Here we find Israel as captives of Babylon because of their sins (Isaiah 50:1). Ironically, Babylon, a nation that rejects God, has enslaved Israel, a nation that God has rejected. Israel had become self-dependent instead of trusting Yahweh and obstinate in their lack of obedience. Furthermore, Israel had rejected Isaiah, God’s messenger (Isaiah 50:4-7). Not only did they not believe the message, but they showed contempt for the messenger. Israel’s act of rejection rendered them doubly guilty. Israel ignored God’s message and the medium by which He attempted to communicate and, thereby, rejected God altogether. Therefore, God reverted to other means of getting their attention.

In a way, the people of Israel are like many of us today. Our hearts, in some capacity, have grown cold and callous, and it has been a long season of feeling captive or in bondage, lifeless, and rejected. This may result from our continual disobedience or disregard for God’s direction. However, we see that God offered hope to Israel then, and he offers hope to us today.

The pivotal word for Israel’s hope was “consider.” Isaiah encourages Israel to consider its history; the people should remember from whom and where they came. Isaiah points them to Abraham, an insignificant nomad from Ur, a region in the land of the Chaldeans, and Sarah, who also lacked any noticeable features. Before God called them, they were both just average people—who also happened to give birth after they “were old, advanced in years [and] the way of women” was no longer with Sarah to bear children (Genesis 18:11).

From this “average” couple, God builds a nation—He creates a people that He favors above all others for Himself. However, note that only Abraham believed God’s messengers; Sarah laughed (Genesis 18:12-15). The Bible tells us that because Abraham believed God, it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:1-22). God took an ordinary man who simply trusted Him and built a nation, among other amazing things. But Abraham had to believe God, and he could only believe God after seeking him out.

It is very easy for us to read the Bible and rationalize it as truth—we can find many reasons why we should believe it. However, we often struggle with believing who the Bible is written about. Don’t miss this. We can believe in God without actually believing God when He speaks to us. Therefore, we pick out some random verse and claim it as “our promise,” and we replace God with His word, separating the two. Unlike the messengers, Abraham and Sarah encountered, Isaiah and the judges were not God. However, through all of His messengers, God revealed His nature to the intended listeners.

As a believer, it is crucial to not only believe the message but also believe the Messenger. We cannot separate the two—God and His word are the same. The purpose of His word is not simply to tell us about Him but to reveal Himself—His heart, nature, and character—to us. True hope is not merely rattling off a few verses but is found in genuinely seeking God. Just consider what God did through Abraham because he trusted God. Just consider what God could do through you if you did the same.