Part 2 of “Isaiah: Of Swords and Salvation”
- Story of Broken relationship
- Hezekiah chooses to obey God
- What holds us back from trusting God? Fear.
We are in week two of our series on Isaiah. And what you heard and saw there in that clip, I hope to unpack in detail today. But I also want to show that there is a very important connection between what we see played out between the Kings of Israel and Yahweh and the very core of The Lord’s Prayer. Let’s look at Matthew 6:9-13 together. I want to point out a few things, then we will get back to the connection it has in the story of Isaiah. By the end of our time together today, you should know the clear difference between faithful and faithless.
Matt 6:9-13 and 3-part analysis
|“This, then, is how you should pray:|
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
|Who are we talking to? – Recognition|
|your kingdom come, |
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
|What is to be done? – Whatever God wants|
(God has the authority, its recognized here)
|Give us today our daily bread.|
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one]’
|Provide – nutrition, forgiveness, protection from being led astray (temptation)|
I wondered, what would this sound like in modern terms? From a child to a father?
- Daddy… would you please make me a grilled cheese sandwich?
- Hi Dad – would you please loan me $50 bucks so I don’t overdraft?
- Er… hi Dad…would you please pick me up? My car broke down on the side of the road.
- In each scenario, the father figure is addressed as such.
- It’s implied that the father has authority to do what is asked of him AND the free will to not do what was asked.
- This makes The Father much different than a fictional magical Geni. Or even further, thinking of God as some cosmic vending machine. “If I just say the right words, out pops my request.”
- The person making the request believes the father is capable of meeting the need.
This prayer pattern that Jesus gives his disciples and down through the ages, gives to us through the reading of his Word, it is something that King Ahaz was missing. It wasn’t and isn’t just a religious chore, but rather a reflection of a clear relationship between a person and God.
Diving back into prayer in general, we usually think of the list we want to bring to God. Rarely do we think about him speaking back to us. In our main passage today, God speaks to two Kings. How they respond reflects their relationship with God or the lack thereof.
When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.
2 Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with[a] Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub,[b] to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. 4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘It will not take place, it will not happen,
8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.’”Isaiah 7:1-9 NIV
Little bit of Timeline context. This is the age when the Jews were divided and live in two independent nations. Israel and Judah. Ahaz was the King of the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Pekah son of Remaliah was King in the Northern kingdom of Israel. Fun Fact: Pekah only got the job by assassinating the former king, Pekahiah.
So not only is Ahaz dealing with Israel, but also the Nation of Aram. He must have felt very out matched and out numbered.
However the word God brings to him through Isaiah is “Stand Firm in your Faith.”
Story of Broken relationship
God Speaks –
- Ahaz doesn’t listen, doesn’t trust.
Ahaz Reacts in Fear
- Instead of being independent, he forms alliances with Assyrians to push back against Aram and Israel.
- Because of this, Assyria had power and leverage over Ahaz’s kingdom.
Judah needed a leader who would put God first and listen to His directions.
After Ahaz dies – his son, Hezekiah stepped up to the plate
Hezekiah chooses to obey God
- Tore down Idols, broke wicked alliances
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 6He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. (2 Kings 18:5-7 NIV)
- Hezekiah PRAYED when faced with a problem.
- Isaiah 37:14-20 is his prayer recorded for us. Little homework for you if you are interested in going deeper this afternoon.
- LISTENED when Isaiah brought God’s word – he trusted in God,
- What did God say through Isaiah to Hezekiah?
33 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:
“He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it.
34 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city,”
declares the Lord. 35 “I will defend this city and save it,
for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!”(Isaiah 37:33-35 NIV)
- Essentially: Assyrians will be undone, not you.
What holds us back from trusting God? Fear.
FEAR not what the people fear, fear the LORD
Isaiah 8:12-13, The Lord gives directions to Isaiah specifically. Helping him stay in close connection with the Lord and not with the fearful people.
“Do not call conspiracy
everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
and do not dread it.
The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
he is the one you are to fear,
he is the one you are to dread.”(Isaiah 8:12-13 NIV)
The Lord’s prayer is rooted in who you are praying to. God. Is God able to provide? Do you believe He is capable of having his will be done on earth as it is in Heaven? Do you Trust him? For safety, direction, provision?
Isaiah believed and trusted in God. God encouraged him to trust in HIM, to not be afraid.
God still spoke to the wicked King Ahaz, giving him the opportunity to Trust in him, rather than his own power and plans. Ahaz failed.
God Spoke to Hezekiah and wouldn’t you know, Hezekiah actually spoke to God. Hezekiah followed God and removed the things that caused a break in the relationship between Judah and Yahweh. He showed his trust when given a similar opportunity as his father had. But he chose God rather than Egypt to provide and protect the people of Judah.
Do you trust in God? Do you think he’s capable of providing for you?
Faithless people are Fearful of all the wrong things.
Faithful people revere and trust in God.
2 thoughts on “Trusting in God & The Folly of Fear”
I bet Hezekiah didn’t even consult a pollster before tearing down the idols. Bold move.
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