Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation

XI. God's Promise Of Long-Term Help Amid Short-Term Crises

(Isaiah 7:1-9)


I.              Introduction

A.    People who lead in the institution of marriage, family, business, church or government at times face the pressure of threatening foes to their leadership, and this opposition can give them great anxiety.

B.    One in such a position is tempted to handle this threat by relying on some immediate, humanly obtainable resource that is greater than the foe, but God offers a better way in Isaiah 7:1-9, and we view it for our insight:

II.            God's Promise Of Long-Term Help Amid Short-Term Crises, Isaiah 7:1-9.

A.    As background to Isaiah 7:1-9, Judah's king Ahaz faced an immediate, life-threatening threat to his rule:

1.     Rezin, king of the Gentile nation of Aram northeast of Israel had made an alliance with Pekah king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to replace the Southern Kingdom of Judah's king Ahaz with their own puppet king known simply as "the son of Tabeal" (Isaiah 7:6), Isaiah 7:1-2a; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1046.

2.     Ahaz and the people in Judah were terrified at this threat (Isaiah 7:2b), and from 2 Kings 16:7, we presume Ahaz was tempted to ask Assyria to assist his cause by attacking the Aram-Israel alliance, Ibid. 

B.    God thus sent the prophet Isaiah to king Ahaz to call him to trust in the Lord for security, calling Ahaz to take the long-term view of the crisis he faced to see it from God's perspective so as to trust in the Lord, Isa. 7:3-9:

1.     God sent Isaiah and his son, Shear-jashub to talk to Ahaz who was by the aqueduct of the Upper Pool in an event full of signs to teach Ahaz to trust in God by adopting God's long-term view of his crisis, Isaiah 7:3:

                        a.        The name of Isaiah's son, Shear-jashub means "a remnant shall return" (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isa. 7:3), and it speaks of the promise that a remnant of Israel would return to the land of Israel from her future Assyrian captivity after Assyria's subsequent fall (Ibid., B. K. C., O. T., p. 1055 at Isaiah 10:20-23).  Though Ahaz was possibly then considering calling on Assyria's king for help against the Aram and Israel alliance, this was a foolish consideration in view of the long-term fact that God would see Israel through not only her coming fall and captivity in Assyria, but beyond the demise and fall of Assyria itself!

                        b.        Ahaz was beside the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, a reservoir that held water from the spring of Gihon right outside the Jerusalem city wall where he was inspecting the city water supply in the event of an attack by Aram and Israel, Isaiah 7:3.  This was the same spot where nearly 33 years later the spokesman of Assyria's king Sennacherib would hurl his taunt to the people of Jerusalem not to trust in God as Judah's later king Hezekiah would tell them (Ibid., p. 1047), after which taunt God Himself would slay 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in delivering the city without the Assyrians ever attacking it, Isaiah 36:1-37:38!

2.     Isaiah thus called for Ahaz to "be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid," that he "not lose heart" at the threat of Rezin of Aram and Pekah of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, for they were like smoldering stubs of firewood that would soon be gone, Isaiah 7:4 NIV.  Indeed, "(b)oth men died two years later in 732 B. C." (Ibid., p. 1047), so they were in truth just smoldering stubs of firewood, vain threats for king Ahaz.

3.     Yes, God knew about their plot in great anger to invade Judah, to tear it apart and to divide it among themselves and set up the son of Tabeel as king in Ahaz's place, but it would not occur, Isaiah 7:5-7a NIV.

4.     Within 65 years, the Northern Kingdom of Israel, signified in its capital in Samaria in the tribe of Ephraim, would be too shattered to be a people, Isa. 7:7b-9a, so Ahaz was to trust God, heeding His warning: "If you will not be sure, you cannot be secure," Isa, 7:9b; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Isaiah 7:9. 

5.     In fulfillment of the Isaiah 7:8b prophecy, 65 years later, by 669 B. C., Assyria had not only conquered Israel (in 722 B. C.), but deported many of Israel's people to Assyria and brought Assyrians and other foreigners to Samaria, shattering Israel so she was unable to unite as a nation, Ibid.


Lesson: Though Ahaz was terrified at the threat of the Aram-Israel alliance that in great anger wanted to invade Judah, slay him and set up a puppet king in his place, God called Ahaz to adopt the Lord's long-term view of events, to trust in HIM, the GREAT DELIVERER down through TIME to handle Ahaz's foes so as to destroy the two kings who threatened him, and to make Israel an utterly shattered people, no longer a threat to Judah.


Application: (1) If our leadership role in an institution is threatened by even fierce foes, may we trust God Who gave us that role to help us in the LONG-TERM regardless of the SHORT-TERM threat.  (2) For handling anxiety over all threats, may we keep focused on God's will for us long-term that we stay steadfast amid short-term unrest!