Confide and Abide

In Isaiah 6, in the year that King Uzziah died, the prophet saw the Lord sitting upon His throne high and lifted up (Isa. 6:1). But in Isaiah 7, in the days of King Ahaz, he saw the unholy alliance of Syria and Ephraim coming for Judah’s throne. And “the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind” (Isa. 7:1-2).

But while judgment through exile would eventually befall unfaithful Judah, this was not the time, nor were these the agents of judgment that God had determined. And so the LORD directs Isaiah to go to Ahaz and tell him, “Don’t sweat it.”

“Say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands'” . . . thus says the Lord GOD: “‘It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. And within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered from being a people. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.'”

(Isaiah 7:4a, 7-9 ESV)

If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all. Okay, tell me that isn’t a verse for a t-shirt. Tell me that’s not timeless counsel regardless of whether you’re looking down the siege-works of enemy armies or confronting another cycle of surge-works from a pandemic. If we don’t stand firm in our faith, we’re not gonna stand at all (CSB). If we don’t believe, we’re not gonna last (NASB). Or as one commentator of long ago put it, “if ye will not confide, ye shall not abide.”

More and more, as uncertainty becomes less uncommon, as things “piling on” just seems to be the order of the day, isn’t what Isaiah declared, and Paul affirmed, increasingly true? We really need to walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor. 5:7).

I gotta believe because so often everything around me is unbelievable. I need to hold fast to faith’s anchor because so much “truth” around me is based on false assumptions. I need to know His word, and believe His word, if I am gong to stand firm in this world.

If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.

So worth chewing on. So worth recommitting to. So worth believing in.

Only by His grace. Always for His glory.

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