Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz

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Audio of sermon: 

Isaiah 8:1-4 (KJV) Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz. [2] And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. [3] And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. [4] For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

God’s people were facing a great enemy.
That enemy was FEAR.
When we FEAR, we often do what we should not do.
FEAR leads to worry, stress, and sickness.
We should FEAR GOD, but that doesn’t mean to be terrified of Him.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13(ESV) And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?

To “Fear God” is to hold Him in higher regard than anyone or anything else. To walk in His ways, to love Him, to serve Him without reserve, to do what He says. This is fearing God. King Solomon said:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (ESV) The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

In chapter 8 we are introduced to a child named Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Who is Maher-shalal-hash-baz? He is the second child of Isaiah.

Maher-shalal-hash-baz Is A Sign

God came to Isaiah and said:

Isaiah 8:1 (KJV) Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

Back in Isaiah’s day paper wasn’t something you just ran to Walmart and bought. The Bible of Isaiah’s day was written on long rolls of animal skins or papyrus, a paper-like product made by painstakingly crushing the stalks of the papyrus plant, then pressing them together under pressure until it dried.

Writing material was time consuming and costly. You didn’t just waste it. God told Isaiah “take thee a great roll” – a very big roll of writing material – and write in it with an ordinary pen “Maher-shalal-hash-baz”. What in the world is Maher-shalal-hash-baz?

In Isaiah’s day soldiers were paid a wage, but not much. Sometimes soldiers were paid in salt, hence the phrase “He’s worth his salt”. You didn’t get rich as a soldier. But there was a reward for being a really good soldier.

Soldiers were allowed to keep what they killed.

They were allowed the spoils of war. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 specifically prohibits the looting of civilian property during wartime, but this was not so during the American Civil (Sherman’s March to the Sea or the Savannah Campaign) nor among the ancients. When soldiers came into an area to attack they would cry out:

Maher-shalal-hash-baz

Which means “Quick is the loot, because easy is the prey”.
Maher-shalal-hash-baz was a cry of encouragement
to those ransacking another people.

It was a cry of confidence that the enemy made as he raped and pillaged his way through the countryside. No one wanted to hear this cry lifted up against their nation or against their family. It was chilling. God told Isaiah to take a large scroll – a journal if you would – and write Maher-shalal-hash-bazin it.

Isaiah 8:2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.

Since God commanded this Isaiah treated it with all reverence.
He took two faithful witnesses to watch him do as God said.

This reminds me of what Jesus said:

Matthew 18:20 (ESV) For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

God loves to see the obedience of His people.

Isaiah could have debated God. “God, why do You want me to write down that hideous word Maher-shalal-hash-baz? We often lose blessing when we debate God rather than honor Him. Isaiah loved and honored his Lord! God blesses us when we honor Him. What we read next is very interesting.

Isaiah 8:3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son.

What? When I first read this I was confused, but it’s not confusing when you understand who the prophetess is. The “prophetess” is Isaiah’s wife. Isaiah is the Prophet, and his wife is the Prophetess. Some of you call me “Preacher” and call my wife “Mrs Preacher”. That’s what is going on here. You see, when God brings a man and a woman together it is as Adam said:

Genesis 2:24 (ESV) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and THEY SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.

When God calls a man, he also calls the wife. They are ONE FLESH. What God tells one to do, he tells the other. Isaiah was called to be a Prophet, and his wife – ONE FLESH – was a PROPHETESS. So Isaiah goes home that night after loving God and he loves his wife – and she conceives.

Psalm 127:3-5 (ESV) Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! …

Isaiah loves God, Isaiah loves his wife, God blesses them both with a child. But then God tells Isaiah:

Isaiah 8:3 (KJV) Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

In ancient times the father named the child. Mary will bear a Son and you, Joseph, shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). God tells Isaiah “Your son will be named Maher-shalal-hash-baz”. I would have liked to have seen his wife’s face when he told her that her child would be named a battle cry

Quick is the loot, because easy is the prey”

We don’t always understand the why or the purpose of God, but if God tells you to do something you should trust and obey. As that old song goes, “Trust and obey. For there’s no other way. To be happy in Jesus. Just trust and OBEY.
Isaiah trusted and obeyed.

Maher-shalal-hash-baz Is A Sign Of PUNISHMENT

Maher-shalal-hash-baz is first of all a sign of PUNISHMENT to all who put their faith in man. Assyria is coming after Judah, seeking to destroy it because of their unbelief. Rather than repent, Ahaz the King and much of the nation looked to other fallen nations – Syria and Samaria – for protection.

God said

Isaiah 8:4 (KJV)  For before the child (Maher-shalal-hash-baz) shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

Those whom Judah trusted in will be defeated before the child Maher-shalal-hash-baz is able to say “Ma Ma” or “Da Da”. Syria and Samaria will fall. But those who trusted in Syria and Samaria will also fall.

Isaiah 8:6 (KJV) Forasmuch as this people refuseth the WATERS OF SHILOAH that go softly..

The “waters of Shiloah” refers to a small fountain that sent a little stream through the city of Jerusalem. It was a beautiful babbling brook that flowed quietly, and provided nourishment to the city.

The waters of Shiloah were symbolic of the quiet
but sure provision of God to His people.

The people turned away from the God Who provided their needs quietly and daily, and instead turned to two man made rivers called Syria and Samaria. Had Judah turned to God they would have found Him faithful.

