8:13 You must recognize the authority of the Lord who commands armies. He is the one you must respect; he is the one you must fear.
There is nothing more difficult than trusting God during tough times. Isaiah was a prophet that God spoke to concerning His people Israel. God was preparing to discipline his people who rebelled against Him and who broke their part of the Covenant. It was part of the deal: If Israel sinned, they would be removed from the land and lose out on protection and blessing. If they were faithful, they would enjoy the land, get protection from God, and be prosperous.
Israel was about to go through disasterous times. But what about the few who were faithful? What should the righteous do when they suffer?
1. Remember the authority (sovereignty) of God. He commands the armies. God was telling Isaiah that He was working out His plans- even through the wicked nation of Assyria who would be used as the instrument to conquer Israel. We all need to know that God is continually at work. We do not know all His plans, but we know the plans are His!
2. He is the one we must respect. He is the one we must fear. God was telling Isaiah to completely trust God with his life. While one day sin, death, and suffering will be destroyed, Isaiah lived in a time of transition. The world Isaiah knew was not the one that would one day exist. Personal suffering was a reality in his world, so he had to trust God for the world of justice, mercy and peace that did not yet exist. The same is true for us. God calls His people to unequivocally trust in Him.
Isaiah eventually was among those who was taken into exile. He lost everything he knew and was stripped of all his comforts. He suffered because of the unfaithfulness of others. Yet, Isaiah remained faithful to Yahweh. In order to make it through trials requires an enduring steadfast trust in God. We must remember that we only know only a little bit of God’s plans. If we have experienced God’s faithfulness to us, then when times are tough, let’s continue to be faithful to Him.