NIV Isaiah 7:2-7 — 2 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. 3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah…meet Ahaz…4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because…[they] have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves…” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “‘It will not take place, it will not happen…’”
This is God’s message through Isaiah to Judah’s wicked king Ahaz. He is about to experience the combined efforts of destruction from Syria and Samaria. A monarch of incredible darkness is let in on God’s plan for helping Israel’s Southern Kingdom. Surely Ahaz himself was far from worthy of such insights. And yet, because God had made a commitment to David (2 Kings 8:19 “Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the LORD was not willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever), not even this dark king was allowed to overthrow that promise through his insolence.
God’s encouragement to Ahaz is “Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid…It will not take place, it will not happen…” He was given full opportunity to enjoy God’s commitment to Israel. However, a problem develops. Darkness breeds contempt against all the promises of God. And the dark heart of Ahaz conjures up a scheme that will be the bane of all Israel. Knowing full well God’s plan of victory he makes a deal with the tool of deliverance, the king of Assyria. Ahaz empties Judah’s treasuries and gives away the Temple’s vessels of service to purchase the favor of Tiglath-Pileser, the Assyrian monarch.
My inclination is to say “that’s it Ahaz, I’m finished with you.” But God’s commitment to His promises will not be diminished. While total defeat is in store for the Northern Kingdom, Samaria, Judah is allowed to remain. Isaiah, once again the instrument of God’s voice, tells the Lord’s people…
NIV Isaiah 8:6-8 “Because this people has rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and rejoices over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, 7 therefore the Lord is about to bring against them the mighty floodwaters of the River— the king of Assyria with all his pomp. It will overflow all its channels, run over all its banks 8 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!”
Though the water reaches up to the neck, the land of Judah would survive. Though Ahaz in all his dark schemes brings certain ruin upon his people, God will not allow this man to diminish His promise one iota. One can reject the counsels of God, but you cannot cancel His promises.
J. Robert Hanson
If you’d like to read more about Ahaz and his Life and Times, go to the link for 2 Kings 16.