Wednesday, July 22, 2020

22 July 2020 - Isaiah 7

22 July 2020
Isaiah 7 is for devotion today.

It comes just after Isaiah answers the call of God. Immediately, Isaiah is thrust into the unstable political nightmare that existed for the kingdom of Judah. Here’s a bit of history.

Assyria was threatening the kingdoms of Syria, Israel and Judah and so Syria and Israel decided to join forces. They wanted Judah to join too, but they wouldn’t. So, Syria and Israel instead tried to conquer Judah and make them agree to an alliance.

This is the situation King Ahaz of Judah was facing. Syria, Israel and Assyria were all against him, and that’s why “the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind” (v. 2). But God sent Isaiah to meet Ahaz (v. 3) to tell him:

“Just calm down, don’t be afraid and don’t lose heart because the forces of Syria and Israel are like smoldering stumps, like two charred pieces of wood Vs 4. They looked like a big, flaming threat to Ahaz, but God looked and saw two stubs of smoking firebrands, and simply said, "It shall not stand, nor shall it come to pass."

GOD IS ALWAYS BIGGER THAN WHAT YOU FEAR. Do you believe this about God - that what you fear most is not too difficult for Him? Will you trust Him when the chips are down and your resources are spent?
 
Isaiah adds an encouragement right here that is so important: IF YOU DON’T FIGHT THE FIGHT OF FAITH, YOU WILL NOT STAND AT ALL. If you don't nail down your confidence in God beyond the circumstances, if you don't hold fast to the One who made you and controls what happens in your life, you will be winging it without Him.

God was calling Ahaz to align himself to the spiritual reality: that he needs to be a man of faith rather than a man of sight; to believe in God rather than trusting in the flesh.

What is it, that you are unable to see through the eyes of faith?  Are you willing to trust His leading in difficult moments, even when your feelings are conflicted? Would you move from feelings to Obedience?


Vs 10-11: "Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz: "Ask for a sign from the LORD your God - Do you see what is being offered to Ahaz? " God was telling Ahaz that He was calling him to God to show Ahaz that He is more than able to handle that problem.

Now, with that offer from God, Ahaz plays at being religious. In vs 12, he answers, "I will not ask. I will not test the Lord." It was just an excuse to rely on his strength.

Ahaz failed to believe in God's saving presence. Haven't we, in some way, been where Ahaz was? Haven't we rejected the gracious gift of seeing God handle our problems?

Well, that was the moment for Isaiah. And it's at this moment, that something so amazing, so outright incredible is uttered, with all kinds of pressures and fears crowding in on Ahaz, Isaiah describes God’s intentions in ways that puts hope in your hearts. A miraculous incentive: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and His name is Immanuel. The heart of the sign is Immanuel….

God Himself will perform this sign. The Lord Himself will give us a sign.  God will do all that He has purposed and none can stand against it. Yes, Immanuel “God is with us."

There is nothing too difficult for God. “Trust Him with your problems, believe His promises, hang on even when it feels too hard to hang on - and you will see what God can do."