banner
bar
young man pulling his hair facing the sun July 11 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Isaiah 29, 30, 31, 32

Growing Pains

It is true that as children grow they sometimes have pain in their muscles, commonly called “growing pains” (“kidshealth.org”). Teens and adults have their own kind of growing pains—spiritual growing pains. Many times they naively think that trouble will not touch them, no matter how they live. They think they are invincible. Sometimes they put blinders over their eyes and stop up their ears to the truth. If they are religious, they may go to church, go through all the ceremonies, and say and do all the right things, but sometimes their behavior does not change. They may complain about life, rebel against restrictions, and even fall into destructive, sinful habits. They may not heed the warnings given to them, but eventually, find out life has consequences. Most of them learn from their mistakes (or sins) before they lead to destruction but not all. After much pain and defeat, they find out there is a better way to live. These difficult experiences are spiritual growing pains.

The northern kingdom of Israel did not learn from God's judgment against her rebellion, extreme wickedness, idolatry, injustice, or heed warnings from His many prophets. Her people were therefore taken away into exile into a foreign land, and others inhabited their land. Now the southern kingdom of Judah is following in the same destructive track. Even so, if she turns from her sins and trusts the LORD, there will be deliverance from her enemies. The same can be true of us; we do not have to suffer as other rebellious Christians. God can deliver us from our trials if we will rely upon Him. The LORD protects those who look to Him for deliverance.

Judah is blinded by her sin. Her priests, people, and leadership offer the required sacrifices in the temple, doing everything they are supposed to do, but it is just a ceremonial pretense. They try to hide their sin from the LORD and convince themselves that He does not know about it (much like people hide drugs, cigarettes, booze, criminal behavior and sexual relationships from their loved ones). The people are wayward in spirit and complain (29:24), but someday it will be different.

Now, however, the nation of Judah is obstinate. She carries out plans without consulting the LORD. She does not look to the LORD. Instead, she forms an alliance with the godless nation of Egypt, who once enslaved her. Parents are deeply grieved when their children seek friendships with those from the “wrong crowd.” We know how God feels; their alliances only lead them to trouble. God describes Judah,

These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD's instruction. They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” (Isaiah 30:9-11, NIV)

The same kinds of things are often said to godly family and friends: “Don't talk to me anymore about church or religion or what God says. I don't want to hear it!”

Because Judah is obstinate, however, her sins are like high cracked and bulging walls which will eventually collapse upon her if she does not repent. Those who live rebellious lives need to learn what Judah needs to learn.

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV).

Judah continues to do things her own way but fails to get reliable help from the Egyptians. Does God then give up on His stubborn children? No. Even in judgment, God is gracious. Isaiah 30:18 (NIV) says, “…the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”

Speaking of the future Millennium, Isaiah 30:26b (NIV) says “The LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.”

God now pleads with all Israel, “Return to him you have so greatly revolted against, O Israelites” (Isaiah 31:6, NIV).

There is hope for the future of God's children, Israel, both now and in the future. Soon she will awaken and return to the LORD, and Assyria will be annihilated. In the future, that area will also be devastated. Then when Jesus Christ comes back to rule and reign on the earth, the eyes of the Israelites will see the Messiah they now reject. They will turn to the Lord, repent and be saved. There is a similar hope for many parents—the LORD will work in their children's rebellious hearts, and they will turn to them again.

Do we, our children, or grandchildren have spiritual growing pains? Salvation is found in God alone. “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15a, NIV).

Lessons to Live By

  • We do not have to suffer growing pains as other rebellious Christians; God can deliver us from our trials if we will rely upon Him. The LORD protects those who look to Him for deliverance.
  • Those who live rebellious lives need to learn what Judah needs to learn: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV, more...)
  • Even in judgment God is gracious.
  • There is hope for many parents with rebellious children— the LORD will work in their hearts, and they will return and listen to them again.

Focus Verse

Isaiah 30:18 (NIV) “…the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”

praying handsWrite a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

A Look Ahead: Growing Pains teach us to rely on the LORD. This is especially helpful when we are Under Siege with troubles. Find out more in our Next Lesson.

Previous Lesson  |  Next Lesson

Back to top of page
Return to Chronological Bible Studies main page
Go to Scriptures main page
Go to Topics main page
Go to Home page

Scripture
Contact Us
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

COPYRIGHT @ 2019, MASTER'S TOUCH BIBLE STUDIES