The Small Will Grow
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
This passage feels a little bit confusing on the surface, but let’s get a couple of facts straight here. This passage is about the 8th century before Christ when the nation of Israel was not doing well, not seeking God, and being threatened by the Assyrians (which was then followed a couple of generations later by being captured and taken into captivity). God sent Isaiah to Ahaz, the King, to not let his anxiety let him get tricked into making allies with violent and untrustworthy groups. Ahaz, as is often the case of those with power and privilege, did not listen to God’s invitation to “keep calm, don’t be afraid, don’t lose heart.”
What’s particularly interesting is that Isaiah brought his boy to join the conversation - which ends up being another sign from God. You see, Isaiah’s son’s name (Shear-Jashub) means “a remnant will return.” That’s a pretty heavy name, but if you think about it, it totally makes sense. Isaiah saw how easily we’re tempted into being strong, taking control, and isolating ourselves (and ultimately choosing destructive paths) - and yet he knew God would always be at work in his people, nurturing that small group of people who wanted to be faithful, who wanted to grow, who wanted more of God. And so Isaiah named his son Shear-Jashub - a reminder to himself and everyone around that there would always be hope!
This is one of a zillion passages that depict our core temptations and God’s core promises. Going after the ‘bigger and better’ options in our lives very rarely is what God is calling us to. Calmly trusting Christ, allowing the small things in us to grow and blossom - that’s God’s way! What is he speaking to you about today through this passage?