Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Isaiah 7:1-25: Sheer grace

Ahaz, that wicked king of Judah, that disgraceful son of David who stooped at nothing to promote idolatry in the land and who sacrificed his own son in fire (2 Kings 16:3), deserved the panic and anxiety that he got when Syria and Israel banded together in warfare against him. Yet, God in his mercy sent Isaiah and his son to meet Ahaz with a word of assurance to Ahaz: Syria and Israel would not prevail. Instead, they would be destroyed.

Would Ahaz take heed in that hour of desperation? Would he repent and turn from his evil?

No, the silly man disbelieved Isaiah (v.9b). He was unable to take God at his word. Further, in declining God's invitation to ask for a sign out of false, misplaced and misguided piety, he rejected God's protection for Assyria's and God showed him what Assyria, whose very help he sought, would do.

What grace for a man who deserved none. What a God who would leave us with nothing to accuse you with by his act of mercy.

Help me, Lord, to stay true to you. As you have shown grace to Ahaz, you have also shown to me. Help me to trust you and take you at your word. Keep me focused so that I hear only your voice, especially in my hour of need.

Attention is the only faculty of the soul which gives us access to God.
Simone Weil (from Berne)

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