December 13, 2012

An Encouraging Word

Isaiah 7:1-9

“Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘It will not take place, it will not happen…”
—Isaiah 7:7


In the Old Testament, prophets often gave discouraging messages, because the people had rebelled against God for a long time and were ripe for punishment.

But today’s verses show that Isaiah had an encouraging word here. There were political troubles in the land, and military threats from the outside were increasing. King Ahaz and his people were shaking with fear.

God sends Isaiah and his son to speak to these anxious people. Isaiah’s son, with a name that means “a remnant will return,” is a walking message that God will not abandon his people. Further, Isaiah encourages the king by telling him from the Lord that the forces allied against him will not succeed.

But the king must trust in the Lord, not in his political deals. “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

This is an encouraging word that takes courage to fol-low—courage to stick to the right path. That is hard for a king, a president, and for any believer.

When you read accounts of the persecuted church today, or of a whistleblower in a large firm who cannot be part of its deceit any longer, don’t you admire their courage?

We all need courage between the first coming and the second coming of Jesus. Isaiah assures us that courage is available from the Lord.

Thank you, Lord, for your promise to stick with us. Holy Spirit, help us to stand firm in our faith in you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Morris Greidanus

Beginning in 1964, Morris Greidanus served churches in Alberta, Ontario, and Michigan. He was campus pastor at the University of Toronto from 1968 to 1974. After retiring in 2002, he served on various interim tasks in churches and educational institutions until he passed away in 2017. Morris and his wife, Alice, were married 58 years and had three children, five grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

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