I burst out laughing the other day as I was reading the book of Isaiah. Of course, it wasn’t a joke, I don’t think there are jokes in the Bible, but there are definitely some funny spots. Remember the story of the iniquitous king of Judah Ahaz who began to literally quake with fear because he was under threat from the joint forces of Syria and Israel. The text says that the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.
Well, that is funny itself, this man who had no regard for God though leading God’s people suddenly falls apart as he finds himself under threat. You feel like saying ‘so where’s all the bluster now?’ But what really made me laugh was the reaction of the prophet, or rather God through the prophet. God spoke to Isaiah and sent word to Ahaz.
So Isaiah went to see Ahaz, trembling Ahaz and simply said to him, and I paraphrase, ‘right, don’t worry about these two smouldering firebrands (spent fire in other words), they are saying that they will terrify you and conquer you, well, I say that ‘it shall not stand, it shall not come to pass,’ end of story. And I burst out laughing. So rich, I thoroughly enjoy the fact that God never seems to be in the least bit bothered by any man’s posturing or by prevailing circumstances. I never tire of saying that the interesting thing about God is that He thinks He is God; He talks and acts as if He can do anything He wants. He tells you things and totally disregards all looming opposition, you gasp and stammer, but to no avail. Why? Because He knows that with one breath He will sweep it all aside.
And we ought to know it too. That’s why I think we would be better off spending more time meditating on the nature of God and getting to really know Him. Something of His serenity in the face of opposition will no doubt rub off on us and we will laugh at iniquitous posturing saying ‘it shall not stand’. I rather like that, being something of a contrarian I hate being put in a corner. That continuous agonizing that we do is not wisdom as we think it is, only ignorance of who God is, not some senile old white haired man in the sky wringing His hands in despair (as we do) at the state of our world, no, rather the One before whom all things and all persons inevitably give way. We are in august company when we keep company with God.
And so to anyone who has been fainting, failing, faltering, worrying and wilting at the devil’s threats and posturing, God says, ‘I have heard the threats, and they will not stand, they shall not come to pass’, and just begin to laugh because God is still convinced that He is God. He just is waiting for you to think it too and act like it. The bottom line is, if God does not join your detractors, then all is well with you because frankly the only thing that matters is what God says. Consequently a high view of God and a lower view of men and devils will take us through any time of trouble and bring us to the other side, we will not shake before the wind, rather we will be laughing with God.
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