December 23, 2013

Whom Do You Trust?

Isaiah 7:10-17

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
—Proverbs 3:5


My three-year-old granddaughter was fighting back tears. “What’s wrong?” I asked. With a determined look she said, “Me do.” Without my help, she wanted to carry the bulging grocery bags all by herself.

A child’s desire to grow and do as adults do is one thing, but attaining our ultimate security and salvation is another matter. Whom will you trust? Are you in ultimate control? Can you save yourself? Those were the questions King Ahaz faced in today’s verses.

Jerusalem was under attack, but God promised his deliverance. When King Ahaz refused to believe, God said through Isaiah, “Ask for a sign.” Lacking faith in the Lord, Ahaz rebuffed the offer, but God gave a sign anyway: “The virgin will … give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

The name “Immanuel” was a sign of hope, but also a teaching point. King Ahaz sought a salvation of his own doing. Refusing to trust God, he turned to the king of Assyria (who later attacked Jerusalem). A young girl in the face of the attack would name her baby Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” She trusted in God while the king trusted in his own efforts.

What is the source of your hope and salvation? Isaiah’s prophecy found ultimate fulfillment in the birth of Jesus Christ. Like Ahaz, we can’t save ourselves. The answer to our deepest needs and our salvation is Immanuel (“God with us”).

Lord, we cannot save ourselves. You are our only sure secu-rity and salvation. Deepen our trust in you, we pray. Amen.

About the author — Calvin Aardsma

Calvin Aardsma has been a pastor for more than thirty years. He has served churches in Indiana, Oregon, and the Chicago area. Currently, he is a pastor of Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Illinois. He also serves on the board of the Ugandan Orphanage Relief Fund. Cal and his wife, Sandy, have four children and five grandchildren.

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