
“You make plans that are contrary to mine.
    You make alliances not directed by my Spirit,
    thus piling up your sins.
For without consulting me,
    you have gone down to Egypt for help.
You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection.
    You have tried to hide in his shade.
But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated,
    and by depending on him, you will be disgraced.
For though his power extends to Zoan
    and his officials have arrived in Hanes,
all who trust in him will be ashamed.
    He will not help you.
    Instead, he will disgrace you.”

This message came to me concerning the animals in the Negev:

The caravan moves slowly
    across the terrible desert to Egypt—
donkeys weighed down with riches
    and camels loaded with treasure—
    all to pay for Egypt’s protection.
They travel through the wilderness,
    a place of lionesses and lions,
    a place where vipers and poisonous snakes live.
All this, and Egypt will give you nothing in return.
    Egypt’s promises are worthless!
Therefore, I call her Rahab—
    the Harmless Dragon.

A Warning for Rebellious Judah

Now go and write down these words.
    Write them in a book.
They will stand until the end of time
    as a witness
that these people are stubborn rebels
    who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions.
10 They tell the seers,
    “Stop seeing visions!”
They tell the prophets,
    “Don’t tell us what is right.
Tell us nice things.
    Tell us lies.
11 Forget all this gloom.
    Get off your narrow path.
Stop telling us about your
    ‘Holy One of Israel.’”

12 This is the reply of the Holy One of Israel:

“Because you despise what I tell you
    and trust instead in oppression and lies,
13 calamity will come upon you suddenly—
    like a bulging wall that bursts and falls.
In an instant it will collapse
    and come crashing down.
14 You will be smashed like a piece of pottery—
    shattered so completely that
there won’t be a piece big enough
    to carry coals from a fireplace
    or a little water from the well.”

15 This is what the Sovereign Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me
    and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
    But you would have none of it.
16 You said, ‘No, we will get our help from Egypt.
    They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.’
But the only swiftness you are going to see
    is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you!
17 One of them will chase a thousand of you.
    Five of them will make all of you flee.
You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill
    or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop.”

Blessings for the Lord’s People

18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to him
    so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
    Blessed are those who wait for his help.

19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem,
    you will weep no more.
He will be gracious if you ask for help.
    He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.
20 Though the Lord gave you adversity for food
    and suffering for drink,
he will still be with you to teach you.
    You will see your teacher with your own eyes.
21 Your own ears will hear him.
    Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
    whether to the right or to the left.
22 Then you will destroy all your silver idols
    and your precious gold images.
You will throw them out like filthy rags,
    saying to them, “Good riddance!”

23 Then the Lord will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. 24 The oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. 25 In that day, when your enemies are slaughtered and the towers fall, there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. 26 The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days in one! So it will be when the Lord begins to heal his people and cure the wounds he gave them.

27 Look! The Lord is coming from far away,
    burning with anger,
    surrounded by thick, rising smoke.
His lips are filled with fury;
    his words consume like fire.
28 His hot breath pours out like a flood
    up to the neck of his enemies.
He will sift out the proud nations for destruction.
    He will bridle them and lead them away to ruin.

29 But the people of God will sing a song of joy,
    like the songs at the holy festivals.
You will be filled with joy,
    as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims
to Jerusalem, the mountain of the Lord—
    to the Rock of Israel.
30 And the Lord will make his majestic voice heard.
    He will display the strength of his mighty arm.
It will descend with devouring flames,
    with cloudbursts, thunderstorms, and huge hailstones.
31 At the Lord’s command, the Assyrians will be shattered.
    He will strike them down with his royal scepter.
32 And as the Lord strikes them with his rod of punishment,
    his people will celebrate with tambourines and harps.
    Lifting his mighty arm, he will fight the Assyrians.
33 Topheth—the place of burning—
    has long been ready for the Assyrian king;
    the pyre is piled high with wood.
The breath of the Lord, like fire from a volcano,
    will set it ablaze.

Isaiah 30 NLT

Who do YOU turn to?

Here we have another “woe” or warning for Judah. God was angry — again. Instead of turning to Him when they heard the Assyrians were coming, they turned to Egypt. Remember, Egypt was from where God rescued their ancestors out of slavery (Exodus). Nevertheless, they didn’t believe that God’s power would be enough. They wanted to put their trust in armies, they didn’t have faith.

Have you turned your back on God rather than turn to Him for help?

Stubborn Rebels

They wanted to be told what they wanted to hear. This is one of the problems in today’s churches. People want to feel good in church, not be shaken up.

  • Prosperity
  • A Watered-down Gospel
  • Pretend that God doesn’t exist
  • They want to be entertained, not hear the truth
  • Catholics turn to Mary, who existed, was human, but now is dead. Mother Mary is not the one who has power — Jesus and the Holy Spirit have the power!

Paul Warned Us

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT

Jesus told us

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

John 16:13 NLT

The Holy Spirit in our hearts helps us discern what is truth and what are false teachings.

God is Waiting for YOU!

God is waiting for YOU to come back to Him. I love this passage. It’s God speaking to US…

“Only in returning to me
    and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
    But you would have none of it.”

Isaiah 30:15 NLT

Stop searching for salvation, hope and peace in anything man-made of this world.

