The prophet Isaiah said of Israel: “‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the Lord, ‘who take counsel but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin’” (Isaiah 30:1). The Hebrew word for woe here signifies a deep sorrow and grief over what God describes as rebellion, meaning backsliding, stubbornness, a turning away.
Simply put, God said, “My people no longer consult me. They don’t look to me for guidance and counsel. Instead, they lean on the arm of flesh and every time they act without seeking me, turning to the world for help, they pile sin upon sin. They have forsaken their trust in the strong arm of the Lord.”
Today, we think of rebellion as refusing to obey God’s Word and turning to drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality and other gross sins. But the rebellion God refers to here is far more grievous than these things. The Lord’s own people were saying, “Let’s not bother God with this; we have the wisdom and we’ll do it on our own.”
God’s people knew full well that they were to trust the Lord in every situation, no matter how insignificant. The Psalms constantly reminded them of this: “My soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge” (Psalm 57:1). “Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice” (Psalm 63:7).
The Lord is grieved when you take steps to make your plans work without waiting for him to act. You really want to pray about everything and let God have control but too often when a crisis arises and things seem to be progressing slowly, you end up taking matters into your own hands. You may grow impatient with the Lord’s timetable but it is vital to remember that your own reasoning will not bring about God’s best plan. And the Word promises a place of refuge and rejoicing when you trust in him.