Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Standing firm

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.

This little phrase slips into the narrative of Isaiah 7 almost unnoticed. With so much attention given to the sign of Immanuel, Isaiah's words to Ahaz about faithfulness can easily get missed. But if you stop and read carefully, these 15 words hit you square between the eyes.

Ahaz was not a faithful king. Uzziah and Jotham before him, even with their faults, were basically faithful kings, and Hezekiah, who would follow Ahaz, was another faithful king. But Ahaz was not like his father and grandfather, nor was he like his son.

Yet God still called him to faith, to live out of a position of trust. He spoke to him as if were a person of faith. That doesn't mean that he was, just that God treated him as if could be. In a sense, I guess you could say that Ahaz was full of faith potential, he just refused to act upon it. He'd rather look to kings and countries than to God for security.

Driven by a fear of everything except the power of God, and believing anything except the word of God, Ahaz had no faith in which to stand firm. The conclusion is there before us. He would not stand at all. His political alliances would let him down and his false piety would reveal his brokenness.

But as for me, well today is another opportunity to stand firm in my faith. It's a day-to-day opportunity. Yesterday's successes or failures belong to history and tomorrow's can wait their turn. I can only stand one day at a time!

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