In this Chapter Isaiah goes to speak to King Ahaz about some trouble makers Rezin the King of Syria and Pekah the king of Israel. They had gotten together to war against Judah. But God spoke to Ahaz through Isaiah and told him not to worry about it. Verses 7-9 read,
“7 thus says the Lord God:
“‘It shall not stand,
and it shall not come to pass.
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is Rezin.
And within sixty-five years
Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you are not firm in faith,
you will not be firm at all.’”
God told them to have faith in Him and let Him take care of the problem. The two forces Syria and Ephraim (Israel) did join forces and they were fierce. Ahaz was terrified and his people were terrified too. God reminded Ahaz to stand firm in faith, trust Him, and see that He would protect them.
God wanted to strengthen Ahaz faith, He wanted to show Him that He meant business. So He did this amazing thing He said, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” (Verse 11). But Ahaz decided to take a falsely pious route, he acted like God was testing him instead of offering to show His power and might. Ahaz answered, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” He denied The LORD the opportunity to use him to show His power. He didn’t allow God to be glorified and his people’s faith strengthened by a great sign. The Lord asked Ahaz to put Him to the test! He told Him to ask for any sign no matter how extravagant and He would do it. He wanted to make their faith firm by showing His might and power. God offered Ahaz a miracle and Ahaz said no. I can almost hear His heavy sigh of exasperation as He answered the king. Verses 13-16 read,
“And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.”
The Lord had told Ahaz that not only would He be with them, but this war be completely over in less than 13 years. He was more powerful than any army, any king, or any force on earth. But he had more. He said, “This war will be short and you’ll be fine, but there is another king coming and the war he wages will not be so easy. The king of Assyria will come and he will shame you, bring the economy to its knees and leave a small remnant of survivors.”
God’s prophecy had more than one meaning and more than one time when they would come to pass. During Ahaz time a currently unmarried girl would have a child and before he reached the age when he could make moral decisions the war would be over.
But we also know this is the greatest and most wonderful sign we could ever ask for. The prophecy of Jesus birth, God Himself coming to earth to make a way for our salvation. The prophecy concerning the king of Assyria mirrors what will happen to the earth in the last days when the antichrist comes to destroy man and make war against God. But we have faith and we stand firm in our faith. We know that God has the plan and He has the victory.
Have you been afraid to let God reveal His power to you or through you? Ahaz had the chance to allow God to reveal His great power by asking for a miracle. But used piety as an excuse for his faithlessness. He used God’s own sovereignty as an excuse. God told Ahaz to ask, and Ahaz refused. What comfort would that brought to a terrified people? What goodness? Ahaz wasn’t a super great stand-up guy, but God still wanted to do something wonderful for him.
God wants to strengthen your faith by revealing Himself through you. He wants to use and be glorified through you. He wants to do great things through you. What excuses are you using to deny God His glory? Are you too good to ask God for a miracle? Are you afraid you’re not good enough for God to do something for you? Are you to afraid that God will not be there when you ask? Do you think God can’t or won’t do it?
God came to earth from the splendor of Heaven. He sent His precious and wonderful Son, Jesus to the world because of His deep love. He already did a miracle bigger and deeper than anything we could come up with. Don’t be afraid to ask for more. Don’t be afraid to let God do the impossible through you.
Here are some reminders that God still wants to do great things in your life, for you and through you.
John 14:12-14 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
James 4:2-3 “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”