God With Us
Gracious Lord, I trust in Your unfailing love and relax in Your constant care for me each day.
Read Isaiah 7:1-17
 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.  Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.  Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field.  Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood-because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.  Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying,  “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.”  Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “‘It will not take place, it will not happen,  for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.  The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son. If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.'”  Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,  “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”  But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test.”  Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also?  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.  He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right,  for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.  The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah-he will bring the king of Assyria.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat special "sign" was King Ahaz given here?
Enter Ahaz, king of Judah, stage right. Rezin and Pekah, rulers of Syria and Israel, enter stage left, aiming together to overpower Jerusalem and form a coalition which will resist the threat from the powerful Assyria. Although unsuccessful (1), Judah’s king is still pretty shaken by it all (2). So God sends Isaiah with a message of warning mixed with a good dose of encouragement (7) — and the offer of a pretty spectacular sign (11). Ahaz reckons he doesn’t want to put God to the test. Or is it really that he is set on his own course of action, choosing his own allies but sounding super-spiritual at the same time (12)? Does that ring any bells with us? Sometimes we have to believe God when he says incredible things, even if we don’t really understand them. We may have to give up our chosen course of action, and just trust that God does know best. You can hear Isaiah’s frustration here (13), but God still wants him to give Ahaz the sign! He would only see as far ahead as a son for Isaiah, but we have the privilege of being able to recognize the promise of the coming of Jesus (14).
Is there any situation in which you need to trust that God knows best? Ask his help, if you need it.
“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” (9). Pray for a firm faith.