Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub, your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, and say to him: ‘Take heed and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel”— thus says the Lord God: “It shall not stand, nor shall it come to pass.”‘” (Isaiah 7:3-7)
Be Careful, Be Quiet, And Do Not Fear
Ahaz was the 12th king of Judah, beginning his rule at twenty years of age. His reign would last for sixteen years, and unlike his father Jotham and his son Hezekiah, evil consumed his legacy. He patterned his life after the kings of Israel, including burning his children in the fire and following the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. During his reign, a confederacy of the Syrian king Rezin and fellow brethren led by the king of Israel, Pekah, came against Jerusalem to conquer the city. Pekah killed 120,000 people in one day and took captive more than 200,000. Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria, had taken the city of Elath, and the danger of the Assyrians loomed before king Ahaz. He sought to ally with the Assyrians but remained fearful of the partnership and designs of Tiglath-Pileser. Although a king who had rebelled against the Lord, Isaiah is sent to assure Ahaz that Jerusalem will not fall.
Facing uncertainty and the dread of his northern brethren and the Assyrians’ potential threat, Ahaz finds himself in an impossible place. The counsel of Isaiah is to give him the courage to face the imminent dangers that surround him. Even a wicked king has found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Isaiah’s assurance is a sound policy of dealing with forces that seem overwhelming but can be defeated. Isaiah will tell the king that God will not allow His Holy city to be destroyed by the Assyrians or Israel’s northern kingdom. As bleak and frightful the day may seem, God remains in control of the affairs of men. Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah plotted evil against the people of God, but a higher power will thwart their purpose. Ahaz needed to take heed, remain calm, and not fear. The Lord would deliver him if he trusted the power of God.
Storms often come in life. Some are squalls that pass quickly, and others are intense typhoons that bring fear, anxiety, and worry to the most stalwart’s minds. Like king Ahaz, the future looks bleak if not without hope. Isaiah’s message is the security of knowing that God has a way of working His power into every storm. He is greater than the mightiest storm or trial that comes against righteousness, and He will not allow His people to be destroyed if they will but trust in Him. The city of Jerusalem did not fall by the hands of the northern tribes of Israel, and a more powerful nation would defeat Assyria. A time would come when judgment would be brought against the holy city, but that was in God’s design and purpose. Facing storms requires the insight to believe that God will prevail. It is taking heed to the word of the Lord, trusting in His promises, and keeping the heart from fear. God’s way is how to face conflict. It requires a heart that is not easily moved. The hosts of wickedness stand against the work of the Lord but will never prevail. Being fearless in the face of adversity is the metal God’s people are made of. When the calm resolve of faith enters the heart, then fear is taken away. Let the mind find the peace of God that passes all understanding. Be careful. Be quiet. Do not fear.