by Rev Hilda Warwick
Thought for the week Isaiah 18
As we enter into 2021, may you know God’s peace , guidance and care in the days ahead.
This is not an easy passage to understand, however it serves again as a reminder that we are being invited to place our trust in God rather than the people and circumstances that surround us. The text speaks of powerful nations and the arrival of an embassy in Jerusalem, seeking support in its battle against the Assyrian army . However Isaiah is clear that the nation will not join ranks with another, and that God alone is the One who will bring the matter to a conclusion without the help of any foreign army.
The prophet’s reaction is threefold. First he orders the messengers to take Judah’s answer swiftly to Ethiopia, then he calls upon the whole world to witness what is about to happen, and finally he delivers the word of God. It is a passage that speaks of trust and timing. Waiting upon God to reveal His plan, is sometimes a greater challenge for all of us when seeking to know God’s heart for us. Here the temptation is to rely on alternatives, especially when they present themselves almost at the door .The detailed description suggests there were eye witnesses, and Isaiah could himself have watched the ships sailing into port .
Isaiah 18:3 “All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, when he lifts up a banner on the mountains, you see it ;And when he blows a trumpet, you hear it.
“All ye inhabitants … dwellers”:This prophet calls upon the whole human race to be alert for the signals that God is at work in the world . What a word for our time and season. In what ways can we ourselves notice that God is at work in our world, in spite of the difficulties faced, by individuals, cities and nations? However there is a sense too that God quietly keeps watch – it is
an expression of faith, above all the turmoil of human affairs. God’s dwelling, whether in the temple at Jerusalem, or in heaven is a place that is firmly established, built on solid foundations which nothing can move. This is
an invitation to trust in God himself. To go deeper, even when the things surround us suggest a different view. The world will always seek to offer us alternatives, but here the prophet invites us back to the One, who sees and knows all things .
Heavenly Father, we ask that we would hear Your voice more clearly above the voices of our world and the things that clamour for our attention, in seeming importance. Help us to listen to the still small voice within that leads us back to You. Help us to acknowledge You in all our ways that our paths may be directed by You. In Jesus Name Amen.