Suffering for Doing What Is Right
During World War II a Christian boy of twelve refused to join a certain movement in Europe. “Don’t you know that we have power to kill you?” they said. “Don’t you know,” he replied quietly, “that I have power to die for Christ!” He had the conviction that no one was able to harm him.
This is not the stare that destroys but the gaze that lifts up. He keeps an eye on the righteous
When children do not want to hear what someone is telling them, they put their hands over their ears. We have almost the same image here. God puts His fingers in His ears when the wicked speak, but He gives an attentive ear to the prayers of His people. James says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). It avails much because God turns His ear to the prayers of His people.
The historical setting of those verses is significant. With an impending invasion by Assyria, Ahaz king of Judah faced a crisis. The kings of Israel and Syria had sought to make an alliance with him against the Assyrian forces, but Ahaz had refused. Israel and Syria therefore threatened to invade Judah. Meanwhile Ahaz had allied Judah with Assyria, but the prophet Isaiah warned him against such an ungodly alliance and told him not to be afraid. Ahaz and the people of Judah were not to fear Assyria as Syria and Israel did, but rather they were to fear the Lord by trusting in Him.