“IF YOU ARE NOT FIRM IN FAITH”
All 3 of our readings today provoke serious meditation about human reactions to God. We started reading Joshua and saw God’s challenge to him to take his people over the Jordan. He is told, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land … [1 v.5,6]
In Isaiah (ch. 7] the prophet is told to “Go and meet (king) Asa” [v.3] and encourage him to face the threats from the north. He is to tell him, “Be careful, do not fear, and do not let your heart in faint …” [v.4] Then the king is bluntly warned, “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” [v.9] It is not possible to have a sort of half-faith!
Ahaz feels he is putting God to the test if he asks with a full expectation God will preserve him, he says, “I will not ask, I will not put the Lord to the test” [v.12] Because of his lack of faith the LORD then gives, through Isaiah, messages to him of bad times to come when, among other things, “all the land will be briers and thorns” [v.24]
In the New Testament we started to read Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonians and saw how he is commending them on “how you turned … to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” [v.9,10]
These words as so meaningful for us today; let us be “firm in faith” that God means what he caused his servants such as Paul to write. May we, with full conviction in the word of God, “wait for his son from heaven’ sensing that “wrath” will soon be coming on our world because it has reached the stage of near total godlessness. Let us not neglect our regular Bible reading as it lays the foundation to being “firm in faith” and to “be strong and courageous” both now – and even more – when the promised “wrath to come” actually happens and the dramas we will read of tomorrow in Paul’s words actually takes place.