"Who will you trust?"

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Ive been thinking about Isaiah lately, getting ready to teach it next week.  Isaiah's message to the kings of Israel and Judah is "who will you trust?"  For Ahaz and Hezekiah (the two Kings Isaiah speaks to), the challenge was to look to God for safety and strength and NOT to Egypt or Assyria.  Both Kings were tempted to make political alliance with their neighbors against God's clear direction.

Why?

That's easy I think.  Egypt and Assyria represented a tangible hope of recue that they could see with their eyes.  Those political alliances offered hope of safety and security WITHOUT having to look to an unseen God who's methods of deliverance couldn't be put on a calendar or written in a contract.  As it turns out, both Kings make the wrong decision, and it ends up costing them disaster that NEVER would have come if they'd have only looked to the Lord for rescue and help.

Here are Isaiah's words to Hezekiah after his choices to make alliances with Egypt cost him 45 walled cities in Judah:

"Thus says the Lord, the Holy one of Israel:  In returning and rest you shall be saved:  In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.  But you refused and said "No, we will flee upon horses," therefore you shall flee!...the Lord waits to be gracious to you, therefore he will rise up to show you mercy.  For the Lord is a God of justice:  blessed are all those who wait for him." (Isaiah 30:15, 18)
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