You did not . . . have regard for the One who planned it long ago. Isaiah 22:11
In the late sixteenth century, William of Orange intentionally flooded much of his nation’s land. The Dutch monarch resorted to such a drastic measure in an attempt to drive out the invading Spaniards. It didn’t work, and a vast swath of prime farmland was lost to the sea. “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” they say.
In Isaiah’s day, Jerusalem turned to desperate measures when the Assyrian army threatened them. Creating a water storage system to endure the siege, the people also tore down houses to shore up the city walls. Such tactics may have been prudent, but they neglected the most important step. “You built a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool,” God said, “but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago” (Isaiah 22:11).
We aren’t likely to encounter a literal army outside our homes today. “The batterings always come in commonplace ways and through commonplace people,” said Oswald Chambers. Yet, such “batterings” are genuine threats. Thankfully, they also bring with them God’s invitation to turn to Him first for what we need.
When life’s irritations and interruptions come, will we see them as opportunities to turn to God? Or will we seek our own desperate solutions?
What ordinary threats do you face today? What do you need to face them?
Today, loving God, I turn to You first with all of my challenges, large and small.
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The reservoir built between the two walls for the water of the “Old Pool” (Isaiah 22:11) is most likely Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which can still be seen (and walked through) in Jerusalem today. Hezekiah had a tunnel dug under the old city of Jerusalem south of the Temple Mount. The tunnel connected the spring of Gihon in the Kidron Valley on the east side of the city to the pool now known as the Pool of Siloam to the west. Its purpose was to bring water from that spring inside the city walls so that any besieging army wouldn’t be able to access water, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem would have water. It was a sound military strategy, and Isaiah doesn’t critique it. Instead, he critiques the priority of physical preparation over paying attention first to the spiritual. But Hezekiah later demonstrates a faith not evident in Isaiah 22 (see ch. 37).