The path to peace and righteousness
This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. 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. Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore—too many to count! There would have been no need for your destruction, or for cutting off your family name.” Yet even now, be free from your captivity! Leave Babylon and the Babylonians. Sing out this message! Shout it to the ends of the earth! The Lord has redeemed his servants, the people of Israel. They were not thirsty when he led them through the desert. He divided the rock, and water gushed out for them to drink. “But there is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord. Isaiah 48:17-22 NLT
Isaiah told the Israelites God’s promise that He will be with them while they were in exile in Babylon. But they preferred to follow the gods of the Babylonian rather than believing the One true God. They did not see any good thing that can come out from believing God for they felt abandoned by Him while they were in Babylon. From the text, Isaiah reminded them that trials are used by God to teach them valuable lessons that will be beneficial. He called them to listen and follow Him. During times of trials, God helps us see what really matters in life. He opens treasures of wealth that otherwise we will miss just because we prefer a comfortable life free from trials. The Redeemer wants to take us in an experience of a “peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea” (v. 18). He alone can take us there even in the midst of turbulent times. But when we say no to His offer, we make it difficult for ourselves. When we reject the love of God, there will be consequences. We will not experience the peace and righteousness flowing in abundance for those who placed their trust in Him. The Israelites did not listen to God and “‘there is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord’” (v. 22). God wrote the stories of the past experiences of the Israelites so we will learn and should take His warning to heart. “These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did... These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age” (1 Corinthians 10:6-7, 11). There is a path to peace and righteousness and God wants to lead us in that path.