This section in Isaiah Chapter 7 presents us with a very political passage, where faith in God and everyday politics are interwoven. Some say faith and politics don’t mix – and should not mix – that they should be kept separate – kept apart – implying that faith is a private thing – to be kept all to yourself. But it also implies, that faith does not have much to say about the world in which we live. Isn’t it so interesting that the one nation that has survived is the one nation which so many have tried to destroy? Verse 9. Isaiah ends up by saying
Israel at this time was both a church and a nation. As a nation she was called to be the people of God, and yet, she had her own king. How she got on with other nations affected her relationship with God. Isaiah was raised up by God at a time of national and international turbulence. As we read these verses – you can sense the FEAR – the DREAD – the people were being TERRIFIED – the hearts of the king and his people were being shaken. If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” There is a text for each of us. Here is a word the people of God need to hear.
In Israel the people were living in dangerous times, and they were trying to face the future in a very wrong way. If we fear things – people – death – disease – loneliness – poverty – this can reveal a lack of trust in God – it reveals that something has gone wrong. When we have one right fear – one good healthy fear – that can cure other fears – being rightly afraid of letting God down – of failing God the Father. Other matters can be seen from different perspective and take on a different appearance.
The nation of Israel was divided. The northern part had made an alliance with Damascus – to invade Judah in the south. That is basically the situation. King Ahaz is on the throne in Jerusalem – the capital of Judah in the south – and King Ahaz thinks – “If I can make an alliance with huge powerful Assyria to the east – if I can join a political coalition with Assyria – then the northern tribes and Damascus will leave us alone. Clever thinking – but so wrong in the eyes of God.
King Ahaz thought you could trust in political alliances. King Ahaz thought that if he made a political alliance then Jerusalem would not be invaded. Can you ever trust in political alliances – at any time? Now, God had said, that as long as His People looked to Him for help and for strength, He would protect and guard and give victory. But King Ahaz panicked – and made a pact with Tiglath-Pilesar the King of Assyria. This only brought short-term relief. In the long run it proved disastrous for Jerusalem. God says to Isaiah – ‘Go and have a word with the King’. It is good to have a prophet around. It is good to have a man of God around who is hearing from God the Father.
Go and have a quiet word with King Ahaz. I’ll tell you where to find him on his own, and Isaiah – verse 3 – take your little boy with you. Isaiah’s son’s name is SHEAR-JASHUB – which means a ‘remnant will return’. When the king says, ‘Is this your little boy?’ You will be able to say YES. And when the king asks – What is your little boy’s name? When the name is given you will be able to preach prophetically to the king. When Ahaz asks what all this means – Isaiah, you will be able to explain, “I have called my little boy this because God will always have a remnant.