Isaiah 15:1-9, Isaiah 16:1-14, Isaiah 17:1-14, Psalm 68:19, Luke 21:25-28
There’s a not a person on earth who hasn’t experienced suffering. For some, it’s the loss of a loved one or a job; for others, it’s anxiety or conflict with someone else. In a broken world, hurt finds us all.
The people we see in the Bible were real people, living in a really broken world, seeking real relief from suffering. Apart from Jesus Himself, the Bible is not filled with perfect people for us to aspire to be like. Instead, it’s filled with people we can relate to. Even the great heroes of the Bible, like Moses and David, were fallen sinners in need of a Savior.
In our text today, we see a people who are crying out for liberation. They are oppressed. They see no help in sight. They cry out for a king to come to their defense. More than that, they look to the future when God Himself will save them: “On that day people will look to their Maker and will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 17:7).
The people of the Old Testament knew what we all know—we can’t save ourselves. No government, no spouse, no child, no job, and no hobby can take away the sting of sin and death. Since the first sin broke the world, we’ve been looking to other rescuers, knowing deep down that we’re like hamsters on a wheel—we run and run and run, but we ultimately get nowhere. We work up a sweat, but it’s all for nothing.
But with the full Bible in our hands, we see God Himself did finally come to earth to rescue those suffering in physical and spiritual oppression—Jesus Christ, who is “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). He came to bring final rescue, a day when there will be no more tears, no more death, no more hurting (Revelation 21-22). He has secured our salvation, and He is coming back to seal the deal. This is a promise that exceeds all promises.
Hurting people long to see their Savior. The sight of the coming Rescuer comforts those who await His arrival. Isaiah’s people looked ahead for their salvation in the coming Messiah. We look back to Christ.
Written by Brandon D. Smith