Ahaz doesn’t cash the cheque

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Michelangelo,_lunetta,_Uzziah_-_Jotham_-_Ahaz_01Isaiah has had an encounter with God and no longer has a divided heart – but King Ahaz has still got a divided heart.

It was a crisis moment in Judah – still loyal to the Davidic dynasty of Jerusalem. 200 yrs before the kingdom had split in two – then ten Northern tribes of Israel splitting off. Now the Assyrian Empire is stretching its’ muscles and so Israel has joined with Syria in a mutual defence pact and is now trying to attack Judah near Jerusalem.

God is not going to let that happen 7:1 and says so through Isaiah. But Ahaz doesn’t want to listen, preferring panic and hand wringing, looking to get himself out of the mess without God’s help. That’s the setting – the crisis of the generation and all the more so because the nation had no sense of the glory of God.

God often brings us to crisis points – will we trust Him? The answer is either an agonised struggle wavering or a clear yes Lord!

At this moment 7:3 – Ahaz is thinking about stockpiling – he is inspecting the water supply with his son Shear-Jashub whose name means “A remnant will return” (if all else fails and the worst happens, God will protect His remnant).

Isaiah delivers a prophetic call to confidence in God v4 – the Syro-Ephraimic (Syria and Israel) alliance will fail – they are just firebrands – cigarette butts and God has appointed a drop-dead date for Israel anyway. That all comes to pass – God keeps His word.
Ahaz is being offered the opportunity of a lifetime to know what it means to be saved by God – v9b “Hold firm in the faith or you will not hold out”

God is attracted to weakness, need and honesty = real faith!
“Faith is knowledge of God, persuading us to agree with God that motivates is to embrace God.”

Ortlund “in your crisis when it counts for you, trust me, I will keep my every promise. But if you treat me as unreal, you will not connect with reality at all”

v10-12 Ahaz has been offered a blank cheque – ask me for a sign, but he refuses to cash it.
He rejects with diplomatic hypocrisy – because he knows if lets God in, God will take control.

v13 Isaiah says “my God” in contrast to Ahaz'”Your God”

v14 the classic verse – “The virgin will give birth to a son…”
Matt 1:18-25 has that fulfilled in Jesus Christ, but the immediate context links it to Isaiah’s day – so it is fulfilled in two ways.

Once as Isaiah’s son and then as Jesus God with Us,

We face a far more hostile alliance than ancient Syria and Ephraim – sin and death; that will not go away, which is why the ultimate fulfilment is Jesus Christ – God with us

God kept his promise to Ahaz – he will be safe from Syria-Ephraim, but Assyria will come. It’s like a mouse being attacked by two rats and cries out to a cat to save it. The cat does and then has the mouse for pudding!

Much easier to trust God in every crisis! He will never fail.



Andy planted the Gateway Church in Sept 2007. He and Janet love to gather different nations together to grow in Christ while eating good food! He also helps to shape and serve a couple of Relational Mission's church plants in mainland Europe. Andy and Janet run regularly, largely to offset the hospitality eating! He also runs a popular WordPress plugin Church Admin