This chapter is pretty straight forward.
Verses 1 through 3 - remind us to put our trust in “The Holy One of Israel.” Remember that Isaiah loves to use this name for God and it really bridges the gap between Yahweh and Yeshua (Jesus). It is a huge reminder that God is holy. He is pure and beyond all human or created wisdom. His holiness means that He is judge and can make chaos into order. He is the God of Israel and the one who came to Israel to redeem the world. In all things, and times (especially the one we are living in now) we should trust God above all else and follow His lead.
When God stretches out His hand it isn’t to smack the world. It is to bring Israel and the world that they were covenanted to bless into alignment with their blood covenant relationship with God. It is hard to see the words “outstretched hand” associated with the fall of an enemy like Egypt or in judgment and not think of God as angry and vengeful, but those are weak and shortsighted descriptions. God is love. He is absolute truth. He can never lie. He always keeps His promises. We should never be surprised when we force God to stretch out His hand that upheaval happens. We worked hard to bring ourselves and the world out of alignment with God. It takes the power of God to bring us back into alignment with Him.
Verses 4 and 5 – are full of images of the power and glory of God. He is the lion that can’t be shaken by the noise of shepherds. He is so far above all things that He comes down to our highest heights to fight for us. The Lord almighty, the God of angel armies, is our shield. His shadow covers us and we are protected. When God does “pass over” it is protection for those in covenant with Him and defeat for those who actively attempt to destroy the covenant to which God is always faithful and true.
Verses 6 through 9 – God appeals for Israel to return to Him. They rejected Him and choose idols of silver and gold. They chose horses and chariots over the power of God. They chose alliances with other nations over their covenant with God. They can accept and receive God’s judgment and return to Him and be restored. God’s fire is far greater than any power of Assyria, Egypt, or anyone else.
This is a good reminder for us to make daily confession and repentance. Throughout this Covid-19 experience I’ve heard lots of church leaders making statements about why it is happening and where God is in the middle of it; but I haven’t heard a major call for repentance. We try to answer the “why” questions without hearing from God and we can’t really hear from God very well if we have sin stuff in between Him and us. I love Daniel at a time like this. When I think of Daniel I think of a guy who goes to repentance automatically. I can’t hear God like I should, repent. Things aren’t going like God says they should, repent. If something isn’t right his first reaction is, “I must have done something wrong I must repent. If it wasn’t me then it was the nation. I’ll repent for them too.” God loved Daniel’s humility and always made ways to answer him because of it. Today I’m going to spend some time in confession and repentance, for me, for the nation, and for the world. And, I’m going to thank God profusely for His stretched out covenant hand that sets things right.