Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Read Isaiah 7:1-16
Today we will unpack an important piece of leadership history in Isaiah with God revealing Himself to King Ahaz. Ahaz is given a choice to follow and trust the one true God whom is completely sovereign in this situation or to follow his fear of being conquered and turn to the world instead of God.
It is clearly established, by God, that it is impossible to follow both the ways of the world and God’s holy commandments at the same time. God offers Ahaz salvation for Him and His people highlighting God’s love and grace for His people.
Isaiah 7:1-16 must be understood in two distinctive parts. Part one is 7:1-9 and Part two is 7:10-17. Part One highlights a current predicament that Judah’s leader finds himself in and Part Two shows God revealing the good news of Jesus Christ to Ahaz. Ahaz is the current leader of Judah and has been for the entirety of the book of Isaiah.
2 Kings 16:1-4 shows the background to the character of Ahaz. Ahaz was 20 years old when he became the leader of Judah. King David was Ahaz’s father and Ahaz is the 19th leader of Judah, all the previous leaders were corrupt and displeasing to the Lord and his commandments. Remember, God’s people are surrounded by three political superpowers, Assyria, Egypt and Babylon.
The entire chapter of 2 Kings 16 highlights the outcome of this conflict as Isaiah 7:1-16 highlights the beginning of the conflict. 2 Kings 16 also highlights the corrupt and weak leadership of Ahaz. He was consistently burning incense and bringing the worship of false gods into God’s holy temples. Ahaz even sacrificed one of his sons to molech (a false god known to be a form of the devil).
Part One: Ahaz is surrounded by his enemies and experiences extreme stress/pressure—Ahaz fears being conquered.
Rezin, King of Aram and Remaliah, King of Israel are now planning to conquer and terrorize the nation of Judah, God’s people. 2 Kings 16:5-6 highlights these nations trying to conquer Ahaz and Judah but ultimately they are unsuccessful.
This is when Isaiah is told to approach Ahaz in Isaiah 7:3-4 and this is the message the Lord gave Ahaz,
“…and say to him [Ahaz], ‘ Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.’”
1. God approaches Ahaz to show him grace and to reveal to Him that He has complete authority over His enemies. God wants Ahaz to know peace, not fear.
God highlights that these two threats are not going to stand the test of time and their nations will crumble and disband in the future because of God’s holy judgment and their corrupt nature.
“thus says the Lord God; ‘ It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass (Ahaz will not be conquered). For the head of Aram is Damascus and the head of Damascus is Rezin (now within another 65 Years Ephraim will be shattered, so that it is no longer a people)…if you will not believe, you surely shall not last.’” – Isaiah 7:7-9
God is literally telling Ahaz that these people and nations he fears will not be around in a short time in the future. God is giving Ahaz a strong case to repent of his corrupt leadership and to follow the one true God.
Part Two: God reveals the Gospel to Ahaz; a sign to look for that will redeem and save His people, reconciling them back to His Holy Presence.
Isaiah 7:10-13 shows the true character of Ahaz. Ahaz is told by God to ask Him for a sign for Himself to reveal to Him God’s true nature. Ahaz responds by saying that “he does not want to test God” then God responds saying
“Listen now , O house of David! Is it too slight for a thing for you to ry the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 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 7:13-16
2. God literally shows Ahaz that everything is going to be okay, He is going to supply salvation for Him and His people, therefore He simply wants Ahaz to turn to Him, follow Him, Love Him, and Glorify Him—Ahaz chooses to disobey this command.
3. One thing is clear; God is consistently calling His people back to Him, He pursues people because He loves people and wants them to live with Him in eternity—Jesus Christ, God incarnate, dying on the cross for the sins of Humanity offering redemption and salvation by simply having faith in Him proves that God truly loves His people.
We can be like Ahaz and live for the world or we can be like Christ’s disciples and make God the Lord and centre of our lives never mixing our worship of the world with the worship of God. God will give us peace, God will give us hope that nothing in this world can ever offer us—yes, it is easier said than done. But remember, God has complete authority over this earth and over our lives. God is sovereign. Everything in our lives and on this planet will soon pass but God will remain forever—that same God wants you to live forever with Him and wants you to live freely knowing that whatever you are going through is always under Him and it soon too shall be forsaken and pass.
So Worship God. Worship the eternal King, the eternal father in heaven whom came down to earth, died in our place and defeated death by rising again, from the grave, three days later. He is truly worthy of your worship—everything else is vapour. In order to be saved all we need to do is have TRUST in God. Having Faith in Christ and Christ alone is all we need to "do" in order to live eternally with Him. God has done the work, God is victorious, there is nothing we have to "work" for anymore.