Chapter thirty speaks against “the rebellious children” of Israel (Isaiah 30:1-5). More specifically, the adults and leaders were acting like children. Rather than seeking wisdom from God, they were making plans and alliances without consulting God. Thinking that Assyria would defeat them, they tried to get help from Egypt, but God promised that would bring “but only shame and disgrace.” The little message “about the animals in the Negev” seems to indicate that the people were planning to travel through the Negev to get to Egypt for help (Isaiah 30:6-7). Constable finds this ironic as it was the exact route (except the opposite direction) they took during the Exodus. They were literally planning to go backward and would find no help.
God told Isaiah to write this prophecy down on a tablet so that it could be preserved for a future generation (Isaiah 30:8-17). This was important because the people of Isaiah’s day were not listening anyway. Like many in the Church today (2 Timothy 4:3), they were shutting down those who spoke the truth, and listening only to those who preached what they wanted to hear. They relied on their own abilities to connive their way around the truth, but God said it would not last for long. Had they trusted in him, they would not have suffered judgment, but instead they faced a shattering from which only God could restore them.
And he will restore them (Isaiah 30:18-30). In fact, he is ready to do it whenever they return to him. This will be at the end of the Tribulation, but even though that is the prophesied point of return, he will faithfully restore them immediately, without delay, when that time comes. He will show them how to live, and they will respond by throwing away their idols. He will bless them with abundant crops, and they will respond in song and praise. They did not have to worry about making an alliance against Assyria, because God would protect them, if they would have simply trusted in him. In the future, their protection is guaranteed.