Fear God and Head His Word

On the night of the great Holmfirth (Yorkshire) flood, which caused such disaster some years ago, a man on the reservoir saw the water rise to a dangerous height. He paced up and down for twenty minutes watching, hesitating, and asking himself the question, “Shall I gi … More

Choices

This passage predicts the fall of Israel and Syria to Assyria, which actually fell in 732 BC and 722 BC (vv. 1-4). On a large scroll Isaiah recorded the name of his son to be born. His name, Maher-Shadol-Hash-Baz, is the longest personal name in the Bible (v. 1). This name meant swift to spoil, which actually pointed to the impending doom of Israel and Syria.When Damascus and Samaria fell, Judah should have turned to God as Isaiah had told them to do.  Unfortunately, Uriah, one of the two witnesses (v. 2) followed Ahaz’s orders and changed the temple worship to conform with the pagan worship practiced at Damascus. Because Judah rejected god’s kindness and chose to seek help from other nations, God would punish them (vv. 3-4). We see two distinct attributes of God in this passage His love and His wrath. To ignore His love and guidance results in sin which brings God’s wrath (vv 5-8).We must recognize the consequences of our choices.

Isaiah and most of the prophets were viewed as traitors because they did not support Judah’s national policies (vv. 9-15). Isaiah asked the people to commit themselves first to God, and then to the king.  He even predicted the overthrow of the government. “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples” (v. 16) suggests that the words would be written down and preserved for the generations to come. Because some people have faithfully passed on these words from generation to generation we have the book of Isaiah today. Likewise, we need to be determined to pass on God’s word to our children and grandchildren and to future generations.

Isaiah decided to wait for the Lord, even though many of the prophecies God gave woud not come true for several hundred years (vv 17-18). The people would consult mediums and wizards instead  of consulting the living God (vv. 19-20). After rejecting God people would blame Him (vv. 21-22).

Application

After rejecting God’s plan for them, the people of Judah blame God for their trials. Instead of blaming Him I need to look for ways to grow spiritually through my failures.

Isaiah 8:1-22 (English Standard Version)

Then the LORD said to me, "Take a large tablet and write on it in common characters, 'Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz.' And I will get reliable witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to attest for me." And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, "Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz; for before the boy knows how to cry 'My father' or 'My mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria." The LORD spoke to me again: "Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel." Be broken, you peoples, and be shattered; give ear, all you far countries; strap on your armor and be shattered; strap on your armor and be shattered. Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us. For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: "Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken." Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. And when they say to you, "Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter," should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

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