King Ahaz learned an important lesson in dealing with an attack of the enemy: you cannot run from the battle! When an army far superior to his own threatened Jerusalem, "the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, just as trees shake in a storm" (Isaiah 7:2). But God in His mercy sent the prophet Isaiah to deliver an encouraging message. Through Isaiah God told Ahaz, "This invasion will never happen" (v. 7), and He further instructed the king, saying, "If you want me to protect you, learn to believe what I say" (v. 9).
The enemy's primary weapon is fear. When disaster loomed on the horizon, Ahaz was overcome by fear, but the bold word from the Lord enabled him to remain calm, relaxed, and confident.
Paul said, "Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you!" (Hebrews 10:35). And that reward is a "faith that assures our salvation" (v. 39).
When the battle seems overwhelming, what choice do you have but to stand firm? If you turn and run from the enemy, you will not stand at all. Burn the retreat bridge! Your only option is to stand-and when you do, God will fight for you!
6 In the year that King Uzziah
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
understand with their hearts,
11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”
And he answered:
and without inhabitant,
12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away
it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
7 When Ahaz
2 Now the house of David
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub,
“‘It will not take place,
8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
Within sixty-five years
and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.
13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David!
18 In that day
6 It was in the year King Uzziah died
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
9 And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,
‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.
Watch closely, but learn nothing.’
10 Harden the hearts of these people.
Plug their ears and shut their eyes.
That way, they will not see with their eyes,
nor hear with their ears,
nor understand with their hearts
and turn to me for healing.”
11 Then I said, “Lord, how long will this go on?”
And he replied,
“Until their towns are empty,
their houses are deserted,
and the whole country is a wasteland;
12 until the Lord has sent everyone away,
and the entire land of Israel lies deserted.
13 If even a tenth—a remnant—survive,
it will be invaded again and burned.
But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down,
so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.”
7 When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria
2 The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub
“This invasion will never happen;
it will never take place;
8 for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus,
and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin.
As for Israel, within sixty-five years
it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
9 Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria,
and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm,
I cannot make you stand firm.”
10 Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz:11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.
12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”
13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well?14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin
17 “Then the Lord will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!”
18 In that day the Lord will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees.19 They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places.20 In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River
21 In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left.22 Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey.23 In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver,
6 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
12 And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
7 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.
2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.
3 Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field;
4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,
6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:
7 Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.
10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
17 The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.
20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;
22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.
23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
25 And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.
16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool.
Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about.
30 If I must boast, I will boast
16 Again I say, don’t think that I am a fool to talk like this. But even if you do, listen to me, as you would to a foolish person, while I also boast a little.17 Such boasting is not from the Lord, but I am acting like a fool.18 And since others boast about their human achievements, I will, too.19 After all, you think you are so wise, but you enjoy putting up with fools!20 You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything, and slaps you in the face.21 I’m ashamed to say that we’ve been too “weak” to do that!
But whatever they dare to boast about—I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast about it, too.22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again.24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.
28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?
30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.31 God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying.32 When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me.33 I had to be lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape from him.
16 I say again, let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
vindicate me by your might.
listen to the words of my mouth.
3 Arrogant foes are attacking me;
people without regard for God.
1 Come with great power, O God, and rescue me!
Defend me with your might.
2 Listen to my prayer, O God.
Pay attention to my plea.
3 For strangers are attacking me;
violent people are trying to kill me.
They care nothing for God. Interlude
4 But God is my helper.
The Lord keeps me alive!
5 May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them.
Do as you promised and put an end to them.
6 I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you;
I will praise your name, O Lord,
for it is good.
7 For you have rescued me from my troubles
and helped me to triumph over my enemies.
54 Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.
2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.
4 Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
5 He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.
6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good.
7 For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.
23 While dining with a ruler,
pay attention to what is put before you.
2 If you are a big eater,
put a knife to your throat;
3 don’t desire all the delicacies,
for he might be trying to trick you.
23 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.