Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 27-28, Isaiah 1-8; Psalm 39
Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem 16 years. He did NOT do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord, as his ancestor David had done…Because of all this, the Lord his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of the king of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army…At that time King Ahaz of Judah asked the king of Assyria for help…Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord. – 2 Chronicles 28:1,5,16,22
But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead? Look to God’s instructions and teachings! – Isaiah 8:19b-20a
Ahaz was still a young man when he became king of Judah, so naturally he looked to others for help. But why not look to the One who held the plan? Why not trust in God for rescue? It was during this time in Judah’s history that God called the prophet Isaiah to speak His message loud and clear: You CAN depend on God and it is foolishness to trust in anything or anyone else but God! That sounds like a great message for us today.
Don’t put your trust in mere humans.
They are as frail as breath. What good are they? – Isaiah 2:22
The horrible time that Judah was experiencing was a consequence of their sin. They needed the reminder that we serve a God who is able to break the power of sin and help us survive the mess we have made. When we look around and trouble surrounds us, when all we can see is the result of bad decisions and sinful actions, we can know that OUR GOD IS THERE TO GUIDE US OUT OF THE PREDICAMENT WE FIND OURSELVES IN. The secret – surrender and trust in God so that we can experience the grace that rescues God’s people from the consequences of their sins.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
If you will only obey me…” – Isaiah 1:18-19a
God’s grace and mercy are calling out to us. He is eager to wash us clean and restore our relationship with Him. So what keeps us from running back into His arms? Why do we turn to other people or to other solutions for help when our Creator and loving Father is beckoning us? Is it pride? Do we struggle to find the humility needed to repent of our sins?
Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled.
Only the Lord will be exalted on the day of judgment.
For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning.
He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted…
Human pride will be humbled and human arrogance will be brought down.
Only the Lord will be exalted on that day of judgment. – Isaiah 2:11-12,17
King Ahaz and the people were trembling with fear and the Lord sent Isaiah to them. He had this message for the king: Stop worrying. You do not need to fear the fierce anger of other nations. But unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm (Isaiah 7:2-9).
God said: “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want – as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.”
But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”
Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? All right then, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey. For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted.” – Isaiah 7:11-16
Do you need a sign from God? Do you need confirmation that your God is trustworthy and wants to restore you? Are you trembling with fear and in need of faith so that God can help you stand firm against what you are facing? Look – the sign you are seeking is in His Son, Jesus Christ.
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” – Isaiah 2:3b
Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
He is the One you should fear.
He is the One who should make you tremble.
He will keep you safe…
May this be our testimony today, no matter what we are facing:
I will wait for the Lord…I will put my hope in him. – Isaiah 8:13-14a,17
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.
Rescue me from my rebellion… – Psalm 39:4-8a
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. – Psalm 62:5-6