This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you what is best for you, Who directs you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17 NIV
Our Olde English Bulldog, Lily recently hit the two year old mark. She is playful, affectionate, lovable . . . but, she is still a Bulldog. By nature, she is stubborn, tenacious and “bull” headed. Once she gets her mind in something, it becomes a challenge to change her thinking.
The nation of Israel was described by God as a bull headed people. The prophet Isaiah writes, “For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. Your heads are as hard as bronze.” (Is 48:4 NLT)
This same concern was communicated to the believers in Rome. Paul writes, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself.” (Rom 2:4-5 NLT)
As a Righteous Judge, God would have no choice but to condemn resulting in punishment.
As our Redeemer, God chooses to show compassion resting on His promises.
Isaiah reminds us that God is OUR Redeemer and OUR God. He has purchased our freedom from condemning slavery and provided us with a future and a hope.
Let’s face it . . . left to ourselves, we’re all ignorant and lost. But, our God never leaves us wondering or wandering. He gives instruction and insight for a life full of purpose, promise, peace and power.
He Teaches. The prophet records God’s self-description, “I am The Lord your God, Who teaches you what is best for you.” God, the Master-Teacher looks at each of us with specifically designed objectives that make us the best we can be. Our passion to learn His ways must be a priority. The psalmist writes, “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” (Ps 25:4-5 ESV) We must embrace an expectancy to experience His teaching and truth.
He teaches and I must be His student.
He Leads. Isaiah continues God’s thoughts, “Who directs you in the way you should go.” Gill tells us, “It is the constant prayer of every believing man that God will lighten his darkness and enable him to see, if no more, at any rate the next step which it is his duty to take.” The psalmist was desperate for God’s guidance. He writes, “Lead me in the right path, O LORD, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.” (Ps 5:8 NLT). Often obedience brings opposition and obstacles. Jesus guides and gives us an example to follow. Peter reminds us, “For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps.” (1 Pet 2:21 NLT).
He leads and I must be His follower.
Isaiah knew the results of learning and listening. He writes, “Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.” (Is 48:18 NLT) I like that . . . peace flowing and righteousness rolling.
Today, accept Him as your “Aha” or “defining” moment. Be His student . . . Be His follower. He will guard your thoughts and guide your trek.
You will never wonder and you will never wander.