Tuesday, December 05, 2006

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all

In Isaiah 7 we see King Ahaz of Judah miss a crucial opportunity to trust God in troubled times. He was too frightened to trust God and too vain or proud to ask for the offered sign. Ahaz's leadership can be summarized in this way: "Faith played no part in his religion or his politics" [The New Bible Commentary: Revised]. Isaiah's cool and calm trustfulness emerges in the most vivid contrast to Ahaz's maneuverings. Assyria was the incomparably brutal superpower of the day, threatening to engulf Syria, Israel and Judah at any time. The chill which it cast over the whole scene is comparable to modern armies like the Nazis, the Mau Mau, the Khmer Rouge and, most recently, Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard. Yet Isaiah was confident that even mighty Assyria was under his God's control.


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