Ahaz received encouraging words from God through Jeremiah. Jeremiah, often called the weeping prophet, was not exactly known for positive words. Ahaz, not altogether faithful, received a positive message.
In many respects, Christians in the United States are like Ahaz. Far too many are lukewarm. They think they do “enough”.
Ahaz wanted enough of God to be safe, at the moment. Over the long-haul, however, Ahaz wasn’t so faithful, and in fact, destroyed much of the temple to worship another God.
In the passage from Isaiah, the two powers fighting over Jerusalem (the ones that terrified Ahaz and the rest of Jerusalem) were called smoldering wicks. This was not a phrase of respect. There was plenty of smoke (blustering) from the two, but no fire (power).
Ahaz took it for the moment, but he, like the rest of us, was overwhelmed by his immediate surroundings. His faith was not based on the sureness of God’s faithful love. His faith was rocked to and fro by the strongest winds.
Whether it is political parties, the media, social networks, rumors, the latest social fad, Christians are just as likely as others to listen and follow the blowing smoke. In times like these, looking to Christ FIRST before a particular thought stream must be our first response.
The fractures in US society in particular, but even the rest of the world, has come into focus with simultaneous events. There, sadly, has often been an immediate response based on our political beliefs or any other biases that we each have. And we all have them.
The most saddening part is how this affects our Christian witness. When we respond to the social waves rather than to Christ, we diminish Christ. Even worse, by our actions, we say that Jesus Christ is less than a smoldering wick.
Lord, help us keep the peace that surpasses all understanding. As the powers of the world try to influence us to follow them, rather than you, may you, Holy Spirit, keep us firmly grounded in the faithful love of God. Amen.
1) Who (more than one) are the smoldering wicks of today?
2) When we follow people as they want, who are we showing the world (and ourselves) who we really have forefront in our hearts and thoughts?
3) How does being lukewarm allow for listening to the “smoking wicks” rather than Jesus?