July 22 (Daily reading: Isaiah 28-30) We see the purpose of these prophecies: “Now go, write it … that it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever” (30:8). We learn as we see how God has dealt with His people in the past. The people of Isaiah’s day were guilty of a sin that any generation can repeat when they refuse “to listen to the instruction of the LORD,” and say to God’s spokespersons: “Speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions” (30:9-10).
But God’s grace is always available: “He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him” (30:18). The prophet wrote: “Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left” (30:21). Dr. Baker James Cauthen quoted Isaiah 30:21 to Judy and me at our appointment to international missions in 1972. The words, “This is the way; walk in it,” sustained me and confirmed God’s way for me many times over our missionary career.
I recently saw that verse afresh in its context. Verse 20 says, “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them” (NIV). Over the years of Judy’s Alzheimer’s, I had never applied God words, “This is the way, walk in it,” to our circumstances. In the adversity of illness and in the suffering of all that has been lost in our interactions, He is still teaching me to trust Him and to lean on His grace. This is His way for us, and we will walk in it! I am reassured because even though Judy and I see Him now by faith, we will one day see Him—our Teacher—with our own eyes!
– Al Gary