Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart.”
- Isaiah 7:3-4
Sometimes when we read through passages in the Bible they don’t make much sense because of all the terminology, but with a little background they can really speak to us. In the passage today, Ahaz was the king, but he wasn’t very trusting of God. Instead, in his anxiety to be more successful, he put his faith in the big political and military power of Assyria to help him accomplish his agenda for the nation. That would turn out to be a disaster, as Assyria (and Babylon after it) would turn and attack Israel causing great destruction.
God spoke powerful words to the King through Isaiah about learning to rest and surrendering control. Interestingly, Isaiah’s son, Shear-Jashub, was singled out to show up for this confrontation as well - probably as a prophetic reminder to everyone. That’s because, at the very time when Israel was on a path towards destruction, Isaiah had named his son Shear-Jashub, which means, “A remnant will return.” Isaiah and God were close, and Isaiah could see not only the coming destruction because the leaders wouldn’t trade their anxiety and control for calm and courage - but he also saw that after the fall of Jerusalem, God would be at work still in the small remnant of people who were faithful and who still loved and trusted God. So he named his son for the future, as a sort of promise that what was small would grow again.
Now reread the passage with that background in mind and ask God to speak to you. What is he saying about where you put your trust? About how you handle anxiety? About areas of your life facing destruction? About hope in areas of failure?