“I did this because I know how stubborn you are.
Your neck muscles are like iron
and your forehead like bronze. “ v.4
Isaiah points out the central crisis of the Israelites faith not only in the exile in Babylon, but as far back as the Exodus was, Who is God? Because of nations like Assyria and Babylon, powers in 750-550bc that seemed to dominate the events of the world they questioned, Who controls History? The transparent, transcendent Lord that can not be seen, or the gods represented by nations, leaders, and materials with physical attributes that could be seen and touched and where on display all around them? We wrestle with those same questions today, Who is God? Who controls history? People get confused and mislead by theconstant and “in-your-face” presence of gods of finance, nationalism, governments, materialism, that appear to control everything in life.
The cry of Isaiah is, Will you trust God? Israel cried out they could not trust God to protect them from Assyria. They cried out could not trust god to deliver them from Babylon. Yet he did do both.
Isaiah’s cry is to us today as well, Will humanity today respond and trust God? Will you in whatever crisis you find yourself trust in God to deliver you? God’s trustworthiness has been demonstrated over and over, his grace has been offered over and over, but it is for nothing unless we choose to trust in him and receive it.
We are today of the same mold as the Israelites. We have “iron necks and bronze foreheads” and we fight with pride to surrender to the trust of God because it does not come naturally to us who are also children of Adam and Eve. Our flesh is tainted with their sin of pride. Thank God for Christ Jesus and his Holy Spirit in which all things are possible and only in daily reliance in him can we overcome our flesh, trust in God, and receive his grace and delivereance.
Trust and obey
For there’s no other way,
To be happy in Jesus,
Than to trust and obey.