Who Will You Trust?
“Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” – Isaiah 7:9b NLT
Life is all about trust. Every day we are faced with opportunities to trust. We trust that our alarm will go off in the morning and wake us up for work or school. We trust that when we flip the switch on the wall, the lights will come on. We trust that the food we eat will provide us with nourishment, not make us sick. We trust that our cars will start, our drives to work will be safe, and our jobs will still be there. We spend our days trusting. We trust the chairs we sit in, the traffic lights that tell us to go or stop. We trust the cashier to give us the right change. We trust the government to do what is right. Okay, so maybe that one is a stretch. But we trust in a lot of things, including people. But why do we have such a hard time trusting God?
This section of the book of Isaiah is all about Judah’s lack of trust in God. In the face of pending trouble, they are turning away from God and planning to place their trust elsewhere. King Ahaz of Judah is being threatened by King Pekah of Israel and King Resin of Syria. They are getting ready to attack Judah if King Ahaz does not make an alliance with them against Assyria. And this situation had the king and people of Judah scared. “So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm” (Isaiah 7:2 NLT). But God tells Isaiah to take his young son, Shear-jashub, whose name means, “a remnant shall return,” and go to King Ahaz and tell him “to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers” (Isaiah 7:4 NLT). Isaiah is to tell Ahaz that this invasion will never happen. God is in control, not the kings of Syria and Israel. But God needs for Ahaz to stand firm in his faith. God wants Ahaz to trust in Him, not these two kings.
Immanuel – God with us
God gives Ahaz a sign. A young, unmarried woman would have a child and she would call his name Immanuel, which means “God is with us.” From the time she became pregnant to the time this young child learned to speak, approximately three years, the two invading kings would be destroyed. This prophecy should have reminded Ahaz that God was indeed with him, as well as with Judah. But Ahaz had placed his trust elsewhere. He was already planning on making an alliance with Syria and Israel. So God would destroy these two nations and then call on the Assyrians to destroy Judah. But as Isaiah’s young son’s name reflects, God would preserve a remnant. And as the young woman’s son’s name illustrates, God would be with them. Why? Because of the promise He had made to David so many years before to keep his dynasty alive. Another king would come from David’s line – the King of kings and the Lord of lords – Jesus. He would be the ultimate Immanuel – God with us.
But while God will ultimately save Judah, He will still bring judgment on them for their rejection of Him. He will use the Assyrians to punish them for their rebelliousness. Their refusal to trust God would have serious consequences. Isaiah has another son and calls his name, Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Not exactly a household name, but it means “swift to plunder and quick to spoil.” God was about to deal with the sins of His people. “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloh, but they have rejected it” (Isaiah 8:5 NLT). The gently flowing love of God was about to turn into an overwhelming, devatating flood. “The Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood … submerging your land from one end to the other” (Isaiah 8:7 NLT). Their unwillingness to trust God would lead to their destruction. The closing verses of chapter eight are a reminder to us all that God is the one in whom we should place our trust. He will keep us safe. He will watch over us. He will protect us. We should put our hope in Him. We are to seek Him for help, guidance, comfort and protection. So who are you going to trust today?
Father, help me trust You today. Replace my fear with faith. You have never given me a reason to doubt You, yet I do so every day of my life. I want to learn to turn to You and rest in You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men