Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;
propose your plan, but it will not stand,
for God is with us.
Observation - What does it say?
Often times in the Old Testament, prophets would not only speak their messages but they would act them out. And here, God asked Isaiah to embed his message into the name of his child. His name Maher-shalal-hash-baz means swift-the-spoils-of-war-and-speedy-comes-the-attacker. God’s message through Isaiah to Ahaz was this: “The two countries currently threatening you will soon be conquered by Assyria. Assyria will attack quickly, defeat them and carry off the spoils of war from Damascus and Samaria. So there is no need to fear them. Instead, trust in your God.”
Then God spoke to Isaiah again, and this second message was directed toward the nations who would threaten his people. God tells the nations that they can prepare for battle but it will be a waste of time. No matter what strategy they could devise or plan they could come up with to defeat God's people, it’s wouldn't succeed because God would be with his people.
Understanding - What does it mean?
God is with those who trust in him, providing safety and security.
What’s amazing about this verse is that it doesn’t just say the enemy’s plans wont stand because “God’s plan is superior” or because “God will come to fight for us,” but because “God is with us”! God with his people would make all the difference in the outcome. The power of presence...
I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of the dark. I just, uh… I just prefer the light. As a kid, I hated taking the trash cans out to the street after dark. My parents would send me out there and I’d be pulling trash cans behind me while scanning the bushes and continually looking behind me. Any slight noise and I’d almost pee. As soon as I would get the trash cans to the street I would sprint for the front door of the house, slam the door behind me and breath a deep sigh of relief. But, if someone came with me it was a different story. If my dad helped me and was next to me as I walked down the driveway I was completely different. No fear, no worry, no running, no panic. I'd take my time, joking and talking with my dad, and I almost wished something would come out of the bushes so I could watch my dad whoop it. My dad's presence with me made all the difference in my ability to to face the dark without fear.
How much more amazing to think that the One who is with us always is the God of the universe?! It doesn’t matter the size of the enemy or how great the danger, God is greater. As we read a few days ago in Isaiah 6, God’s throne is high and exalted. There is none above him, none more powerful, none even close to equal with him. And this God, although he dwells on high, also chooses to dwell within each believer.
Matthew 28:20 And surely I am with you, even to the end of the age.
Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon forged against you will prevail… This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord…
Trust in God! Whether or not I can feel or see him, God is always with me! He is present to protect and guide me.
God, thank you for your constant presence with us. Please cause that truth to sink in and to wash away any fear or anxiety we might be carrying. We give it all to you. We look to you and put our trust in you this morning. Amen.