November 10, 2023
There is no one who desires to be used by God who is not faced with enemies. We all deal with external enemies (opposers to the direction God has called us to), internal enemies (the weakness of our flesh and the swirling winds of our emotions and fears), and, most importantly, spiritual enemies (“We wrestle not against flesh and blood”). These battles are there for all of us, particularly for Christian leaders.
King Ahaz, in Isaiah’s day, had two firebrands who came against him. Their attack on Jerusalem demoralized the people of Israel and “his heart and the hearts of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind” (Isaiah 7:2).
But God is never silent on behalf of His children. He spoke to his prophet, Isaiah, giving him a word for the King and his people. This promise from the Higher Throne contained a word to Ahaz’s heart, a promise to his mind, and a warning to his faith.
A SOOTHING WORD
God removed all reason for fear for His leader. A Voice from the Throne encouraged him to lay down his anxiety.
“Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah” (Isaiah 7:4)
A SURE PROMISE
The reason Ahaz could settle down in faith was God’s direct promise to him, spoken through the prophet. God can say things like this because He is The-God-Who-Sees. He knows the future and holds everything in His hands, including our enemies.
“Because Aram, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you, saying, ‘Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,’ thus says the Lord God: ‘It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.’ (Isaiah 7:5-7)
A SOBER WARNING
But there was a critical, final admonition in God’s instruction. Ahaz must exercise faith. He must believe God. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God, and there are some things that God won’t do if we do not believe (just ask the people of Nazareth, for whom even Jesus would do nothing because of their unbelief).
“If you will not believe, you surely shall not last.” (Isaiah 7:9)
AND YOU ...
The reason God has recorded such accounts in the Scripture is to show us who He is, but also to speak to us with life-changing force. Events from centuries ago are designed to direct us today—personally, specifically, powerfully—if we have ears to hear.
Do you have a current enemy? A problem or person that is storming your gates? Is this God’s word to you regarding your situation? Ask His Spirit, who lives within you, to give clarity. If God is applying this word from Isaiah to you, be encouraged!
Calm your mind, and do not be fainthearted. Accept His sure promise that what is happening will not stand. But most importantly, believe fervently and faithfully in the God-Who-Sees. And then, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Your story will be added to the continuing record of those who found God greater than any enemy.
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