Jesus Came, Don’t Fear

7:3-6 – 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. 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. Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, “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,”

The people of God are in a place where they need God Himself, and God is not too far away to know what His people are feeling and fearing.  He responds to their “shaking” by sending Isaiah and his son Shear-jashub outside the city to meet Ahaz.  The margins in most Bibles indicate that the Isaiah’s son Shear-jashub means “a remnant shall return”.  This is important because God didn’t tell Isaiah to bring his son for no reason, Isaiah 8:18 makes that clear when Isaiah says, “I and the children the Lord has given me are signs to Israel.”  The boy’s presence with Isaiah would have indicated, to Ahaz, that God will be faithful to His people and will always keep a remnant alive and close to Himself.  Did you notice where Isaiah meets Ahaz by the upper pool?  This is important because an adequate water supply is an absolute necessity for a city under siege.  Why so?  Because if these two nations cut off their water supply, Jerusalem’s done.  I think Ahaz was at the pool already to check on its condition, or was already making improvements to it in case battle took place.

At this pool, Isaiah proclaims two positive commands to a trembling Ahaz: “Be careful, be quiet…” and two negative commands “do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint…”  Each of these four commands pleads with Ahaz to trust God rather than fear man.  The message to Ahaz is when one trusts in the Lord, there is no need to fear the actions of any man, army, or nation.  Similarly, Proverbs 3:25-26 says, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”  Indeed, when God says “Do not fear” one should not fear.  But put yourself in Ahaz’s shoes; two large nations joining together to attack your small city?  I’d be afraid for sure!  This would have felt like the entire US Army and Navy coming up against Delaware.  Isaiah knows this, so he continues to encourage Ahaz by saying that even though these nations are large and fierce, they are nothing more than charred smoking wood.  Isaiah doesn’t even mention the name of the puppet king they’re hoping to install on the throne and merely refers to him as the “son of Tabeel”, one who is obviously not a son of David.  Ahaz has no reason to fear, because no one can lift a finger against or nullify the covenant God has made with the house of David.

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