Sunday, September 4

Calm down

Scripture: Isaiah 7-8, Hebrews 4

Isaiah 7:2–4 When it became known to the house of David that Aram had occupied Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the hearts of his people trembled like trees of a forest shaking in the wind. 

3 The Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-jashub to meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Launderer’s Field. 4 Say to him: Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two smoldering sticks, the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and the son of Remaliah.

Isaiah 7:7 This is what the Lord God says: It will not happen; it will not occur.

Observation

When the king of Judah heard that Aram had occupied Ephraim (the northern kingdom of Israel) and was headed his way, he was terrified. He and all the people of Judah “trembled like trees of a forest shaking in the wind.” (The prophet may have chosen this image because trees in a forest are not in danger from the wind; only individual trees standing alone are.)

The Lord sent Isaiah with a message: “Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid. You’ve nothing to fear from these two smoldering sticks. It will not happen. It will not occur. If you will not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.” 

God dismissed Aram and Israel as “smoldering sticks,” powerless and soon to be overrun by Assyria. And He called Judah to calm down and trust Him. 

Application

How often we need to hear this word from the Lord: “Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid. Trust Me.”

Aram and Israel were paper tigers, yet they struck fear in Judah’s heart. In the same way, we fear all kinds of threats, real and imagined, and we need to calm down and be quiet and trust God. 

Yesterday when the lightening and thunder hit, my dog Mazy immediately found me. She is afraid of the lightening and thunder. But if she can be next to me, she calms down and is ok. That’s what I need to do. Go to the Lord immediately and calm down.

What are my fears? I’m going to make a list of them and then give each one to God. I’m going to declare over each one, “Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid, trust God.” 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for this word. Help me to run to You every time I’m afraid and be calmed by Your presence and promise.