All three of our readings today say much about human reactions to God. We started reading Joshua and saw God’s challenge to him to take the 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 …” (1:5,6).
In Isaiah 7 the prophet is told to “Go and meet (king) Asa” (verse 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 …” (verse 4). Then the king is bluntly warned, “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all” (verse 9). It is not possible to have a half-hearted faith!
Ahaz feels he is putting God to the test if he expects God to preserve him, he says, “I will not ask, I will not put the Lord to the test” (verse 12). Because of his lack of faith the LORD then gives messages to him, through Isaiah, of bad times to come when, among other things, “all the land will be briers and thorns” (verse 24).
In the New Testament we started to read Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. He commends 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” (verses 9,10).
These words as so meaningful for us today; let us be “firm in faith” that God means what He caused his servants to write. May we, with full conviction in God, “wait for his son from heaven” sensing that wrath will soon be coming on our world because it has nearly reached the stage of godlessness. Let us not neglect our regular Bible reading as it lays the foundation of a firm faith, and helps us to “be strong and courageous” both now and when the foretold “wrath to come” actually happens.
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