How can families thrive when we live in perilous times of apostasy? What examples in scripture do we have?
“For this know also, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy”. – 2 Timothy 3:1,2
“Let no one deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of Christ) shall not come, except there comes a falling away first…” (Apostasy) – 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Isaiah the prophet and his family are a great example of living the gospel in a time of apostasy, just like the time in which we reside. Although Isaiah was prophesying around 730 B.C., we can see that the sinful heart of man is still the same, and perhaps there is no better description of the days we are living in than how Isaiah described his time: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20
Doesn’t this sound like the Marxist, anti-God control system called political correctness? George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” It was the truth of the gospel that turned this world upside down (Acts 17:6). “The word of a God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself”, said Charles Spurgeon. SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD!!!
Today, the family unit is being attacked like never before, but be of good cheer: “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4)! In this life you will have tribulation, but take heart, for Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33)! Take heart, don’t give up, and don’t give in to the pressure of the world.
We can see some important lessons in the life of Isaiah and his family. For example:
God used Isaiah and his family as a message from Him to the backslidden nation (Isaiah 8:18). You can be the word of God to this perverse nation, and to the backslidden church. “You are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read by all men.” – 2 Corinthians 3:2 Most people will never set foot in this church, but you can be the bible to someone, by letting Christ’s love shine through you. LIVE THE WORD OF GOD!!!
Be Not Afraid. Isaiah led his family courageously instead of cowering in fear like everyone else (Isaiah 7:2,3). The righteous are as bold as a lion, but the wicked flee when no man pursues (Proverbs 28:1). Isaiah took his son Shear-Jashub – his name is prophecy, meaning “a remnant will return” – to meet king Ahaz. The LORD told Isaiah to bring his son. He wanted Isaiah to model righteous boldness to his son.
We need fathers to rise up and lead their families by example. Don’t be discouraged if you fall; the righteous falls seven times, but rises up again (Proverbs 24:16a). Seven is the number of completeness or perfection. You and I are perfect failures apart from Jesus Christ. We need to come to the cross, confess our sin, and die to self, and experience the resurrection life of Christ, because apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).
He also wants Shear-Jashub, Isaiah’s son, to be the word of God (Isaiah 8:18) to Ahaz that a remnant will repent and turn to God. Children are an example to us of faith, humility (Matthew 18:4), power (Psalm 8:2), and praise (Matthew 21:16). Do you see this in your children?
Rise up and lead your family in righteousness. If God is for us, who can be against us? His perfect love casts out all fear. Jesus has overcome death, and you are more than a conqueror through him, but live boldly and victoriously, not because you are a super-saint, but because He is the King of kings who has wrought the greatest victory over sin, death, and the enemy, and you stand in His victory too. THE WORD OF GOD LIVES AND ABIDES FOREVER!!!