Monday, December 19, 2016

Must You Also Weary My God?

By Melanie Rigney

The LORD spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. (Isaiah 7:10-14)

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. (Psalm 24:5-6)

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.  (Luke 1:38)

Lord, Your grace is sufficient. Help me to have the faith of Mary in Your greatness.
Guillaume Rouille (1518?-1589)
("Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum")
[Public domain], via
Wikimedia Commons

Ahaz was the king of Judah, which sounds pretty mighty and powerful. But taking care of neighboring forces that opposed the young king had a cost. He aligned with the Assyrians, which left Ahaz with less autonomy. To him, it was worth it. To the prophet Isaiah, trusting in the Assyrians rather than in the Lord was a monumental mistake, and he told Ahaz that on the Lord’s behalf in no uncertain terms. History would agree with Isaiah; Ahaz is remembered as weak and as an idol worshipper.

Consider the contrast: a king who is more concerned about retaining good relations with a nation that has some leverage over him than with God. A young peasant girl, a nobody in the eyes of the world, who quickly decides obedience to the Lord is more important than understanding what He has asked, than how she might respond to those who will judge her for becoming pregnant before her marriage. Ahaz would not tempt God because he saw trusting the Assyrians as a sure thing; Mary saw trusting the Lord as the only sure thing. We know how history remembers her.

Antonello da Messina [Public domain n], 
via Wikimedia Commons
Doubtless, our infatuations with money, with power, with prestige, with our reputations, with self-pity, with bitterness weary the Lord as Ahaz’s uncertainty did. As we come close to the end of Advent, let us have the faith to stop weighing the potential cost of saying yes to God… and instead, like Mary, simply obey.

Identify one place in your life that you intentionally or unintentionally are placing faith in yourself or others over the Lord. Talk with Mary about how to emulate her fearless trust.

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