This devotional has been published one day out of sync.
We thank Eduardo for penning this thought.
A highlight of today’s reading for me is seeing how Ahaz reacts to distress. Many people can teach us what we should do in a particular situation, and we can learn from them. However, others can also teach us a lot about what we should not do. Ahaz is one of those people. When I wrote here last time I focused on Psalm 88, where the writer goes to God even though he was going through a tough situation, something that can teach what we should do in a difficult time. Contrary to this, when Ahaz faced distress “he became yet more faithless to the Lord” (28:22).
One of Ahaz’s reaction was to turn to other gods for help in the midst of his situation (28:23). We can read this and easily understand how wrong it is, but we may also forget how easy it is for us to fall for the same trap. I'm not suggesting that we are sacrificing or literally bowing down and worshipping other gods that they may help us, however we may at times turn to a ‘feel good’ solution to a problem, that it may help us. Perhaps something that we know will boost our confidence? I have done this with sports for example, knowing that if I played well, I would feel good about myself, and so my problems would momentarily be minimized. I can trick myself into believing that this will help me, but ultimately, my problems will never be resolved through these short lived experiences.
Only God can truly guide us through tough times. I’m not saying that I don’t believe God gives us gifts and interests that help us deal with things, however, they must not replace God. Everything available to us is a gift from Him (James 1:17). If we rely on something more than God “that they may help me” (28:23), we will be giving more attention to the gift than to the gift giver. Ultimately a tough situation can help us grow closer to God, rather than becoming “yet more faithless to the Lord” (28:23). See tough times as an opportunity to claim help from God, not from anything else. “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121:1-2).
I like how the band Beautiful Eulogy express this, I recommend a listen to their song “Messiah” -
“Whatever it is that gives that feeling that we can’t live without
The joys we try to get that only God can give we highly doubt
What allures and arouses the heart we can’t figure out
But it’s the quickest way to account for what we prize
And are most proud about
These "gods" make promises but always lie to us
The kind of lies that says they’ll keep us safe and satisfy us
We blame the lies outside of us
But it’s the lie that lies inside that captures the depth of desires and false messiahs
We seek pleasure in anything, we overestimate everything
Endlessly trusting in empty entities
Secretly searching for anything in moments of blessing
While exiting edicts of Eden over our ecstasy
When a good God gives good gifts we generally tend to twist the list
And take the list of good gifts that God tends to give and make general "gods" out of gifts
I suppose what exposes the worship in most of us
Is a close look at most of our thoughts, fears, and emotions”