He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “this is the way, walk in it,”…Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!” Isaiah 30:19-22 (ESV)
When the people of God have accumulated idols of lesser delight and God acts to deliver them, there is a tearing away from the idols that is often accompanied by much confusion and pain. Yet his purpose is to bless his people. It may feel like wrath and abandonment, but it is love at the highest level. He loves us too much to leave us depending on the uncertainty of false gods. The level of joy he has provided is so far superior to anything other sources offer, it would be cruel to leave his beloved to secondary and temporary pleasures.
The first cry for help coming from those eating the bread of adversity and drinking the water of affliction is for the long adored idols to be restored. “Please God, give us back the good times of temporal pleasure with the comfort and ease we once had. The American dream fascinated us for so long. We loved being rich and privileged. Give it back.”
He does answer. But as the Father who really cares, he answers with the eternal solution and not with temporary solace. As soon as we cry, he hears. As soon as hears, he answers. But his answer is to open our eyes to see the Teacher and to open our ears to hear the Teacher. We know from the New Testament that the Teacher is the Holy Spirit sent by the Father and Son to guide us into all truth. As we begin to see clearly, we see the foolishness of false gods and can choose to throw them away. It begins to make sense that Jesus would say, in essence, “Since it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the entire kingdom, sell what you have and give to the needy.” Why not sell the idols that have enslaved us and force them to serve our purpose to feed the hungry and clothe the naked?
These are days of great deliverance! God is showing us the Teacher, and we are hearing his word. The treasure of knowing God the Father as the Son knows him is so great we want to clean house of all idols that compete with finding this treasure. It is not time to cry for the deceptive pleasures of consumption. It is time to cry for God to open our eyes to see the Teacher.