7:1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2 And it was told to the house of David, saying, “Syria’s forces are deployed in Ephraim.” So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, 4 and say to him: ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, 6 “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel”— 7 thus says the Lord God:
“It shall not stand,
Nor shall it come to pass.
For the head of Syria is Damascus,
And the head of Damascus is Rezin.
Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, so that it will not be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son.
If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.”’”
King Ahaz was twenty years old when he became the king of Judah. His reign was marked by unbelief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He turned instead to deal making with foreign kings and adopted their idols, even setting up one of the gods of Assyria in the Temple in Jerusalem and forcing the priests to offer the daily sacrifices on its altar. He died at 36 after a weak and unfortunate reign as king.
It was all unnecessary. He could have enjoyed safety from his enemies, independence, and the calm assurance of God's favour. The truth is he had it but never benefitted from it. Through Isaiah God told him that Syria and Israel would not be successful against him and they weren't. The prophecy given in these verses by Isaiah came to pass but he never lived to see it. Unbelief drive him to make desperate alliances that crippled him financially and spiritually. The worst part was he lived in constant fear. Self-preservation ruled him and in the end destroyed him way before his time. It's a great responsibility to take your life out of God's hands and into your own. When you are a king it is that much greater of a responsibility.
We may think we aren't kings and never will be. It may be true that we don't rule empires but we all have a circle of influence and care. Have you given that care to Him or are you desperately trying to rule on your own?
God didn't forsake Ahaz. He talked to him. He made him promises. He kept those promises. Unfortunately Ahaz's unbelief prevented him from resting in them or seeing them come to pass.
How about us? Are we resting or fretting? Do we worship at God's altar of grace or are we taking the burdens on our own shoulders and worshipping at the altar of self-preservation?