10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?
Did you catch that? It makes me laugh because I’m so guilty of it. We all are. God tells Ahaz to ask for a sign. Ahaz’s response? “NO! This is some kind of test. You’re too scary. I won’t fall for Your tricks….God.” What the heck?!
God’s frustration with His people is palpable. After a million promises of victory just a few moments before, Ahaz questioned the simple request of God to ask for a sign, a big sign, anything.
We’re so much like Ahaz, aren’t we? We don’t trust God. We think we do. We say we do. We encourage others to. We try and try and try to trust. But we don’t.
What I want to focus on though, is God’s response to Ahaz. Ahaz utterly disobeys and questions God to his face, and God’s response is to shake His head with weariness at humanity’s lack of trust, and then say:
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Again, do you see what just happened there? Because Ahaz is too scared, and because Ahaz can’t trust, and because Ahaz (as King) is the physical stand in of all of God’s people, God trusts for Ahaz. God obeys for Ahaz. God prophesys the coming Messiah, the Son of Man, Emmanuel: God is With Us, and in doing so, literally spells out to Ahaz that humanity can never stand in for themselves, so He will do even that for them!
I love that. Frustrated and weary by the disobedience of man, God doesn’t raise his hands in frustration and walk away. That’s what we do. Instead, God sighs with weariness, (and I believe sadness that man still can’t seem to trust Him after the millions of times He had already proven Himself trustworthy!) and says to humanity, “Okay, I’ll do it for you.”
When God asks me to trust Him, how often do I question it? How often do I say, “Oh no, I can’t do that!” I’m so thankful that God hasn’t, and won’t abandon me when I struggle. Instead, He patiently helps me to do what I don’t trust Him to do.
That’s where the Power of the Holy Spirit comes in. By God’s Spirit we are empowered to obey and trust God. He gave us that Spirit, that Helper, that Wonderful Counselor, to gently show us and tell us what we can do if we trust Him.
Our sweet partnership with the Lord comes from all the opportunities we are given to listen and to trust what He says to us. Easier said than done, I know. It’s worth it, though. Trust me.