Jesus Came to Create Faith

7:7-9 –Thus says the Lord GOD: “‘It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass. 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. 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.'”

Isaiah reassures Ahaz with some words about the two kingdoms coming against him.  The first word is powerful, “It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass.”  Ahaz should know through these words that his own present fears are not present in the mind of God.  This coalition and their plans will fail to come about because God has said so.  Though it has begun, God will not allow it to come to its completion.  Isaiah’s next comments are strange, and need some explaining.  By saying “the head of Syria is Damascus and the head of Damascus is Rezin” he means that the center of Syria is now in Damascus, and the king in Damascus is now Rezin.  As for Ephraim, Isaiah says both it and its king will soon disappear, “Now within another 65 years Ephraim will be shattered, so that it is no longer a people, and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.”  Ahaz hears the future here, that within 65 years of this prophecy, the Northern kingdom would fall to Assyria and be no more.  How much encouragement to trust God do you need?  Not only is Ahaz told that this won’t happen, but that these nations won’t last much longer anyway.

Isaiah then closes with a word from God that Ahaz will never forget, “If you will not believe, you surely shall not last.”  It often helps me to read a verse in reverse manner to hear the weight of it, such is the case here.  You won’t last, if you don’t believe!  If you want to last, believe God!  Faith in God seems simple enough, but when we’re in the thick of it we’re so quick to leave it behind and trust in something else to rescue us.  Although this choice belongs to Ahaz alone as king, the word “you” here is plural in the Hebrew, indicating that this message was directed at the whole house of David, because the whole house could be destroyed.  If there is no faith, there will be no people.

7:10-11Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

To confirm His own promise to Ahaz God Himself invites him to ask for a sign.  This is no normal offer for a sign from God, it could be as supernatural a sign as Ahaz wanted, “…let it be as deep as Sheol or as high as heaven.”  There are a million possibilities when God gives you that kind of green light!  Turn the sun green, make the grass blue, make my sheep as small as grasshoppers or as large as elephants, cause the Falcons to win the Super Bowl!  Few times in Scripture is God so clear as He is here.  Why does Ahaz receive such a green light to ask any sign his heart desires?  It’s clearly not based from any of Ahaz’s own merit, he was an awful, stubborn king.  The favor he receives here is due to the line of David, from which Ahaz comes.  He receives such favor because in God’s eyes, Ahaz is still part of the people that God has a brought into covenant with Himself.  Again the “ball” is in Ahaz’s court, will he choose to ask for this miraculous sign?

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