The prophet Isaiah lived at a critical time in Israelite history where the people were divided into two separate kingdoms: Israel, which had gone the way of idolatry and sin, and Judah, which was not quite as bereft as Israel only because they had rulers who would occasionally obey God. King Ahaz was one. So when the King of Israel allied himself with the King of Aram to try to overthrow Judah, God sent Isaiah to Ahaz with a message. “It will not take place, it will not happen, for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.” God makes a similar statement about the king of Israel, adding that Israel would be completely shattered in 65 years. (Is 7:7-9) Then God completes His Word by saying, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”
Realistically, this was a dire situation where two nations combined their manpower and resources to kill, plunder, destroy, and take the Judean people captive to make into slaves or worse. Judah could not defend themselves against this force, and all the people understood their horrific fate.
While we have the advantage of reading this account through the perspective of knowing God’s faithful deliverance, it also tends to negatively impact our ability to identify with the sheer terror of the moment. However, when any of us are faced with catastrophic situations, our first response is also usually panic and/or despair. But, what if God sent someone to us to say, “These are ONLY men threatening to ruin your career, reputation, life-style, etc.” Or, “This is ONLY cancer threatening to kill you. I AM GOD, and I say it will not happen”? Given the irrefutable evidence of our circumstances, how hard would it be to believe God? Can the messenger actually be trusted? What do the experts say? What will people think if I trust God, and then it doesn’t happen?
Because we are so well grounded in our wisdom and intellect, capable in problem-solving, and practical in our methods, we generally choose an action course, rather than believing something that sounds like a fairy tale. After all, doing everything in our power to overcome difficulties demonstrates strength and tenacity. In actuality, it requires much more fortitude to reject our solutions, putting our trust in God alone (never mind the threat of being ridiculed by others for doing so). But the Bible is full of historical accounts of individuals that did exactly that, starting with Abraham — including judges, kings, prophets — through to the Apostles of the early church. The critical difference between us and them is that we look to God for favorable outcomes, while their trust was in the Character of God, regardless of the outcome. The Character of God dictates that He WILL do what He says He will do. If He says, “Act,” then we move out. If He says, “Wait and trust,” then we stand down.
David understood and acted upon the Character of God, therefore God called him “a man after My own heart.” (Acts 13:22) David testified, “Surely God is my Help; the Lord is the One Who sustains me.” (Ps 54:4) So, instead of telling the Lord what we need Him to do, what if we simply believe what He has to say? Could we hide ourselves in Him so that, “when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”? (Eph 6:13)