This is a guest blog from a friend, Laura Novey. It's an insightful picture from the Old Testament Prophet that has application to our own time.
Isaiah 8—In the days of Isaiah, things were going downhill FAST. Doom was on the horizon. Things were in turmoil, infused with evil, spiraling in the wrong direction, terrifying, confusing, hopeless. And yet in the midst of all that, God promised to “take to [Himself] faithful witnesses for testimony.” He was STILL actively working amidst those dire circumstances through people He had called to be His. …and He still does the same today with a believing remnant who walks in His ways. Twice in this passage, even in the midst of prophecies about impending disaster, the word “Immanuel” is used which simply means “God is with us.” We need to remember that. When presidential elections and social upheaval are chaotic, “Immanuel.” When COVID wreaks its havoc, “Immanuel.” When life gets hard and it seems like all around us is darkness and evil, “Immanuel.” When things look hopeless, “Immanuel.” God IS with us. As close as our next breath.
“…the Lord…instructed me NOT to walk in the way of this people.” When people are crying out “’It is a conspiracy!’ in regard to all that this people call a conspiracy…you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread.” Don’t look horizontally! Don’t walk in the ways of the world. Don’t fear what they fear. Don’t fear circumstances. Don’t fear people. Don’t fear conspiracies. God remains in full control over it all. All things remain subject to His will. Don’t go to mediums and spiritists and political pundits and social media and famous doctors and lawyers and government officials and professors and gurus and self-help books and palm readers and “authorities” of all flavors for your understanding and answers. “Should not a people consult their God?...to the law and to the testimony! If [human ‘authorities’] do not speak according to [God’s] word, it is because they have no dawn [no light…no real understanding from the Lord].” Fear God and keep your eyes locked on Him. Stay in His Word to retain a proper perspective and wisdom. Why? “Then He shall become a sanctuary [for you].” The winds may still howl, but we are safe in the refuge of His arms. The world may look anxiously about, but we will be in perfect peace as we trust Him and consult Him and rely on Him to show us the way (Proverbs 3:5-6). Our world isn’t so different from Isaiah’s.