Read Isaiah 33:20-22
Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts! Your eyes will see Jerusalem, an untroubled habitation, an immovable tent, whose stakes will never be plucked up, nor will any of its cords be broken. But there the Lord in majesty will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars can go, nor majestic ship can pass. For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us.
• What holds us back from God's blessings?
• What's the key to experiencing the Lord's grace, strength, and deliverance?
• Does God give us spiritual blessings we don't deserve? (Please explain.)
The southern kingdom of Judah is on shaky ground. With the fall of Samaria and the northern empire all but gone, King Hezekiah's vast territory is now in the crosshairs of an Assyrian threat.
So, Hezekiah--at the advice of his royal counselors--concocts a preemptive strike. His solution: Form a military alliance with Egypt and seize a chance to revolt. Big mistake. As Isaiah warns, turning to military hardware for protection isn't the Lord's approach. Instead of brute force, God wants repentance, peace, quietness ... trust. (Flip back and reread Isaiah 30:1-5.)
In chapter 33, Isaiah offers a prayer to the one, true King: "Please, Lord, be kind to us! We depend on you. Make us strong each morning, and come to save us when we are in trouble" (verse 2). The prophet makes it clear that if Judah turns back to God, the Lord Almighty will save those who trust in Him. Jerusalem will be besieged but not taken. "With your own eyes you will see the glorious King; you will see his kingdom reaching far and wide" (verse 17).
Sometimes believers are hardheaded. Sometimes we behave impulsively, taking matters into our own hands and thinking we know how to handle circumstances better than God. Yet deep in our heart-of-hearts we desire three things from the Lord: His grace, His strength, and His deliverance. God promises to give us all three--and many other spiritual blessings we don't deserve. But we have to take the first step: surrender.
Almighty God, you are my Creator, the Supreme Lord of the Universe--the Supreme Giver. Sometimes I'm prideful and hardheaded, and desire to control my circumstances. Show me how to surrender to you. I long for your grace, strength, and salvation. In Jesus Name, Amen.