from Lynda Lindsey
Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind. Isaiah 7:2
The Lord sent Isaiah to Ahaz: Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart…’ Isaiah 7:4(a) and ‘…If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.’ Isaiah 7:9(b)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Not many of us will experience fright such that our heart, quaking and trembling, will shake our body in abject terror like leaves shaking in a breeze. However, this was the situation of Judah’s king Ahaz. Judah, facing imminent destruction by the united powers of both the northern kingdom and Aram, was terrified of being overtaken and carried into slavery. The hearts of the king and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.
God sent Isaiah to King Ahaz with timeless words for facing any danger: Be careful, keep calm, don’t be afraid; don’t lose heart. Seek God. Trust His word. Stand firm in faith; otherwise one will not stand at all. Ahaz, arrogantly refused to ask the Lord for a sign, even when God explicitly directed him to do just that. Even so, God graciously supplied the sign: a virgin will be with child and give birth to a son called Immanuel, God with us! Ahaz, one of Judah’s most evil kings, experienced God’s deliverance this particular time; the enemy’s plot against Judah failed.
The long reaching aspect of God’s sign, a deliverer, Messiah, God with us, is our sign for all eternity. Jesus, fully God and fully man, sinless, yet experiencing all the temptations we do, came to dwell among us to show us the way of salvation! No matter the trials we endure, no matter the enemies we face, they are as smoldering stubs of firewood…lots of smoke and no heat. Be still, quaking heart. Be still trembling limbs. Be careful, keep calm, fear not. Don’t lose heart. Stand firm in faith watching and waiting for the Lord’s deliverance!