January 8, 2016

Isaiah 7:1-9

Isaiah declares the king of Judah, Ahaz, has nothing to fear though the armies of King Rezin of Aram (modern day Syria) and King Pekah of Israel are united and ready to attack from the north. Ahaz of Judah was terrorized into believing that even God could not save them.

Instead of standing firm in his faith, Ahaz caved. To protect himself, he tried to buy an alliance with an ancient enemy, the Assyrians, offering silver and gold from the temple (see 2 Kings 16:8). When the Assyrians arrived, they brought terror, not aid. Although it did not fall, Judah was severely punished and the northern kingdom of Israel was completely destroyed.

There is a lesson in this for us: If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all. In other words, stand firm or fall flat.

We may not face marauding armies amassing on our borders as Ahaz did, but life brings its own terrorizing alliances. Some experience extended illnesses whose allies are horrific medical bills. Others care for aging parents while balancing challenges at work. Even family members bring us woe when they align with the wrong crowd, as Israel and Judah did. What’s a believer to do?

God advises us to trust him and allow him to fight our battles. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” Remember that when you next observe life’s marauders amassing on your borders.

Don’t fear that enemy; place your trust in God. Stand firm or fall flat.