New American Standard Bible
“I have kept silent for a long time,
I have kept still and restrained Myself.
Now like a woman in labor I will groan,
I will both gasp and pant.
I will lay waste the mountains and hills
And wither all their vegetation;
I will turn the rivers into coastlands
And dry up the ponds.
I will lead those who are blind by a way they have not known,
In paths they have not known I will guide them.
I will turn darkness into light before them
And uneven land into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will not leave them undone.”
They will be turned back and be utterly put to shame,
Who trust in [a]idols,
Who say to cast metal images,
“You are our gods.”
The patience and mercy of God is far greater than we understand. God says “I have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained myself”. God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). God’s desire is that people would come to repentance, turn from their wickedness, and He would heal them. As long as we remain pursuing wickedness and sin, we will be destroyed by it.
Everything God gives us in our lives is a gift to be received.
But now the Lord says like a woman in labor He will groan. When a woman spends hours in labor the contractions she experiences intensify the closer she gets to the time of delivery. God has a specific timetable for the return of His Son and the completion of all things concerning Israel. We who live today look back on what Jesus has done. Those who lived before the cross, looked to the coming of the Messiah. But God in His time will complete all that He has planned and proposed because He is God Almighty and His power and might are without limit.
The Lord will remove any obstacle that stands in the way of all that He has planned concerning Israel. Here Isaiah speaks of the day when Israel would be set free of the bondage of Babylon. Israel would go into captivity for seventy years for their wickedness and sin. God would use this time to refine them and remove all desire to worship idols. But when it came time for Israel to return to the land, nothing would stand in the way of the purposes of God. God moved on the heart of Cyrus for Israel to return and to begin to rebuild. Every purpose of God is in the hands of God. When God begins something, He is the one who will fulfill and complete it by His mighty power.
The Lord says He will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them. For us to get to where we need to go according to the plans of God requires full trust in God Almighty. He leads us as a shepherd. God led Israel out of the bondage of Egypt through His servant Moses. God empowered Moses to accomplish signs and wonders that demonstrated how awesome God truly is. God led Israel out of Babylonian captivity. Through His servant Daniel the Lord positioned him and gave him favor with those who were ruling during his lifetime.
If we ever believe the purposes and plans of God are impossible for one moment, we have believed the lie of the enemy. God’s purposes are accomplished by His mighty hand. God simply calls us to trust Him. He says “I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains”. During Israel’s deliverance from Egypt the Israelites went forth in the middle of the night. The Lord was a cloud by day which protected them from the heat and elements. The Lord was a pillar of fire by night which God gave them light in the darkness and heat in the midst of the cold temperatures of the desert when the sun is absent. God provided all they needed for the journey even when they continually rebelled and complained.
God gives a promise that He will not leave them undone. God will always complete what He has begun. Anytime God chooses a people or a person, He knows their every mistake and shortcoming. When God chose Israel He knew their continually rebellion and complaining. But God’s grace and mercy are far greater than we understand. When God chooses us He knows our every mistake and shortcoming. But even in the midst of all of that the Lord is faithful to complete what He has started in us.
For those who continue in the worship of idols and the work of their hands, in the end they will be destroyed by it. They will utterly be put to shame. They have trusted in objects and false gods. They trust in something they cannot see that will not save them, but will destroy them in the end. All idol worship at its foundation is demonically influenced and empowered. It carries with it often sexual practices that are contrary to God and His kingdom. Those who trust in the Lord will not be put to shame. Those who make the Lord their refuge and strength, will walk in victory at all times.