Confidence in God’s Presence
King Ahaz was ruler of Judah, succeeding his father Jotham and his grandfather Uzziah. Isaiah the prophet had given counsel to his father and then to him. A crisis arose when King Perez of Israel and King Rezin of Syria invaded Judea to force them to form an alliance against the Assyrian Kingdom. Ahaz, acting against the counsel of Isaiah, turned to the Assyrian king for help. They get the help and Israel and Syria are defeated by the Assyrians, but at a heavy price to Judah as they were taxed heavily by the Assyrians, king Ahab became a vassal to the Assyrian king and Assyrian idols were introduced to the temple. It was in light of all these happenings that the Lord used Isaiah to call on Ahaz to repent and lead Judah back to God. Ahaz refused to change and he and the people of Israel traveled on a path of self-destruction rather than one of Godly obedience. Isaiah’s prophecy embodied God’s reaction to the religious infidelity of His people. God’s judgment was coming, it would be swift and deadly and Israel would be powerless to stop it, neither would they be shielded or protected from it. In the midst of this, the prophet maintains his own confidence in God. He would not follow the others and turn away from God. He trusted God’s plan, depended on God’s resources and lived in God’s presence. Today’s Watchword is from Isaiah 8: 17: I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob.
God does not tolerate sin. Psalm 5: 4 tells us, For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. God’s people had sinned and refused to amend their ways. Isaiah therefore stated that God had turned his face away from His people because of their sin. This led to the sinful condition of the people worsening rather than becoming better. Those who remain blatantly disobedient to God’s words will eventually lose their perspective on right and wrong. Modern society has gotten to the stage where we laud the people, ideologies and things that are ungodly while underrating and disregarding what is Godly, what is righteous, what is good. Like the prophet Isaiah however, we are called to stand fast. Even though everyone had turned away from God, Isiah declared, I will wait for the Lord. We all know what it means to wait. As Christians we learn that regardless of what is happening around us or to us, we are to wait on God for God’s action is always perfectly timed and perfectly appropriate. We wait for God to deliver, to save, to heal, to provide. We wait because God is God and there is none like Him. We wait because we have confidence in God’s power and ability. We wait because God has never failed to come through. While the world around us forsakes God, we wait in confidence on God.
Our confidence stands in opposition to worldly defiance. Our confidence stands as a testament to God’s faithfulness and as a beacon to the fearful. It is our confidence that will strengthen others to trust God who even in His wrath, takes the time to show mercy to the faithful. We see what is happening around us but are not frightened by these events because we know that God is working through these events to win this apostate world back to himself. Do not fear what is taking place in these latter days, dear friends. We are to fear God and God alone. While he turns away from the wicked, God’s favor is always on his people. This is the confidence we have as Christians. We should therefore submit to God’s plan, live in God’s presence and be sustained through God’s bounteous provisions. 1 Peter 3: 12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” Till next week, remain faithful and confident in God’s presence. Amen