“In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth,” (Isaiah 10:20 ESV).
You have to read this a few times to get it. At least I did. The first few times I read it, my mind heard, “Eventually I will turn away from the other things I’ve chased and will finally lean on God.” And that’s a great idea. But after reading it a few times in a row, something jumped out at me. It says they “will no more lean on him who struck them…”. So much of the time, the things we run to other than God really hurt us. And yet we continue to run to them. It immediately reminded me of a day I learned about abusive relationships when I was in high school. A young high school couple was screaming at each other in the parking lot after a dance. It was teetering on the edge of becoming physically violent and so I stepped in and took the girl home. She was a friend of my sister, but the two of them didn’t even speak the whole way to her house. Her older brother recognized me when I dropped her off and asked me what was going on. I explained it to him quickly and I think he headed off to enact violence of his own. But a couple of weeks later I saw the couple together again. I couldn’t understand it. Finally a mentor started helping me understand the abused mindset. When you don’t think you deserve any relationship, you’ll stay in anything. The abuse is horrible but it’s better than being alone. It’s better than the unknown.
This passage applies that same concept to the situation between us and our sin. Our mistakes are hurting us. They are damaging our lives. And yet we return to them, because we understand them. Because we don’t think we deserve any better. Our guilt from drinking leads us to drink more. We know porn is destroying how we think and how we look at those around us. We know it’s hardening our heart to true love and yet we return to it just trying to feel something. The pain of past mistakes leads to new mistakes trying to cover or escape the old ones. But God says that one day we will not lean on these things that have hurt us and let us down anymore. We will finally lean on Him. I hope that day comes sooner than later.