“Lord, in their trouble they have visited you. They poured out a prayer when your chastening was upon them” Is 26:16
It is as though Gods chastisement causes distress from outside, yet it results to continue growth in glory. The cause of strength is not in the distress, but in the hidden hand of God, capable of raising from the dead. The prophet saw his people like a woman writhing in the pains of labour; to deliver, after all the trouble, only wind; namely nothing. With the intervention of God, though, even if man, in his pain reaches to death, God is capable of granting him resurrection, of giving him a new resurrected life, filled with joy and praise.
The wicked suffer as though in labour, to give birth only to wind or vain pride, while the children of God also suffer, yet they give birth, with the spirit of God, to a likeness of Him. Pain outside the Lord Christ delivers wind, while in Him it delivers resurrection!
“come, My people, enter your chambers and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past” Is 26:20
As God chastises He proclaims His love for our salvation, He called the duration of his wrath “a little moment” that soon passes by, anticipating to reward His believers, while the wicked would drink from the cup of their evil, they filled up by themselves.
Our whole life, with its pain, is but “a little moment” that soon passes by, not to be compared to a glorified limitless eternity with no end. That is why St Augustine says: “there is a comfort in death”.
“see the Lord is coming out of His dwelling…” Is 26:21
He is a heavenly father, who does not like to punish, yet, if he chastises, He is as though He comes out of His place, that is to say out of His compassionate mercy. It is our transgression and rebellion that make Him, as though coming out of His place to punish. Even, in his coming out, He seeks to embrace us, to get us back to the throne of His mercy.