Streams in the Desert,
Today’s reading is drawn from Isaiah 18:1-6.
In this passage, Assyria is marching against Ethiopia, whose people are described as “tall and smooth-skinned” (Isaiah 18:2). As the army advances, God makes no effort to stop them, and it appears as though they will be allowed to do as they wish. The Lord is watching from his “dwelling place” [Isaiah 18:4] while the sun continues to shine on them, yet “before the harvest” (Isaiah 18:5) the entire proud army is defeated as easily as new growth is pruned from a vine.
Isn’t this a beautiful picture of God—remaining quiet and watching? Yet his silence is not to be confused with passive agreement or consent. He is simply biding his time and will arise at the most opportune moment, just when the plans of the wicked are on the verge of success, in order to overwhelm the enemy with disaster. And as we see the evil of this world, as we watch the apparent success of wrongdoers, and as we suffer the oppression of those who hate us, let us remember those miraculous words of God—“I will remain quiet and will look on” [Isaiah 18:4].
Yes, God does have another point of view, and there is wisdom behind his words. Why did Jesus watch his disciples straining at the oars through the stormy night? Why did he, though unseen by others, watch the sequence of anguishing events unfold in Bethany as Lazarus slowly passed through the stages of his terminal illness, succumbed to death, and was finally buried in a rocky tomb? Jesus was simply waiting for the perfect moment when he could intercede most effectively.
Is the Lord being quiet with you? Nevertheless, he is attentive and still sees everything. He has his finger on your pulse and is extremely sensitive to even the slightest change. And he will come to save you when the perfect moment has arrived.
From Daily Devotional Commentary