(Isaiah 7:1-9 HCSB) 1 This took place during the reign of Ahaz, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah king of Judah: Rezin king of Aram, along with Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, waged war against Jerusalem, but he could not succeed. 2 When it became known to the house of David that Aram had occupied Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the hearts of his people trembled like trees of a forest shaking in the wind. 3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-jashub to meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Fuller’s Field. 4 Say to him: Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two smoldering stubs of firebrands, the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and the son of Remaliah. 5 For Aram, along with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has plotted harm against you. They say, 6 ‘Let us go up against Judah, terrorize it, and conquer it for ourselves. Then we can install Tabeel’s son as king in it.'” 7 This is what the Lord GOD says: It will not happen; it will not occur. 8 The head of Aram is Damascus, the head of Damascus is Rezin (within 65 years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people), 9 the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.
The historical account that we read in Isaiah 7 relates a very common theme in the Old Testament. God’s people are threatened and attacked, they respond in fear, and the Lord sends a word of encouragement through one of His prophets. It seems that after this cycle had repeated itself enough times that the people of God could respond with some confidence. But, once again, we see them giving in to fear.
God spoke very clearly to Isaiah. In response to the threat He said, “It will not happen; it will not occur.” Shouldn’t that be the end of the story? Hadn’t God proven Himself faithful? Didn’t He deserve the trust of His people? Surely so!
Before we condemn these fearful people, let’s get honest about our own responses to God’s commands. Isn’t it true that God has made His will very clear to us? We really don’t have to guess about what constitutes sinful attitudes or actions. And yet, how many times do we just choose to disobey? When it comes to issues of the heart, do we not often do what we know violates His will. What about our finances? Have we become generous tithers and givers in accordance with His word? What about our words? Do we allow cursing and praise to come out of the same mouth? And yet, His word clearly states that this should not happen.
The people in our reading had a direct word from God. It was not ambiguous. Read it again…“Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two smoldering stubs of firebrands…”
To summarize, God had told them to be calm and quiet; don’t be cowardly. Why? Because everything their enemies had threatened “will not happen; it will not occur.” BOOM! There ya go! The Lord has spoken!
But the Lord knew they needed one additional instruction. “If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.” The victory would become evident in an atmosphere of faith. If they didn’t believe, they would not receive.
This concept is revisited in the New Testament as well. James writes, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8 HCSB)
Does the devil have you backed into a corner? Are you fearful of some threat that has come your way? Take the words of the Lord seriously…. Stand firm in your faith!
PRAYER: Lord, I’m trusting You today and every day! I can do so because I believe Your promises cover every area of my life. Your hand is not shortened that it cannot save and deliver. My hope is in You! Amen.