e hënë, 24 shtator 2007

Isaiah 7:10-12

Passage: When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.

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.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, "Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway to the fuller's field, and say to him, 'Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of the these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.

Because Aram, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you, saying, "Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it," thus says the Lord God: "it shall not stand nor shall it come to pass. 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), and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you will not believe, you surely shall not last."

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 'Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights."

But Ahaz said, "I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test."

Journal: At first blush, it may appear that King Ahaz is attempting to be humble and righteous, for it is true that we are not to put God to the test. However, this is not the circumstance at hand. Rather, our circumstance is a pagan King leading a rebellious nation (Judah) down the road to judgment. God, reflecting extreme patience and extolling common grace, is offering King Ahaz an opportunity to call on His mercy and grace. He has promised that He will protect Judah from the onslaught of the combined forces of Syria and Israel.

Obviously, King Ahaz has his doubts about either God's sincerity or God's ability. God is therefore saying to King Ahaz that He doesn't mind proving that He is both trustworthy and powerful. It is not a test of the ability of God that God offered, but rather a test of the depth of the rebellion within King Ahaz. King Ahaz failed his test miserably, for in his own arrogance (and perhaps in a hope to not offend the other gods he worshipped) he refused to follow God's instruction. It was a simple thing for God (no matter the "test" that King Ahaz might have suggested). However, King Ahaz was distracted from the simplicity of his situation, for the blindness of sin darkens the ability to see that which is plain.

So it is with salvation. What Christ did for the sinner is straightforward, though procured at a great cost to Him. Yet, the blindness of rebellion obscures the ability to grasp the one thing that truly matters. The obscured perspective caused by sin makes the cross of Christ disappear just beyond the eternal horizon. We must pray for God to bring salvation into focus for the eyes of man.

Heard 'Round the House:

My daughter Anna (age 7) was watching the Cowboy - Bear game with me last night. A commercial came on. My kids are not allowed to watch commercials and so Anna was staring at the ceiling when she drove this stake into the hearts of marketing gurus everywhere:

Anna: "Daddy, I know why they have commercials."
Daddy: "Why?"
Anna: "So people can go to the bathroom without missing the game."