Passage: The Lord said to me, "Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. And I will call in Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah as reliable witnesses for me."
Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said to me, "Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. Before the boy knows how to say 'My father' or "My mother,' the wealth of Damascus, and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria."
The Lord spoke to me again: "Because this people has rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and rejoices over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore the Lord is about to bring against them the mighty flood waters of the River - the king of Assyria with all his pomp. It will overflow all its channels, run over all its banks and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it, passing through it and reaching up to the neck. Its outspread wings will cover the breadth of your land, O Immanuel!"
Raise the war cry, you nations, and be shattered! Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.
Journal: In the previous chapter, Isaiah foretold of the promised Christ (7:14). Now, he cries out to Him for the protection of Judah against the aggression of Assyria (". . . O Immanuel!"). In essence, it is a cry to God for protection from God, for God is using brutal and pagan Assyria to discipline His apostate nations of Israel and Judah. Any man who truly knows God will call upon God in the midst of destruction and turmoil. Isaiah knows God.
In prayer there is strength. Isaiah appears to gain strength immediately as he trusts God completely. His trepidation overtly turns to assurance. You can see it in these pages, you can feel it with his words. Is there any greater recitation than "God is with us?" We, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, could not stand before Him on that day were He not "with us." We can stand in judgment only because Christ stands with us, and His Father, and thus our Father, views His righteousness rather than turning away from our sinfulness. Indeed, "God is with us" for all eternity.
Prepare for your daily battle with the evil one as Isaiah was preparing Judah -- "Raise the war cry . . . and be shattered! . . . Prepare for battle, and be shattered! . . . Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us." The One within you is greater than the one opposed to you. God is true to His covenant, and a child of God is a vibrant thread in that covenant. As a result, God's power provides protection for and over His covenant. There is indeed strength in prayer. Are you prepared for your daily battle?
Note: I have a friend that faces potential ridicule and persecution at his place of employment if he takes a stand for God. There is a test of his resoluteness today, and I am requesting that you pray for him right now. Pray that he deeply understands that God is indeed with him, and that he relies on the power of God to guide him through a difficult and dark work environment.