“I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will guide them on paths they have not known. I will turn darkness to light in front of them and rough places into level ground. This is what I will do for them, and I will not abandon them” (Isaiah 42.16).
“Known to God from eternity are all His works” (Acts 15.18). God is working on an ever-illuminated path. He sees the beginning and the end of His plan. Nothing is unclear to Him. Roughly 700 years before the birth of our Lord Jesus, God saw the exile of His people, their return, and the first coming of His Son. His program continues to unfold with the building of the church of Jesus Christ to this very day.
Here, the LORD will lead Israel by a way they did not know but He fully knew. I believe Isaiah had both the exile and restoration in view, but he also had the last days in view. We live in those last days. We are blind and aimless. We sit in darkness and negotiate rough places. We are guilty of sin and idolatry just like every generation preceding us. We deserve eternal wrath and indignation from the LORD. God makes that known to us. He makes it known to me, and I am cut to the heart. What can I do? I can only follow the LORD by a way that I could not possibly understand to the light in front of me. He does this for me. He will not abandon me.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I come to the Father only through Him. I am made clean and righteous only through Him. Still, even now, I face the depravity of my own heart on a daily basis. I am tempted, tried, and often failing. I face great affliction, pain, and suffering. If the Lord has led me to level ground, why is it so difficult? It is difficult because He is teaching me to trust in Him. He is teaching me humility or dependence. Just as Peter needed to be winnowed so that He would rest in Christ and not his own self-confidence, even so I must face winnowing periods in this life. We all have “a thorn in the flesh …a messenger of Satan to buffet [us], lest [we] be exalted above measure” (2 Corinthians 12.7).
God didn’t leave Israel in Babylon. He has a plan for their future as well. God will not abandon me when it comes to my own struggles with sin. It may seem as if I have been forsaken and forgotten. I certainly deserve this. But I am confident of this: God has begun and good work in me, and He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ …that day when Christ returns and establishes His kingdom here on earth.
I can’t see what God sees. Known only to Him from eternity are all His works. I simply must wait and trust. Truly, God alone knows what is best for me. He knows what He is doing. I will commit my way to the LORD. I will also trust in Him. He will bring it to pass (Psalm 37.5).