For years my heart has become increasingly burdened for the American church. I have sought the Lord, prayed and wept as I have examined my own life and the state of things in “Christian” America. I was reading Isaiah 30 this morning, and though this word was originally spoken to Israel during a time when they were looking to Egypt for deliverance from their oppressors, I truly believe it is an applicable word for the American Church today.
It is my humble and sincere prayer that God’s Spirit will speak to you as you read the following words:
“’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…
“Now go and write down these words. Write them in a book. They will stand until the end of time as a witnessthat these people are stubborn rebels who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions.
“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.Forget all this gloom. Get off your narrow path. Stop telling us about your Holy One of Israel.’
“This is the reply of the Holy One of Israel: ‘Because you despise what I tell you and trust instead in oppression and lies,calamity will come upon you suddenly— like a bulging wall that bursts and falls. In an instant it will collapseand come crashing down. 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.’
“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.’
“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!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.
“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.
“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.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.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.
“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!’”