“Standing Firm in Your Faith”
Fear - why does it seem that this is our “go-to” emotion when we are faced with difficult circumstances in life? King Ahaz in today’s passage was faced with a great army of two of his enemies, the King of Aram and Pekah, the king of Israel. When Ahaz and the people of Israel heard of the unification of Ephraim (northern kingdom of Israel) and Aram, the Bible says their hearts were shaken, like the trees of the forest in wind.
Ahaz was not a good king of Judah. In 2 Kings 16 we learn that Ahaz did evil in the sight of the Lord and took part in detestable practices. He was certainly no glorious example for the people to follow regarding their worship of God. But even so, God still was watching over Judah for despite the people’s fear of their northern neighbors, God told them that their overthrow by those two kingdoms would never happen.
The most poignant part of that passage for me is the last half of verse 9…”If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” These are such wise words for us today. We live in a period in history that seems to be repeating itself. It is difficult to take a stand against the world as it seems to be pushing back at Christians from every side. We all know Christians who have tried to “befriend” the world in an effort to reach others while in reality they themselves fall prey to what the world has to offer.
We must take a lesson today to trust in God. He knows what we need in our most dark times and He is faithful. We must have faith to let the Lord lead us in the path that we should go and to always place our faith and trust in Him. It is only be standing firm in our faith that we can be assured that we won’t fall for the wrong things when they are offered to us or when they come our way. Pray for the strength to have that firm a faith and then spend time with the Lord to develop it. Do not fear like a tree shaken in the forest by the wind. Instead place your hope and trust in the Lord and know that He is working His purposes out according to His best and perfect plan.
Isaiah 7:1-9 (ESV):
7:1 In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. 2 When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.
3 And the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. 4 And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, 6 “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,” 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.’”