Read Isaiah 7:17-25
It is easy to look at King Ahaz here in this part of his leadership story and criticize him. Ahaz is a weak king. He is cornered by Assyria and Israel. Earlier in Isaiah 7:3-9 God tells Ahaz that these regimes that are after Him will not last—they shall not stand.
Out of fear, stress and “good strategy” Ahaz chooses to trust in the nation of Assyria over the good news of God’s plan (bringing Himself, Jesus Christ into the world).
Isaiah 7:17-25 is the consequence of Ahaz’s decision.
1. God gave Ahaz a clear choice. Ahaz chose the world instead of God’s eternal promise.
2. Ahaz is responsible for leading Judah into trials. God never abandons His people but His people continually abandon God
“And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns. 24 People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns. 25 As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for [s]pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample.” – Isaiah 7:23-25
Ahaz’s poor decision brings us so much hurt and judgement for him and his people. This is the responsibility that God gives leaders—this is why leadership is so important.
Ahaz is responsible for leading Judah into trials. God never abandons His people but His people continually abandon God.
It ultimately grieves God to judge His people. It grieves God when God's people run away from Him and turn to the ways of the sinful world OVER Him.
“And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart.” --Genesis 6:6
“To shave off the beard of an Oriental was an unbearable shame to him and was a sign of great sadness and mourning as well as despicable slavery.” (Bultema) We see this principle illustrated by the actions of David in 2 Samuel 10:4-5.
Ahaz trusted the Assyrian’s more than His one true God and those people put the people of Judah into slavery, they shaved their heads and legs—they typically humiliated the people that were under them—of course this happens after they join the Assyrians. Ahaz and Judah chose the Assyrians—not God.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.“—Isaiah 7:14
Remember, God told this to Ahaz as he was making his choice. Immanuel means “God is with us” God will never abandon us. He revealed Himself to us through Jesus—here He is showing that eternal plan 800+ years before Jesus comes to Earth. We will always make mistakes and poor choices in our lives—this will bring judgment and consequence on us. But Jesus is a sign of grace and hope of being eternally saved from those mistakes. Faith in Jesus is all we need in order to saved—
Stop performing, stop trying to run the spiritual treadmill of completing all of the tasks to reach God. Stop. Rest. Worship. Pray. Get to know Jesus—and He will make you more like Him.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf , so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Please choose Jesus Christ. Your life will know His peace and joy especially in times of trial and suffering.