Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Galanis

Come to Me – Day 4

An uneasy alliance

Bible text(s)

9Gather together in fear, you nations! Listen, you distant parts of the earth. Get ready to fight, but be afraid! Yes, get ready, but be afraid! 10Make your plans! But they will never succeed. Talk as much as you like! But it is all useless, because God is with us.

Isaiah 8:9-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

As we saw yesterday, Isaiah had already prophesied about the fall of the Syrian-Israel alliance (Isaiah 7:7-9). Now, he gives another prophecy about the same event. Isaiah gets a big banner and he writes on it “Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz”. It was a public message, one that everyone could read and understand (Isaiah 8:1-4). Isaiah did not know it at the time, but it would be the name of his son who was yet to be conceived.

Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz is the longest name in the Bible and it means “quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil”. The boy would be a reminder of the Lord’s message. Within in a matter of months, the Assyrians would attack and seize everything of value.

Put yourself in King Ahaz’s place. In the previous Verse-a-Day, we learned that he decided to trust the king of Assyria instead of God. Using the furnishings from the temple, he bribes the king of Assyria to defeat his enemies, Syria and Israel (2 Kings 16:8). The king of Assyria does just that, and I imagine that at that point King Ahaz was quite pleased with himself. However, Ahaz could not control the Assyrians, and their violence and destruction would destroy Judah as well.

Why did Isaiah write the boy’s name on a banner for all to see, before the child was even conceived? Isaiah’s prophecy proved that God was in control, not Ahaz’s strategies or the military strength of the Assyrians.

Have you been in the place of King Ahaz before? Where you have trusted in yourself or in other people and it worked out just fine? Perhaps, you think something happened because of the influence of someone else rather than God’s power.

Today, as in Isaiah’s time, uncontrollable circumstances are still under God’s control. Do not join with God’s enemies simply because things might change in the future. In every change of circumstance, God will hold the winning hand.

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