Psalm 46:4-5 (ESV) There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

God was in the midst of Judah daily. He flowed like a sure fountain of Living Water through Jerusalem, quietly loving His people by meeting their needs.

John 7:37-39 (ESV) On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive

John 4:13-14 (ESV) Jesus said to {the Samaritan woman}, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The people refused the salvation and protection of God, instead putting their faith in the strength of man.

Isaiah 8:6 (KJV) Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son;

They REJECTED God and REJOICED in the strength of Rezin (King of Syria) and Remaliah’s son (King of Samaria). For turning away from God the Lord said:

Isaiah 8:7-8 (KJV) Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: [8] And he shall pass through Judah…

Because Judah refused the waters of Shiloah – of God – the Lord would cause the River of Assyria to overflow Judah. Assyria would come and possess the land that God’s people should have. Judah would not be fully destroyed.

he shall overflow and go over, he shall REACH EVEN TO THE NECK; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.

The River would cover Judah “up to the neck”. He would not drown Judah, but the River would possess, hinder, and make uncomfortable while controlling Israel. Thus it is when we put our trust in man. The Bible declares:

Psalm 84:12 (NASB) O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Jeremiah 17:5-8 (ESV) Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. 6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

God wishes to bless His people, but cannot if His people will not trust Him. God promised all those who bound themselves to Assyria that they would be crushed. The Lord said:

Isaiah 8:9-10 (KJV) Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. [10] Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.

Those who bound themselves to Syria and Samaria would fall with them.
Be careful where you hitch the wagon of your faith.
We who are His must not bind ourselves to the darkness.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (ESV) Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

God will protect His own. Therefore do not bind together with the darkness, or God will yoke you with what you bound to.

Maher-shalal-hash-baz Is Also
A Sign Of PRECIOUS PROMISE

Maher-shalal-hash-baz is not only a sign to the unbelieving that judgment is coming, but also a sign of blessing to the believer who follows the Lord. Do you remember that God told Isaiah to:

Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen
concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

Isaiah was to start a journal or a life history of Maher-shalal-hash-baz, a man who would be his son. This was a great roll. His son would live to a great old age. Furthermore, his son would be named Maher-shalal-hash-baz. What is the significance of this?

The only time Isaiah would hear the battle cry of Maher-shalal-hash-baz was when he or his wife called out his son’s name.
Isaiah and all those who loved the Lord would be protected.

While the unbelieving heard the shouts of the Assyrian soldier…

Quick is the loot, because easy is the prey”

this would not be shouted over Isaiah nor those who loved the Lord.

The Lord promises to care for His own.
As long as the believer stands WITH God the Lord stands OVER us.
The King’s heart is a stream of water directed by the Lord,
He guides it where ever He wants (Proverbs 21:1)

The Assyria that would be a cursing to the unbeliever would be a blessing to Isaiah and God’s Children. God told Isaiah:

Isaiah 8:11-15 (KJV) For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should NOT WALK IN THE WAY OF THIS PEOPLE, saying, [12] Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. [13] Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. [14] And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. [15] And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

God said “Don’t you worry, Isaiah, and don’t let fear cause you to do as they do. Follow Me. Set your mind on Me. Do as I say. Love Me, and I will protect you. They will fall who trust Syria and Samaria, but those who love Me will be blessed!”

No matter how powerful your enemies may seem, God is greater. God is always greater!

Psalm 33:10-11 (ESV) The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. 11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.

God is the strength and Protector of His people.

Isaiah 12:2 (ESV) Behold, GOD IS MY SALVATION; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.

God is not only the God Who saved us by His Blood (Acts 20:28), but He is the God Who keeps on saving us. God did not save us by His Great Sacrifice of Calvary, only to abandon us whom He loved with His dying breath. God gave the greatest price He could for us on that old Rugged Cross. God will not abandon His Children – but we must be careful not to abandon Him.

Several years later Ahaz’s son, King Hezekiah would be threatened by Assyria. Hezekiah would not look for an alliance among the childfren of men, but unlike his father Ahaz turned to the Lord his God.

Isaiah 37:15-20 (ESV) … Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH MAY KNOW THAT YOU ALONE ARE THE LORD.”

Whereas Ahaz focused manward, his son Hezekiah focused Godward. He sought his salvation and the salvation for his nation from Almighty God. How did God reply?

Isaiah 37:33-35 (ESV) Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 35 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.

And God defended His people. The Bible tells us that that very night the “angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people rose early in the morning, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Ninevah. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god … his sons struck him down with the sword… (Isaiah 37:33-35).

God will take care of you.

Just as God had Isaiah start a journal – from a LARGE ROLL – on his son Maher-shalal-hash-baz, God has a plan for your life. He wants to bless you. He wants to save you, and keep on saving you. God will not bless faith in man, but will bless faith in Him. We are called to do as Isaiah and say:

Isaiah 8:17 (KJV) And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

God hides His face from unbelief, but looks with love upon the believer. Let us believe Him. Let us trust His Christ. Let us hear His Word, and do what He says. We are to hear Him, not Satan, not the world, but Him. He loves you. The Father sent the Son for you. The Son died, and rose again for you. The Son sent the Spirit to indwell you.

God will never abandon His own.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Belong To God, Isaiah, Law Of God, obedience, prophecy, Sermons Preached and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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