Isaiah’s Present, Our Future

Verses 19-30 speak of a time in the distant future for Isaiah. That’s the Millennium Reign — the Kingdom Age — when we’ll live on the new earth with Jesus in peace for 1000 years. Everything will be perfect. This is worth repeating…

He will be gracious if you ask for help.
    He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.
20 Though the Lord gave you adversity for food
    and suffering for drink,
he will still be with you to teach you.
    You will see your teacher with your own eyes.
21 Your own ears will hear him.
    Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
    whether to the right or to the left.
22 Then you will destroy all your silver idols
    and your precious gold images.
You will throw them out like filthy rags,
    saying to them, “Good riddance!”

Isaiah 20:19-22 NLT

The Holy Spirit is our teacher. Pastor Sandy Adams says…

The Holy Spirit is the ear-whisperer. He comes alongside us or behind us, and whispers a reminder in our ear! He directs our path. Yet how often does He do so through a Scripture we’ve heard. And notice the Spirit’s whisper comes from behind.

Don’t wait until you face a fork in the road to seek direction. The whisper comes from the sermon you heard on Sunday, or from today’s time in God’s Word. Don’t wait until you need a word to seek one. God’s guidance comes from behind us. We’ve already heard what we need to heed. It catches up to us, and whispers in our ear, when we slow down…

Sandy Adams

God should be your GPS, not your spare tire!

The next passage assures us that when we hear the TRUTH — the true Word of God — we will throw away our idols. There are 2 types of idolatry:

  1. The worship of false or fake gods — man-made statues of non-existent, demonic, or dead people or entities.
  2. Secondly, there is worshiping the True God, but in the wrong way.

Those are the 1st 4 of the 10 Commandments.

Then, Isaiah jumps back to his present regarding Assyria. He says that God has Topheth ready for the Assyrians. Pastor Sandy Adams explains…

In Jerusalem of Isaiah’s day [Topheth] was the deepest swell in the Valley of Hinnom. Today there’s a lush, beautiful park just outside the Jaffa Gate. It’s a picnic and concert venue…

But in ancient times it was a sinister place. In the days of Solomon it was a center
for idolatry. Child sacrifices were offered up the evil idol of Molech. By the time of
Jesus, the area was Jerusalem’s garbage dump. A constant, smoldering fire burned in this valley.

Jesus uses the Valley of Hinnom to help describe Gehenna or “the lake of fire” – the place of eternal punishment – where the worm does not die, and the fire is never quenched… Here Isaiah describes hellfire… The eternal Tophet is deep and large. Its fire is stoked by a endless supply of fuel. It kept burning like a stream of lava – by the hot breath of a righteous God. Recall Jesus said this everlasting fire was created for the devil and his angels. Here in verse 33, Isaiah says it’s prepared for the King of Assyria. It could be Satan is seen here as the ultimate king behind Assyria.

Sandy Adams

Here’s a tweet with a video from the Cumbre Vieja Volcano in La Palma, a little island off the coast of Africa, in the Canary Islands. It’s been erupting for 2 months now. This is real hellfire and brimstone.

Let’s go on…

Isaiah 31 – The Futility of Relying on Egypt

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help,
    trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers
and depending on the strength of human armies
    instead of looking to the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
In his wisdom, the Lord will send great disaster;
    he will not change his mind.
He will rise against the wicked
    and against their helpers.
For these Egyptians are mere humans, not God!
    Their horses are puny flesh, not mighty spirits!
When the Lord raises his fist against them,
    those who help will stumble,
and those being helped will fall.
    They will all fall down and die together.

But this is what the Lord has told me:

“When a strong young lion
    stands growling over a sheep it has killed,
it is not frightened by the shouts and noise
    of a whole crowd of shepherds.
In the same way, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will come down and fight on Mount Zion.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will hover over Jerusalem
    and protect it like a bird protecting its nest.
He will defend and save the city;
    he will pass over it and rescue it.”

Though you are such wicked rebels, my people, come and return to the Lord. I know the glorious day will come when each of you will throw away the gold idols and silver images your sinful hands have made.

“The Assyrians will be destroyed,
    but not by the swords of men.
The sword of God will strike them,
    and they will panic and flee.
The strong young Assyrians
    will be taken away as captives.
Even the strongest will quake with terror,
    and princes will flee when they see your battle flags,”
says the Lord, whose fire burns in Zion,
    whose flame blazes from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 31 NLT

Done and Done!

This prophecy was fulfilled in 2 Kings 19! Immanuel — Jesus Himself — came down and dealt with the Assyrians. Not with a cavalry or army, but by Himself. What POWER is that! Why do you underestimate the ALL-POWERFUL, ALMIGHTY GOD? Why are you relying on prayers to dead people?

Peter wrote about what true, faithful belief in Jesus Christ the ONLY Savior looks like…

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

1 Peter 1:8 NLT

Do YOU have the glorious and inexpressible joy of knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? You can, you know. It’s rather simple…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

In Christ Alone

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

1 thought on “Isaiah 30-31: When Trouble Hits, Look to God for Help Not the World”

  1. Pingback: 2 Kings 24-25: The Epic Attack that Happened When People Disobey God – Seek the Truth

Leave a Comment

Skip to content